Educator Resources

Towards Modernism: Art of India from 1950 to 1990

Drawing on two AAA digitisation projects undertaken in India, the talk explores concepts central to modernist artistic practice in India between 1950s and 1990. It sheds light on the process of becoming a 'modern Indian artist’, and multiple experiments in artistic pedagogy undertaken during this period, including the establishment of visual art archives, a fine arts fair, and workshops with craftsmen and folk artists. In addition, the talk points to the artistic collective as an important form of practice, leading to prolific workshops and camps, seminal group exhibitions, and artist-run journals/magazines.

This talk is originated from Teaching Labs: Contemporary Context Series talk 'Towards Modernism: Art of India from 1950 to 1990'

Speaker: Sneha Ragavan, AAA Researcher

Language: English

Total Length: 1 hour 14 minutes

 

I. Background: Late 19th Century–1950s

Length: 32 minutes

I. Background: Late 19th Century–1950s

Keywords:

Colonialism, Pre-colonial period, Ajanta cave painting, miniature painting tradition, Colonial period, East India Company and the Company School, Academic art, mythology, religion, nationalism as themes, The Bengal School and Revivalism, Santiniketan Art School, Pan Asianism, Kalighat bazaar paintings, Indian Independence and the Partition, Post-independence, Progressive Artists Associations, Internationalism, Abstraction

II. The Baroda School: 1950–1980

Length: 14 minutes

II. The Baroda School: 1950–1980

Keywords:

Alternative pedagogies, living traditions, folk art, fine arts fair, experimentation with new art forms/media/techniques, hemp, terracotta, mural, sand-casting, Roopankar Museum in Bhopal

III. The Modern Artist as Traveller

Length: 21 minutes

III. The Modern Artist as Traveller

Keywords:

Documentations of Indian living traditions, documentation of art events, learning new techniques and ideas from abroad, the first etching press in Baroda, building a visual art archive in Baroda, influences/traces of foreign aesthetics, traditions and motifs

IV. 1980 onwards

Length: 7 minutes

IV. 1980 onwards

Keywords:

Baroda Narrative/Figurative, Indian Radical Painters’ and Sculptors’ Association, economic liberalisation, open economy and open markets, art gallery, new art forms/practices, photography, installation, new media art, video art

Guided questions:

  1. What contextual comparisons can you make between your own cultural background and the themes of the talk?
  2. How can it help you reflect on art and culture in Asia?