Indian Artists and the Modernist Living Tradition

2024-06-19 04:28:51

Indian Artists and the Modernist Living Tradition


June 24, 2023    
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Mazumdar-Shaw auditorium
22, Kasturba Rd, Shanthala Nagar, Ashok Nagar, Bengaluru, Karnataka, 560001
Map Unavailable

A Mural on the Wall of a House, Jyoti Bhatt, c. 1981, Silver gelatin print, Image: H. 12.4 cm, W. 18.4 cm; Paper: H. 13.1 cm, W. 18.9 cm, PHY.03433, Museum of Art & Photography.

Sociologist DP Mukerji said “living tradition” is the “capacity for adjustment” which is the “measure of the vitality of traditions”. A few decades later,  in 1987, artist KG Subramanyan wrote that the modern artist wishes “to be part of a living tradition, i.e. to be individual and innovative, without being an outsider in his own culture….” Two positions, separated by decades and disciplinary orientations. 

In this talk, designer and art historian Annapurna Garimella, using Mukerjee and Subramanyan as bookends, will delve into how artists have approached traditions and art forms in India. Artists, for generations, have adopted textures, forms, colours, techniques, images, and labour from community-specific art forms into their own work, giving their practice and these traditions new meanings. In this talk, Garimella will uncover what life is possible for a tradition once it enters the studio. 

The event is part of the larger programming for the exhibition Jyoti Bhatt: Time and Time Again.

Annapurna Garimella

Art Historian and Designer

Annapurna Garimella, art historian and designer, focuses on late mediaeval Indian architecture and the history and practices of vernacular visual and built cultures in India after Independence. Garimella is the Managing Trustee of Art, Resources and Teaching Trust, a not-for-profit organisation, which has a research library dedicated to art, architecture, design and craft histories. She also heads Jackfruit Research and Design, an organisation with a specialised portfolio of design, research and curation. Jackfruit’s recent curatorial projects include Vernacular, in the Contemporary (Devi Art Foundation, New Delhi 2010-11) and Mutable: Ceramic and Clay Art in India Since 1947 (Piramal Museum of Art, 2017) and Barefoot School of Craft in Goa (Serendipity Arts Festival, 2017-18). Her latest books are the co-edited Marg volume titled The Contemporary Hindu Temple:Fragments for a History (2019) and The Long Arc of South Asian Art: A Reader in Honor of Vidya Dehejia (Women Unlimited, 2022).

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