Thursday, March 19, 2009

Contemporary Indian Art

Contemporary art from India is seeking space in global market on equal footing. But the challenge is these fast changing times is to retain the Indian ethos in our art form. The sheen of traditional art hasn’t diminishing in India. Lord Ganesha is being constantly re-invented in painting, designing and sculptures; and keeping many homes under his auspicious shade. Batik, tanjore, Pichwai, Kangra and Jaipur paintings; brass, bronze, stone and wooden statues of deities still find good markets. But most of these are fine specimen of craft rather than art. ‘Art’ – said George Elliot – ‘is the nearest thing to life’. And art, like life, is one that could constantly re-invent itself with time.

India has a rich artistic tradition throughout her history. But idealism, rather than Hellenistic realism, had dominated her art (once their ways crossed in 2nd century BC culminating in Gandhara School of Buddhist Art). Indian art was an expression of her spirituality. The individual identities of the artists, whose work continue to amaze us at a distance of a millennium, remain unknown.

There is no dearth of artists in India, and when it comes to contemporary Indian art, the list has new names being added every second. In such a scenario, work of few does stand out. There are several artists whose expressions of inner self is well depicted on the canvas. Raghu Vyas, Budhaditya Chattopadhya, Gautam Bhatia, Nitin Mukul and Alexander Keefa, Pratibha Singh, Tybe Mehta, Amrita Shergil, Maqbool Fida Hussain, Rameswar Broota, Manit Bawa and Satish Gujral are few without whose mention any write up is incomplete.

While contemporary artists in India take inspiration from various sources and styles, Indian art still retains its distinct ‘Indianness’. Newer styles never seen before are also emerging on the scene; forms and styles, which cannot be categorised into any specific existing genre.

Tags - Indian Art, Indian Modern Artists, Indian Contemporary Art, Modern Indian Art


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