Thursday, April 25, 2013

Modernist Art from India: Radical Terrain

‘Modernist Art from India: Radical Terrain’, a major exhibition focusing on Modernist Art from India is set to conclude. It’s the third exhibition taking place in the much acclaimed series on art from India at Rubin Museum of Artthat highlights meticulous exploration of its art landscape for the generation especially after independence. What are the other highlights of the show? Let us take a quick look:

Landscape is the theme
The exhibition features new work by international contemporary artists of diverse backgrounds currently working in and identifying with landscape. This is both a response to the modernist paintings on view and to work towards a nuanced conceptual understanding of what ‘landscape’ in art is. The modernist paintings in the exhibition suggests that landscape became a recognizable form of expression in this period as a means for artists to come to terms with the vastness and diversity of India as a newly sovereign nation.

Explorations of landscape – especially rural landscapes-- by painters inadvertently paralleled official initiatives of government organizations like the Films Division of India, which commissioned many films of rural and distant regions like Orissa and Himachal Pradesh for a primary audience of citizens in urban centers. These activities reflect a country creating a new identity.
Highlighting contemporary interventions
‘Radical Terrain’ shows the great variety of landscapes created by artists in India after independence from British rule – including figural and abstract landscapes, specific sites and conceptual landscapes painted in a wide range of styles and from many social, political, and formal perspectives. The contemporary interventions in the exhibition will be in various modes and media, reflecting the diversity of what landscape means to contemporary artists of various backgrounds. 

 The artists on view include Lisi Raskin, Seher Shah, Marc Handelman, and Janaina Tschäpe, among others. The show curated by Beth Citron, continues at the museum based in New York until April 29.

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