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Modernist Art from India

Approaching Abstraction

May 4–October 16, 2012

For some leading artists at the core of India’s progressive artistic and intellectual discourses in this period, figuration was a link to social, political, and community concerns, while abstraction was perceived as more personal and individual. At the same time, abstraction was also linked to international trends in modern art.

The exhibition continues the thematic exploration of art from post-independence and post-Partition India begun with The Body Unbound. It builds on and expands the framework suggested by the first part of the series: to explore the relationship between figuration and abstraction in Indian modernist art. The exhibition will define and discern the characteristics that distinguish abstraction in modernist Indian art from abstraction in Euro-American modernism, and show the individual, independent trajectory of abstraction in India after Independence.

In addition to extraordinary paintings, this exhibition will present experimental films created by leading painters M.F. Husain, Tyeb Mehta and Akbar Padamsee in the late 1960s, showing them for the first time in a museum context and in relation to the artists’ paintings.

Curated by Beth Citron

This exhibition was supported, in part, by the Dedalus Foundation, Inc.

Special Resources

    Exhibition Audio Tour
    Timeline: The Modernist Art Movement from India
    Exhibition Installation Photography