Modern Indian Art at the Rubin Museum of Art, New York

Approaching Abstraction at the Rubin Museum of Art, New YorkManjari Sihare on the Rubin Museum’s Modern Indian Art Series

New York: The Rubin Museum of Art in New York is currently showcasing an exhibit of modern Indian art, with a focus on abstraction, featuring works by Zarina Hashmi, Tyeb Mehta, S.H. Raza, Akbar Padamsee, Krishna Reddy, Nasreen Mohamedi, Biren De, G.R. Santosh and Ram Kumar. Also on view are experimental films created by M.F. Husain, Tyeb Mehta and Akbar Padamsee in the late 1960s. Listen to a podcast of this exhibition, downloadable on iTunes. While many works in the exhibition have been culled from the private collection of the Rubin Museum founders, Shelley and Donald Rubin, the display also includes supplementary works on loan from various private and museum collections in the United States.

Approaching Abstraction (on view till October 16, 2012) is the second exhibit of the trilogy, Modernist Art in India, conceptualized by Beth Citron, the Assistant Curator at the Rubin Museum. The first exhibit in this series was based on figuration and the final one, Radical Terrain, centers on landscapes (November 9, 2012- April 2013). Citron holds a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, where her specialization was Contemporary Art in Bombay, 1965-1995. Her next project at the Rubin Museum is an exhibition on the work of India’s first female photojournalist, Homai Vyarawalla (1913-2012). This exhibition will be presented in collaboration with the Alkazi Foundation for the Arts, New Delhi. It will be on view at the Rubin from July 6, 2012 – January 14, 2013.

The museum website also carries an interactive timeline highlighting the historical events that helped shape art in India from 1857 to the 1990s. For a textual overview of this development, browse through our Art Guide.

These exhibitions with their specific focus on modern Indian art are the first of their kind to open in a New York museum. Previously cultural exchanges between India and Europe have been much more prevalent, but the US is fast catching up.

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