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Contemporary, Modern, Tribal Indian Art

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Contemporary Art or to-this-minute art is any form of art created after 1960 to the present day. Spanning the gamut of sculpture, installation, painting or photography, contemporary art may also carry the taglines of cutting edge or avant-garde. In the Indian context however, contemporary art is referred to as the art movement which began in the 1990s till the present date. Embracing a new global Indian outlook, contemporary artists found expression in hyperrealism, installation art, new media and digital representation. In India, contemporary artists include Atul Dodiya, Anju Dodiya, BaijuParthan, Bharti Kher, Hema Upadhyay, JagannathPanda, Jitish Kallat, Nalini Malani, Subodh Gupta, Shilpa Gupta, TV Santosh, JustinPonmany, Riyas Komu to name a few.

Tribal Art depicts the lives, culture, practices and beliefs of indigenous peoples. Resonating a common chord from the natives of Africa to the Maoris in New Zealand and Native American Indians in South America, tribal art is also known as folk art. InIndia with its diverse topography – the styles of Warli, Madhubani, Kalamkari, Saura,Pichchwai, Mata niPachehedi, Rajasthani Miniature, GondArt, DokraArt andPatachitra paintings are some examples of this genre.Artists Bhuri Bai, Jangarh Singh Shyam, Jivya Soma Mashe, Haku Shah, R.B. Bhaskaran to name a few are heavily influenced by tribal culture and are incorporating tribal art techniques in their works.

Modern Art includes all art from the 1800s to the sixties. Modern art as a genre allows artists to experiment, trust and express their creative visions. In the Indian context, Modern Art refers to the art movement ranging from the pre-independence era with theBengalSchool, to the post independenceProgressiveArtists Group. The ModernArt movement in India began to gain momentum around 1947 and swept across the country spawning across art centres like Shantiniketan inCalcutta, Cholamandal in Chennai,Baroda,Bhopal and Bombay.

In the Bengal School whose depictions chiefly revolved around mythological and religious themes put forth artists like Abanindranath Tagore and Nandalal Bose. Rabindranath and Gagnendranath Tagore correlated with the school’s basic goal but experimented with concepts like cubism and favoured individual expressions. Jamini Roy with his Indian folk art was amongst the most popular twentieth century artist and Amrita Sher-Gil with her post-impressionistic colours, were also a part of this art movement. Today works, by Roy and Sher-Gil and other NationalArtTreasures including Rabindranath Tagore cannot be exported outside the country.

The Cholamandal movement in Chennai, founded by artist KCSPanicker brought modernism to art in South India followed by artists like C Douglas & KM Adimoolam. Bhupen Khakhar & KG Subbramanian from Baroda are amongst the few that hold a high position among collectors and the fraternity.

In independent India progressive artists groups in Bombay which included stalwarts MF Husain, SK Bhakre, KH Ara, Gade, FN Souza, SH Raza, pointedly ignored themes of political upheaval, seeking refuge instead in beautifying the mundane, everyday aspects of living.


Written by Breathe Arts

May 30, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Posted in General

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