This volume brings together 19 seminal essays on India's visual culture and its leading manifestations during the period 1857-2007. It traces the shifting role of the artist and art institution through cataclysmic changes in India's history. The early essays cover the age of Empire, which saw the advent of mechanical reproduction and the setting up of British art academies and museums. With the rise of nationalism, the making of Indian art institutions and an Indian art consciousness allowed an indigenous modernity to be carefully determined by artists and idealogues. During the period of the 1960s to the 1980s, Indian art emerged through frequently hard-fought debates around the role of the State and indigenist values and symbols in art practice. In the later essays of the book, the recent alliance with global art strategies since the 1980s is examined. At the same time, the shift in popular taste and aesthetics influenced by Indian politics and the rise of religious patronage is analysed as a contemporary phenomenon. With contributions by the foremost art writers, critics and curators, this volume seeks to contextualize Indian art within the dynamic shifts of Indian social history.

Includes bibliography.
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Chapter headings

Introduction - Gayatri SINHA

Indian Artists in the Colonial Period: The Case of Bombay - Partha MITTER

Material Fantasy: The Museum in Colonial India - Kavita SINGH

The Colonial Project and the Shifting Gaze - Sophie GORDON

Mechanical Production in India - Christopher PINNEY

Abanindranath, Known and Unknown: The Artist versus the Art of His Times - Tapati GUHA-THAKURTA

Santiniketan: A Development in Three Movements - R. Siva KUMAR

The 1930s: A Decade of Modernism - Gayatri SINHA

Artist Collectives in the Age of Anxiety, 1940-50 - Shukla SAWANT

Social Realism in the Visual Arts: 'Man-Made' Famine and Political Ferment, Bengal 1943-46 - Sanjoy MALLIK

A House for Modernism: Art in Its Institutional Aspects, 1950s and '60s - Anshuman DASGUPTA

Modern Indian Sculpture - Shivaji K. PANIKKAR

City Lights, City Limits: Multiple Metaphors in Everyday Urbanism - Shukla SAWANT, Roobina KARODE

Modernity in the South: An Overview - Ashrafi S. BHAGAT

Curating Culture, Curating Territory: Religio-Political Mobility in India - Jyotindra JAIN

The Mahatma as Muse: An Image Essay on Gandhi in Popular Indian Visual Imagination - Sumathi RAMASWAMY

Language of an Idealized Revolt: Sculptural Installation from the 1990s to the Present - Deeksha NATH

New Media Overtures before New Media Practice in India - Nancy ADAJANIA

Performance in Photography: A Bridge between Ram Singh II of Jaipur and Contemporary Photographers - Gayatri SINHA

Gender Mobility: Through the Lens of Five Women Artists - Geeta KAPUR

Art and Visual Culture in India 1857-2007
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Art and Visual Culture in India 1857-2007