Author: Pratapaditya Pal
Translator(s)/ Editors(s): Savita Chandramani/Rivka Israel/Naju Hirani et al
Publisher: Marg Publications
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8185026505
The arts reflect a society’s deeply held values and aesthetic sensibilities. It is therefore necessary to periodically review the arts as an indicator of the broader developments in society and discern the direction in which they are heading.
The beginning of a new millennium is an appropriate moment to do so. In this volume, more than a dozen scholars and practitioners- each an expert in his or her field- assess the current state of art in the India and look back on a century of changes with enormous shifts in cross-cultural and cross-media influences, and movements for both modernization and revival of traditions.
We begin with a tribute to Marg's founder-editor, Mulk Raj Anand- part personal memoir and centennial overview- by young art historian Kavita Singh. Pioneer art critic and activist, at 90 plus Mulk still remains active.
Looking at the arts which seek out and preserve a civilization’s heritage, senior archaeologist B.B. Lal reviews the triumphs and failures of Indian archaeology in the past hundred years, particularly the post-Independence period, and noted museologist Asok Kumar Das surveys the museum movement in India and points to successful institutions as a blueprint for the future
Addressing the problem of the division between the ‘‘ fine arts” and craft traditions, anthropologist Cornelia Mallebrein speaks of the tribal artists among whom she has spent long years, while art historian Jyotindra Jain discusses the place of folk art in today’s society. From ancient times India’s textile traditions have been world – renowned; Martand Singh, a Pioneer in the revival of highly skilled techniques, collaborates with textile historian and historical dimensions of handlooms in the past hundred years.
Geeta Kapur, our premier art critic, analyses important recent movements in the contemporary art scene. In their essays on architecture and urban Planning, arguably the arts that most affect everyday life, doyen among architects, Balkrishan Doshi, and architectural conservationist, Rahul Mehrotra, sketch visions of the heavens, and the hells, that can be built on earth.
Unlike the visual arts which leave behind their achievements in paint or stone, our performing art traditions are both enduring and evanescent. Living in the bodies and actions of performers, music, dance, and theatre require constant renewal, as is brought out in the essays by Sandeep Bagchee on Hindustani music; Sunil Kothari on dance; and Rustom Bharucha on theatre. But contemporary India’s contribution to the world of popular culture lies in its use of the audiovisual medium. Fittingly, we have Shyam Benegal, the celebrated filmmaker, tracing trends in cinema, while India’s senior most television critic Amita Malik recounts the growth of TV in India.
Besides presenting an overview of the current situation in different areas of Indian art, the essays in this richly illustrated turn-of-the-millennium volume offer ideas for future possibilities and view directions for the 21st century.
Introduction Pratapaditya Pal and Kavita Singh
Mulk Raj Anand: A Visionary Aesthete
India Archaeology: Looking Back, Looking Forward
Museums in India: Repositories or Depositories of Material Culture?
Ashok Kumar Das
The Vanishing World of Tribal Arts
Indian ‘‘Folk Art’’: Tradition, Revival, and Transformation
Indian Textiles in the 20th Century: Crisis in Transformation
Martand Singh and Rahul Jain
What’s New in Indian Art: Canons, Commodification, Artists on the Edge
Indian Architecture and the ‘‘Sixth’’ Millennium
Making Indian Cities: Urban Design in the New Millennium
From Raga to Fusion: Hindustani Music
The State of Classical Dance: 2000
‘‘We Need a House of Our Own’’: The Impasse of India Theatre after Independence
The Enduring Allure of the Big Screen: A Century of Indian Cinema
The Power of the Small Screen: Television as Purveyor of Culture