Online Magazine
 
Features
Mapping the growth trajectory of Indian art.
Contemporary Indian art, as is clearly evident, has attained global presence in spite or because of its bonds to culture and history of the Indian subcontinent. The dynamism, vibrancy and sensitivity of today’s leading Indian artists get showcased in a new show at galerie müller & plate based in Munich, Germany.

Among the participating artists are Achuthan Kudallur, Akhilesh, Bose Krishnamachari, Chandra Bhattacharjee, Harsha Vardhana S, G. R. Iranna, George Martin PJ, Jehangir Jani, Leena Kejriwal, Manish Puskhale and Prabhakar Kolte. Then there are names like Dileep Sharma, Ebenezer Singh, Prabuddha Dasgupta, Ravikumar Kashi, Riyas Komu, Roy Thomas, S. G. Vasudev, Sujata Bajaj, Sunil Padwal, T. V. Santhosh, Vanita Gupta, Vibha Galhotra, Vivan Sundaram and Vivek Vilasini. Works by F. N. Souza, Ganesh Haloi, and H. A. Gade also form part of the major show.

The country has opened up its national heritage and its indigenous ways of thinking to the influence of international trends and became an equally entitled partner of the global economy. Each artist though, works in a unique manner, adding to the versatility on view. For example, Arpana Caur's subjects remain firmly rooted in the quotidian world of the woman, showing women engaged in commonplace acts.

For Achuthan Kudallur, painting is not a conversation, but a communion with color, marked by a remarkable economy of style, and grace. G. R. Iranna’s painting has always been far removed from an overriding, postmodern logic. Instead, he uses the idealistic, representative and modernist language of contemporary Indian art. Baiju Parthan is interested in the influence of technology on religious beliefs, the implications of genetic engineering, and the possibilities of post-humanism.

Mapping the growth trajectory of Indian art, an accompanying note states, “Artists like Jamini roy, the Tagores twined eastern and western styles. The non-objective art - for quite some time erroneously considered the most important revolution of the 20th century - conquered India too. Simultaneously the never ceased flow of tradition continued: color and line, always the most important criteria in the creation of Indian art, remained omnipresent. Eminent artists such as Gaitonde, F.N. Souza or - extending into the presence - S.H. Raza were perceptible but achieved greater resonance just in India; a change occurred at the end of the eighties and early nineties. Paintings by Tyeb Mehta, M.F. Husain and H. A. Gade by now were internationally renowned and celebrated.”

Today internationally renowned artists from India like Riyas Komu, T.V. Santhosh and Iranna G.R. depict figuratively, yet their work is of a tremendous spiritual depth. Young talents such as Vibha Galhotra and Vivek Vilasini allow dismaying elements to act. Bose Krishnamachari and Murali cheeroth lead into a world of psychedelic. The encoded pictures of Sachin Karne and their reference to art history show the intensiveness of the heritage from the past used and molded. Manish Pushkale and Akhilesh explore emotions by way of linear contours, whereas Chandra Bhattacharjee and George Martin P.J. let elements of Pop art intermingle with super-realism and expressionistic abstraction.

The old and new works of the nationally and internationally renowned senior artists contrast each to give rise to a captivating kaleidoscope. S. G. Vasudev seems to be from a different world, standing their ground against all changes of style, whereas Ganesh Haloi's works and his motifs have precise associations with the artist's psyche, his experiences and the upheavals that have shaped him and his point of view.

The show presents a sense of continuity in Indian art through five decades and more. Taking a cue from S. H. Raza’s works, the curatorial note concludes: “His sensuous impetus and the abstract symbolism can and will not deny western influence. Yet it’s genuine Indian-linked equally to its tradition and presence. On first sight, the art production in India seems very international and intercultural. But at close sight it shows its continuity with tradition and with the past.”

The compilation is a testimony to the explosion of new conceptions of art and of formative thinking, which have propelled Indian art to greater heights.