Tuesday, August 21, 2007


For a long time, contemporary art in India suffered from little attention (actually more confusion) from the populace who were not exposed to art in the hustle of eking the daily chore. Often, the struggle to get the living wage and tend the family would so tax the majority that they would have had little time to sit back and reflect on modern art, implications and where the art world has been going (this was the case with middle class families like the one I grew in and India is the land of the middle class). Things are slowly changing now. The fact that the world is getting flatter by the day and India having an economic spurt (with a continuous rate of economic growth averaging 8%), only helps. With prosperity comes reflection and naturally people have been doing a bit of that lately. They are savoring the yearly vacations and of course, enjoy the arts as well.

It was with no surprise that I noted news that Calcutta plans to open a museum of Modern Art nicknamed KMoMA (or the Kolkota Museum of Modern Art - Kolkota being the new name for anglicized city of Calcutta after an effervescence of regional re-naming that seem to sweeping up India). KMoMA seems to be based on the Museum of Modern Art, NY and is slated for completion in 2012 and will house the biggest collection of contemporary Indian art anywhere in India.

Of course a lot of the older artists who have been painting from the 1940's like Tyeb Mehta, M. F. Husain, Somnath Hore, Ram Kumar, Jogen Chowdhury, Ganesh Pyne, Rameswar Broota, Arpita Singh, K.G. Subramnayan and Badri Narayan will be additions to this new temple of modern art.

Among others, prominent among the new and upcoming artists over the last 20 years are Baiju Parthan, Chintan Upadhyay, T. V. Santosh, Riyaz Komu, Dayanita Singh, Subodh Gupta, Jayasri Burman, Paresh Maity and Manisha Parekh.

I enjoy pictures on blogs – just easy on the eyes – less reading, more visuals (although I manage to violate this edict every once in while with some long boring post), but this time I managed to stick to the rule and managed to collect (in all honesty - rip) representative new Indian art (the sources were various: Indian auction websites, Sotheby's and scanning of magazines from my collection here).

Hope you enjoy them.

Baiju Parthan, ‘Engineered Fruit’, Acrylic on Canvas, 23.5 x 23.5 inches, 2001

Chintan Upadhyay, ‘Smart Alec’, oil and acrylic on canvas, 96 x 72 inches, 2005

T. V. Santosh, ‘Across an Unresolved Story’, oil on canvas, 48 x 60 inches, 2004

Riyaz Komu, ‘Coverpage of a portrait – 3’, Oil on canvas, 72 x 48 inches, 2005

Dayanita Singh, ‘Koshy Kids, Bangalore’, 1997, Silver gelatin print on aluminum, Edition of 7, 100 x 100 cm

Subodh Gupta, ‘Vilas’, Installation, 1999

Jayasri Burman, ‘Enchant Ment’, 72 X 45 inches, Watercolor, pen and ink on paper, 2006

Paresh Maity, ‘Song of India’, 72 X 72 inches, Oil on canvas, 2007

Manisha Parekh, ‘Bonding 2’, 36 X 36 inches, Handmade paper on board

Sujata Bajaj, ‘Beyond – IV’, acrylic on canvas, 100 cm x 100 cm, 2006

Suneel Mamadapur, ‘Blowing in the wind’, Acrylic on canvas, 60 X 72 inches, 2006

Jyothi Basu, ‘Constructed to Destruct I’, Oil on canvas, 42 X 30 inches, 2004

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