An Unreadable Text: Indian Art and Modernity After 1947

Tamarind Art Council is excited to host Rebecca M. Brown an associate professor of art history at Johns Hopkins University, and author of the recent book, Art for a Modern India, 1947-1980. On April 17, at 6:30 pm. To attend please RSVP to or call 212-200-8000. For more information on Tamarind Arts Council Please visit our website

New York, NY, April 16, 2009 --( Following India’s independence in 1947, Indian artists creating modern works of art sought to maintain a local idiom, an “Indianness” representative of their newly independent nation, while connecting to modernism, an aesthetic then understood as both universal and presumptively Western. These artists depicted India’s precolonial past while embracing aspects of modernism’s pursuit of the new, and they challenged the West’s dismissal of non-Western places and cultures as sources of primitivist imagery but not of modernist artworks. In Art for a Modern India, Rebecca M. Brown explores the emergence of a self-conscious Indian modernism—in painting, drawing, sculpture, architecture, film, and photography—in the years between independence and 1980, by which time the Indian art scene had changed significantly and postcolonial discourse had begun to complicate mid-century ideas of nationalism.

Through close analyses of specific objects of art and design, Brown describes how Indian artists engaged with questions of authenticity, iconicity, narrative, urbanization, and science and technology. She explains how the filmmaker Satyajit Ray presented the rural Indian village as a socially complex space rather than as the idealized site of “authentic India” in his acclaimed Apu Trilogy, how the painter Bhupen Khakhar reworked Indian folk idioms and borrowed iconic images from calendar prints in his paintings of urban dwellers, and how Indian architects developed a revivalist style of bold architectural gestures anchored in India’s past as they planned the Ashok Hotel and the Vigyan Bhavan Conference Center, both in New Delhi. Discussing these and other works of art and design, Brown chronicles the mid-twentieth-century trajectory of India’s modern visual culture.

This will be a wonderful talk on modern and contemporary art in india and should not be missed by scholoars and art lovers a like.

About Tamarind Art Council

Tamarind Arts Council (TAC) is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization dedicated to promoting art of Indian influence in North America. Our focus is to support all types of artistic expression, including performing arts and fine arts inspired by the arts of India. We also sponsor art-related activities and cross-cultural events that expand theaudience for Indian art and culture.

Our mission is to inspire the work of contemporary Indian artists and performers and to facilitate public appreciation of these unique cultural art forms. We regularly host art exhibitions, performing arts, book launches, lectures, and other cultural programs. We have become a nexus for many art organizations. As part of our on-going efforts, we support art museums, cultural communities and non-profit organizations around the globe. In addition to showcasing high caliber art, Tamarind Art is a resource centre for gaining an understanding of Indian art, artists, and other areas
of interest to individuals, businesses and art investors.

We are proud to announce our sponsorship of The Museum of Modern Art's film exhibition INDIA NOW, a bi-annual program begun in 2007 that will be presented again at MoMA in June 2009. Other sponsorships include: Festival of India with WMI featuring Shivkumar Sharma and Zakir Husain. Masters of Indian Music-Rahul Sharma & Zakir Husain with WMI, Nov. 2007. Prema Murthy, Fuzzy Logic Exhibition at P.S. 1 MoMA from June – Sept 2007. Contemporary Photography and Video Art “India Public Places/Private Spaces”, at the Newark Museum of Art, Sept 07- Jan. 2008.

Our most successful and well received exhibition was the the beginning of this year, and exhibition entitled “Gandhi-The Legacy”, done in collaboration with Philip Glass Opera and Satya Graha Forum, was a photography exhibition that captures nostalgic view of Gandhi’s true legacy. 10 April – 3 May 2008.

For more information contact Tamarind Art Council at 212-200-8000 or admin

142 East 39th Street, New York, NY 10016 *

Tamarind Art Council
Rosanne Bergeron
142 East 39th Street
New York, NY 10016