'Mainstream art historical writing on Indian art has remained focused on identifying and defining stylistic schools, understanding evolutionary patterns and regional styles as well as understanding iconographic and narrative conventions and structures. The wide-ranging essays in this volume challenge the boundaries and assumptions of mainstream art history. Moving away from an art history structured by an art object-centered approach, this book gestures at a framework-oriented approach that calls attention to the political, social, economic structures that undergird art. It is an attempt to reformulate the discipline in a manner that can explain the field of the visual in a way that goes well beyond the explanatory capacity of conventional modes of studying Indian art.

These essays question pre-conceived notions about meaning in representations — artistic and art historical. They contest earlier claims about the objectivity of scholarship in general and history writing in particular as much as they critique the valorization of a purely individuated, subjective art criticism. In its attempt to historicize the practice of art, the book examines the economic, political and social implications of art that enable the re-situation of art history among social science disciplines.

The emphasis is on the study of specific visual cultures within the dynamics of historical processes. These essays raise critical issues of art production, circulation and consumption as well as production of meaning. Traditional arts have been studied from a critical perspective that extricates them from a past that is hermetically sealed off from the present. The opposition of "high art" and "non-art"(read popular or mass visual culture) has been challenged. Breaking outside the ambit of high art, studies in the book extend from popular, mass-produced art to MTV imagery to digital art.' - from the front flap
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Chapter headings

Prof. Ratan Parimoo: A Journey in Art History - Shivaji K. PANIKKAR

From Iconography through Iconology to New Art History - Ratan PARIMOO

Introduction: Towards New Art History - Shivaji K. PANIKKAR, Parul DAVE-MUKHERJI, Deeptha ACHAR

Part I: Quest for New Frameworks

1. Visual Culture in an Indian Metropolis - Geeta KAPUR, Ashish RAJADHYAKSHA

2. Contemporary Art, Issues of Praxis and Art-Collaboration: Intervention in Bastar - Navjot ALTAF

3. Art History and Art Practice Today: A Question of Interface - Anshuman DASGUPTA

4. Reading the Regional Through Internationalism and Nativism: The Case of Art in Madras; 1950 to 1970 - Shivaji K. PANIKKAR

5. Rethinking Gender Issues in Indian Art - Parul DAVE-MUKHERJI

Part II: Patronage in Question

6. Technique, Time and Form in Ancient Indian Terracotta Sculptures - Baishali GHOSH

7. The Socio-Economics of Art in the Silpa Sastras - Vaijayanti SHETE

8. Roda Temples: Edifice of Spiritualism or Political Advertisement? - Jayaram PODUVAL

9. Methodological Crisis in the Studies of Indian Painting: The Case of the Mewar School - Shailendra K. KUSHWAHA

10. The Poetics and Politics of Citation in Jodhpur Miniatures - Debra DIAMOND

11. Miracles in the Park: The Design and Politics of a Contemporary Religious Space in Bangalore - Annapurna GARIMELLA

Part III: Citing Formalism and Iconography

12. History as Allegory: The Bhaja Narratives - Deepak KANNAL

13. The 'Subjectivist Turn' in Indian Temple Architecture - Ajay J. SINHA

14. Guilds as Determinants of Style: Shamalaji Sculptures - Abha SHETH

15. Intertextuality, Authorship and the Conundrum of Interpretation in the Sursagar Paintings of Mewar - Rita SODHA

16. Body and Transcendence: Representation of Two Contemporary Women Artists - Shubhalakshmi SHUKLA

17. The 'Madras Art Movement' and the Lineages of Abstraction - Ashrafi S. BHAGAT

18. The Female Body Problematized: The Paintings of T.K. Padmini - Savithri RAJEEVAN

Part IV: At the Edge of the Discipline

19. The Contours of the Androgynous Body: Deciphering the Sarnath Buddha Image Type - Sugata RAY

20. The New Antiquity of 'Tamil' Temples: Constructing Identities through Architecture - Shriya SRIDHARAN

21. On Signature and Citizenship: Further notes ont he 'Husain Affair' - Karin ZITZEWITZ

22. Subalternism in the Studies of Indian Art: An Argument Concerning Dushadh 'Madhubani' Paintings - Meena SINGH

23. Identity, Discourse and Hybridity: An Analysis of MTV Imagery - Madhuvanti ANANTHARAJAN

24. Ganesa-Caturthi: Meaning and Excess in Contemporary Public Culture - Madhuvanti ANANTHARAJAN

25. Windowed Style of the Desktop Interface, Web Narrativity and the Indian Theories of Meaning - Nandini GANDHI

Part V: Institutional Sites of 'Indian' Art

26. Museums and the Making of the Indian Art Historical Canon - Kavita SINGH

27. What Makes for the 'Authentic' Female Nude in Indian Art? - Tapati GUHA-THAKURTA

28. Crafting Education: Caste, Work and the Wardha Resolution of 1937 - Deeptha ACHAR

29. Re-Membering Indian Art: Plotting Journeys through Colonial and Postcolonial Discourses - Rahul BHATTACHARYA

30. National Gallery of Modern Art: Museums and the Making of National Art - Vidya SHIVADAS

31. Constructing A Museological Paradigm of Living Cultures: The Making of the South Asia Gallery at the Asian Civilizations Museum, Singapore - Gauri Parimoo KRISHNAN

The Photograph on a Rowdysheet - R. SRIVATSAN

Towards a New Art History: Studies in Indian Art
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Towards a New Art History: Studies in Indian Art