The Triumph of Modernism: India's Artists and the Avant-garde, 1922-1947
This richly illustrated book explores the contested history of art and nationalism in the tumultuous last decades of British rule in India. Western avant-garde art inspired a powerful weapon of resistance among India's artists in their struggle against colonial repression, and it is this complex interplay of Western modernism and Indian nationalism that is the core of this book. The Triumph of Modernismtakes the surprisingly unremarked Bauhaus exhibition in Calcutta in 1922 as marking the arrival of European modernism in India. In four broad sections Partha Mitter examines the decline of ‘oriental art’ and the rise of naturalism as well as that of modernism in the 1920s, and the relationship between primitivism and modernism in Indian art: with Mahatma Gandhi inspiring the Indian elite to discover the peasant, the people of the soil became portrayed by artists as ‘noble savages’. A distinct feminine voice also evolved through the rise of female artists. Finally, the author probes the ambivalent relationship between Indian nationalism and imperial patronage of the arts. With a fascinating array of art works, few of which have either been seen or published in the West, The Triumph of Modernismthrows much light on a previously neglected strand of modern art and introduces the work of artists who are little known in Europe or America. A book that challenges the dominance of Western modernism, it will be illuminating not just to students and scholars of modernism and Indian art, but to a wide international audience that admires India's culture and history.
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Abanindranath academic art academic artists admiration aesthetic Ajanta Amrita Sher-Gil architecture Art and Nationalism art school Atul Bose avant-garde Baker Bauhaus Bengal School Bombay Art Society Bombay Revival Calcutta Chatterjee colonial colours critic Cubism cultural December decoration Delhi Delhi murals Deviprosad Roy Chowdhury Dhurandhar drawing European exhibition figures formalist fresco Fyzee-Rahamin Gaganendranath Gaganendranath Tagore Gallery Gandhi global Havell Hindu India House India Society Indian art Indian artists Indian Painters inspired Jamini Roy Kalamandirantil Ekechallish Varsham Kalighat Kandinsky Khandalavala Kolkata Kramrisch letter London Lutyens Mazumdar Mitter Modern Art modernist Mukhopadhyaya Mural Paintings Nandalal Nandalal Bose Nandalal's nationalist nude oil on canvas oriental art orientalists portrait primitivism primitivist Rabindranath Tagore Ramkinkar Roopa Lekha Rothenstein Roy's Rupam rural Santals Santiniketan sculpture Shilpi Society of Oriental Solomon studio style Sunayani Devi Sundaram Tagore's tion tradition urban Vakil Varsham Venkatachalam Venkatappa village watercolour on paper Wembley Western women