Mixed Media and Abstract Art: India and her Diaspora

Indian artists and those of Indian descent using techniques new and old to create images and forms which are not traditional to register the issues of their time.

 

 

 

 

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Untitled, 1969, woodcut printed in burnt umber on Indian handmade paper. 

Zarina, Indian born 1937, active New York.  Philadelphia Art Museum

 

 

 

 

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Yakshi, 1984, dyed hemp. 

Mrinalini Mukherjee, 1949-2015, Indian active New Delhi.  MOMA, NY

 

 

 

 

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Untitled, 1997, thread, pigment, needles. 

Sheela Gowda, Indian born 1957, active Bangalore.  On loan from the artist’s collection to the Philadelphia Art Museum in 2020

 

 

 

 

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4-channel, video shadow play and synthetic polymer paint on six Lexan cylinders, 2003-2009.

 

The artist says that the origin of this piece dates from May 1998 when both India and Pakistan tested the nuclear bomb.  The video was of the nuclear explosion at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  The figures on the cylinder try to wipe away the devastation and inevitably fail. 

 

Nalini Malani, Indian born Karachi 1946, active Mumbai.  MOMA, NY

 

 

 

 

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Untitled, 2014, mixed media.

Priya Ravish Mehra, 1961-2018, Indian active New Delhi.  Estate of the artist on view at the Philadelphia Art Museum in 2020

 

 

 

 

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  These Cities Blotted into the Wilderness (Adrienne Rich after Ghalib). 

Zarina, Indian  born 1937, active New York.  Philadelphia Art Museum.

The artist, born a Muslim, was exiled from India in 1959; troubles and displacements which fill her work.

 

This depicts aerial maps of borders that have been under threat due to political conflict including Sarajevo, Beirut, Ahmedabad, Grozny, Srebrenica, Kabul, Jenin, Baghdad, and New York (Twin Towers).  Each map is marked in English and the artist’s native language of Urdu.

 

 

 

 

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A Blanket and the Sky, tar drum sheets, blanket. 

Sheela Gowda, Indian born 1957, active Bangalore.  Private loan to the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2020. 

This is a commentary on the many shanty towns of India.

This creation has two levels.  On the ground floor of its longer side, the opening reveals a blanket laid on the ground.  On the upper level whose opening is on the shorter side, there is a representation of a city with tightly knit streets.  Above is the night sky.

 

 

 

 

 

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Dodo Bird and her Extinction met Dutch sailors in the Indian Ocean while they were looking for fortune and existence both plain and simple into new world and paradises or experience death was one notion. 2014 

Acrylic, ink, collage on watercolour paper.

Rina Bannerjee, American born India, 1963.   Loaned by the Ford Foundation to an exhibition at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia in 2019

 

 

 

 

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Untitled, 2014, tapestry with paper pulp.

Priya Ravish Mehra, Indian, 1961-2018, active New Delhi.  Estate of the artist on view at the Philadelphia Art Museum

 

 

 

 

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notation in x,y,z, 2015, graphite, oil and pigment on canvas. 

Tanya Goel, Indian born 1985, active New Delhi.  On display at the Philadelphia Art Museum in 2020.

This is a grid of handmade pigments created from the debris of New Delhi.  Each colour is marked with the artist’s note of the geographic co-ordinate of that colour.  This is a private map.

 

 

 

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n/ninety three, 2016, copper wire embedded in gesso panel. 

Prabhavathi Meppayil.  Indian born 1965, active Bangalore. 

Sixteen panels of copper wire submerged fully and partially in layers of gesso.  A reckoning with the work of her goldsmith family and ancestors.

 

 

 

 

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Seven Ponds and a Few Rain Drops, 2017, muslin, stainless steel, tamarind and natural dyes. 

Ranjani Shettar, Indian born 1977, active Karnataka.  Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY

 

 

 

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Untitled; rafoogari on pashmina cloth, 2017. 

Priya Ravish Mehra, 1961-2018, active New Delhi. Estate of the artist. 

 

Of rafoogari, an expert darning technique originating in her ancestral  Uttar Pradesh, the artist made an analogy of a technique for the physical and spiritual repairing of a life.

 

 

 

 

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On the floor, Mortar Line, 1996, cowdung and pigment.

 

  These are bricks made from cowdung.  The cavity between each brick is filled with kumkuma, the red powder commonly applied to the forehead to mark the channel between the Divine and the human.

Sheela Gowda, Indian born 1957, active Bangalore.

 

 

 

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Index V, 2015/2020, neel pigment directly applied to the wall.

Tanya Goel, Indian born 1958, active New Delhi

Indigo industrial pigment and pulverized brick applied directly onto the wall using the construction tool called  a ‘snap line’.  The lines  and the curve correlate to the rise and fall of sea levels over centuries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Mixed Media and Abstract Art: India and her Diaspora

    1. Are you one of those (us) who thinks that mixed media is in the service of a lesser god as compared to the painted picture and the sculpted sculpture? And even of the object made by hand from the ground up by expert artisans?

      I think you are. I’m going to work on a post about North American mixed media and it is all drab when compared to the slightest Michelangelo draft. It’s all Duchamp’s fault along with all the conceptual stuff thrown out there.

      But I am trying to be open…………

      Sarah

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