Thursday, April 18, 2013

An exhibit with new context to interpret modern Indian art

An ambitious and comprehensive showcase of art at selected from Chester & Davida Herwitz Collection of the , Massachusetts-based Peabody Essex Museum, spanning nearly three generations of Indian painters who changed the way we think of Indian art, includes nearly 70 wonderful works by more than 20 leading artists from the country. The collection is recognized internationally as one of the most important and largest assemblages of modern Indian art outside the country.

The works of art are presented alongside some conversational groupings of key pieces by several well-known artists from across the globe such as Paul Cézanne, Andrew Wyeth, and Marc Chagall, lending another curious context to the development of this movement in the wider realm of modern painting movement. In that sense, the exhibit offers a new context to interpret modern Indian art:

During a phase of enormous cultural and political upheaval, artists working in the post-independence era were able to express their own artistic visions, transcending the limits of the region's traditional  forms. From the 1940s to the '90s, they responded to art movements from around the world, developing original techniques, means of expression, and themes, .

The movement's proponents - among the most influential, Tyeb Mehta, Nasreen Mohamedi and M.F. Husain - faced a particular challenge as how to convey their personal concerns even while remaining true to their roots, and entering into a wider discourse based on modernism's principles of experimentation.

The exhibit in a way goes to reflect the reality of an interconnected global art world, and the way non-Western artists have participated in art movements at home, and as part of the overall unfolding of the world's art history, " said the Guest Curator Susan Bean. "With it, we offer a new framework for appreciating and interpreting modern Indian art."

•    Tyeb Mehta, (1925-2009), Sequence, 1981, Oil on canvas.

•    Andrew Wyeth, (1917-2009), Charlie Ervine, 1937, Tempera on panel.

•    Bikash Bhattacharjee, (1940-2006), The Lady with the Gas Cylinder, 1986, Oil on canvas.

•    Xu Beihong, Horse, 1943, Hanging Scroll, Ink on paper

•  M.F. Husain, Lightning Horses, ca. 1979, Oil on canvas.

‘Midnight to the Boom will be on view until April 21.

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