The Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) in Salem, Massachusetts, holds the most important collection of modern Indian art outside of India. Works now on view in a new exhibition explore how Indian artists grappled with identity during and after revolution. More than 100 paintings, sculptures, photographs and personal correspondence trace the history of India — from its colonial period through its independence in 1947 — and the rise of a vibrant modern art movement.
Artists helped define the country following the Indian Independence Movement. They developed a visual language that was uniquely Indian and were inspired by the specificity of their cultural experience as well as in their personal struggles, ambitions and dreams.
“These works represent a time when Indians began to visualize themselves as modern artists grappling with swift societal and cultural change,” observes Siddhartha V. Shah, PEM’s Curator of South Asian Art. More than 60 paintings from PEM’s Chester and Davida Herwitz Collection, including works by M.F. Husain, Tyeb Mehta, and Nalini Malani, explore spirituality, conflict, urbanization, poverty and the role of revolutionary women in establishing a new nation.
Among these works is Husain’s Mahabharata series of paintings, which reimagines the historic Sanskrit epic through a modern lens. An accompanying digital frieze tells the story of the battle between two factions of the same family, brother against brother and cousin against cousin. Husain looked at the myth as a metaphor for India’s Partition. If any of these concepts of identity and inclusion seem all too familiar to Americans today, Shah says that is no accident.
The original vision of India was of unity in its diversity, says Shah, much like the United States. “But the reality today is a greater feeling of division,” he says. “We at PEM have a responsibility to keep these conversations going, especially as stewards of this important collection.”
For more information, visit pem.org.
South Asian Art continues at the Peabody Essex Museum (East India Square, 161 Essex Street, Salem, MA) through October 1, 2022.
Her short film Freshwater is now playing at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit.
In the artist’s new exhibition, Black moves away from her signature representation of commercial goods to celebrating the labors behind everyday life.
Northwestern’s Block Museum of Art Presents A Site of Struggle: American Art against Anti-Black Violence
This new exhibition in Evanston, Illinois considers how art has been used to protest, process, mourn, and memorialize anti-Black violence for more than a century.
Over the past decade, the Taos-based artist has outfitted two vintage RVs with hundreds of cast glass pieces that collect light from the desert sky.
Ikon Gallery’s retrospective asserts that Carlo Crivelli’s self-reflexiveness and questioning the nature of the image made him anticipate the “contemporary.”
Guest curated by Alison Burstein, An Asterism* at the school’s Kellen Gallery in NYC features the work of 15 multidisciplinary artists, on view from May 16 through May 27.
The strike was our collective push for a California College of the Arts that truly represented our values after years of our voices being dismissed, ignored, or patronized.
Tanya Aguiñiga, Amalia Mesa-Bains, and Vincent Valdez are among the recipients of this year’s grants, funded by the Ford and Mellon Foundations.
All US-based artists, including those who work with NFTs, are welcome to submit to the 2022 Future Art Awards. 25 winners will each receive between $2,500 and $5,000.
But some paleontologists think dinosaur specimens should be in public institutions, not private hands.
Jim Fitton has been in custody since March, when Iraqi officials found 12 small shards of pottery in his luggage.
An exhibition at the Noguchi Museum marks the 80th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, which forced over 120,000 Japanese Americans into detention camps.