One of the Art & Art History department’s own, Dr. Chandreyi Basu, SLU Associate Professor of Art & Art History, has developed a beautiful and exhaustive exhibition of artwork from Contemporary India. Using her extensive knowledge and background in teaching she has pulled into one exhibition a wide range of contemporary artwork.
Below is more information provided by the Richard F Brush Art Gallery…
From The Gallery Description
‘Environment, Health, & the Body in Traditional Paintings from Contemporary India invites viewers to explore the aesthetic richness of living painting traditions in India today and to engage closely with issues of marginalization and inequity that are spotlighted through the artists’ lived experiences of social hierarchies and the content of their work. The nearly fifty paintings selected for the exhibition rest outside mainstream modern and contemporary art movements and the elite traditions of medieval and early modern court paintings.’
Artworks for the exhibition were loaned by Ethnic Art Foundation (Berkeley), Umesh & Sunanda Gaur, Kathryn Myers, Arthur Flowers, and David L. Szanton.
From The Exhibition Curator
Thirty-five individual artists from four distinct regions of India, only one of whom received academic training, created these works from the 1970s to the present. While the paintings reveal deep respect for inherited styles, techniques, and stories, they also represent innovation and variation within regional traditions. The majority of the artists belong to rural communities. Some maintain strong affiliations with forest-based tribes while living in cities; some come from wealthy, high-caste families; while others face caste- and class-based discrimination as members of lower castes or lower income brackets.
The paintings investigate three overlapping themes: environmental impacts of human actions, human health and wellness, and social constructions of the body. Many works intentionally comment on gendered work, colorism, caste and class hierarchies, as well as religious divisions. Water rights, access to healthcare, protection from disease through rituals, and human-animal interactions are foregrounded as the themes of most works. Several incorporate natural materials that are also believed to prevent disease.
A unique scroll titled, I See The Promised Land: A Life of Martin Luther King, Jr., and created through collaboration between Manu Chitrakar, a scroll painter from Bengal, and Arthur Flowers, a writer, blues-based performance poet, Syracuse University Emeritus Associate Professor of English, and native of Tennessee, is a highlight of the exhibition.
— Dr. Chandreyi Basu, SLU Associate Professor of Art & Art History and exhibition curator
Spotlight talks in the gallery with Dr. Chandreyi Basu, 12:00-1:00 p.m.
- Friday, September 8, Traditional Paintings, Contemporary India: Environment
- Wednesday, September 13, Traditional Paintings, Contemporary India: Health & Wellness
- Friday, October 6, Traditional Paintings, Contemporary India: The Body
Please register for Dr. Basu’s gallery talks by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Space for each is limited to 15 people. Additional spotlight talks will be arranged as needed.