Artistic Pedagogy in South Asia

Talk by AAA Resident Iftikhar Dadi

Asia Art Archive presents Artistic Pedagogy in South Asia, a public talk by resident Iftikhar Dadi

This talk focuses on the importance of pedagogy in the consolidation of modern art in South Asia, by focusing on two exemplary and influential figures, Zainul Abedin (1914-1976) and Shakir Ali (1914-1975). Both artists moved toward modernism in their own artistic practice, and also worked to establish new institutional frameworks for pedagogy and exhibition after independence from the British and partition of India in 1947. Ali became associated with Lahore’s National College of Art and exerted significant pedagogic influence over the emergence of modernist painting in (West) Pakistan. Abedin established an influential art institute in former East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and played a significant role in consolidating artistic practice in that region. In comparing both, Dadi will discuss how Abedin and Ali perceived the relation between modernism and ‘tradition’ during the mid-to-late-twentieth-century and the formative effects of their ideas on the next generation of artists.

Image: Shakir Ali, Verse by Ghalib, 1969
Image: Shakir Ali, Verse by Ghalib, 1969 from S. Nasir Shamsie, “Shakir Ali,” Focus on Pakistan 2, no.2 [1972]: 53.
Courtesy of Iftikhar Dadi.

Iftikhar Dadi is Associate Professor in the Department of History of Art at Cornell University and was chair of Cornell's Department of Art (2010-2014). His many writings on the emergence of modern and contemporary art of Muslim South Asia can be found in his research on the relation between art practice in the contexts of globalisation, urbanization, and mediatisation. He has authored numerous scholarly works, including the recent book Modernism and the Art of Muslim South Asia (2010). As an artist, Dadi works collaboratively with Elizabeth Dadi. Their work investigates popular urban and media cultures in constructing memory, borders, and contemporary identity and has been exhibited internationally. 

Relevant content

Gudskul Art Collective: Learning while Nongkrong, Nongkrong while Learning

Gudskul Art Collective: Learning while Nongkrong, Nongkrong while Learning

Angga Wijaya reflects on the Jakarta-based art collective’s belief in togetherness and experience-based pedagogy

Artist-in-Residence | Iftikhar Dadi
Programmes | Residency Programme

Artist-in-Residence | Iftikhar Dadi

Jul–Sep 2014