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The vast scope of the art of India intertwines with the cultural history, religions and philosophies which place art production and patronage in social and cultural contexts.

Indian art can be classified into specific periods each reflecting particular religious, political and cultural developments.
  • Ancient period (3500 BCE-1200 CE)
  • Islamic ascendancy (712-1757)
  • Colonial period (1757-1947)
  • Independence and the postcolonial period (Post-1947)


The Indian period is unique in its art, literature and architecture. Indian art is constantly challenged as it rises to the peak of achieving the ideals of one philosophy in a visual form, then begins anew for another. This challenge and revolution in thought ovides, Indian artists with reasons for innovation and creation, and the process of visualizing abstract ideas and the culture of the land.

Each religion and philosophical system provided its own nuances, vast metaphors and similes, rich associations, wild imaginations, humanization of gods and celestial beings, characterization of people, the single purpose and ideal of life to be interpreted in art.

Rock-cut art

The earliest Indian religion to inspire major artistic monuments was Buddhism. Though there may have been earlier structures in wood that have been transformed into stone structures, there are no physical evidences for these except textual references. Obscurity shrouds the period between the decline of the Harappans and the definite historic period starting with the Mauryas. Soon after the Buddhists initiated the rock-cut caves, Hindus and Jains started to imitate them at Badamimarker, Aiholemarker, Elloramarker, Salsettemarker, Elephanta, Aurangabadmarker and Mamallapurammarker.

Indian rock art has continuously evolved, since the first rock cut caves, to suit different purposes, social and religious contexts, and regional differences.

Indian Fresco



The Chola fresco paintings were discovered in 1931 within the circumambulatory passage of the Brihadisvara Temple in Indiamarker and are the first Chola specimens discovered.

Researchers have discovered the technique used in these frescoes. A smooth batter of limestone mixture is applied over the stones, which took two to three days to set. Within that short span, such large paintings were painted with natural organic pigments.

During the Nayak period the chola paintings were painted over. The Chola frescoes lying underneath have an ardent spirit of saivism is expressed in them. They probably synchronised with the completion of the temple by Rajaraja Cholan the Great.

Keralamarker has well preserved fresco or mural or wall painting in temple walls in Pundarikapuram, Ettumanoormarker and Aymanammarker.

Folk and tribal art

Folk and tribal art in India takes on different manifestations through varied medium such as pottery, painting, metalwork, paper-art, weaving and designing of objects such as jewelery and toys.

Often puranic gods and legends are transformed into contemporary forms and familiar images. Fairs, festivals, and local deities play a vital role in these arts.

It is an art where life and creativity are inseparable. The tribal arts have a unique sensitivity, as the tribal people possess an intense awareness very different from the settled and urbanized people. Their minds are supple and intense with myth, legends, snippets from epic, multitudinous gods born out of dream and fantasy. Their art is an expression of their life and holds their passion and mystery.

Folk art also includes the visual expressions of the wandering nomads. This is the art of people who are exposed to changing landscapes as they travel over the valleys and highlands of India. They carry with them the experiences and memories of different spaces and their art consists of the transient and dynamic pattern of life. The rural, tribal and arts of the nomads constitute the matrix of folk expression.


The folk spirit has a tremendous role to play in the development of art and in the overall consciousness of indigenous cultures. The Taj Mahalmarker, the Ajantamarker and Elloramarker caves have become world famous. The Taj Mahal is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.



Visual art

British colonial rule had a great impact on Indian art. The old patrons of art became less wealthy and influential, and Western art more ubiquitous. Rabindranath Tagore, referred as the father of Modern Indian art had introduced Asian styles and Avant garde western styles into Indian Art. Many other artists like Jamini Roy and later S.H. Raza had taken inspiration from folk traditions.

In 1947 India became independent of British rule. A group of six artists - K. H. Ara, S. K. Bakre, H. A. Gade, M.F. Husain, S.H. Raza and Francis Newton Souza - founded the Progressive Artist's Group, to establish new ways of expressing India in the post-colonial era. Though the group was dissolved in 1956, it was profoundly influential in changing the idiom of Indian art. Almost all India's major artists in the 1950s were associated with the group. Some of those who are well-known today are Bal Chabda, V. S. Gaitonde, Krishen Khanna, Ram Kumar, Tyeb Mehta, Devender Singh, Akbar Padamsee , Himmat Shah and Manjit Bawa. Present-day Indian art is varied as it had been never before. Among the best-known artists of the newer generation include Sanjay Bhattacharya, Bose Krishnamachari, Geeta Vadhera, Devajyoti Ray, Vagaram Choudhary, Satish Gupta, and Bikash Bhattacharya

Contemporary art

From the 1990s onwards, Indian artists began to increase the forms they used in their work. Painting and sculpture remained important, though in the work of leading artists such as Subodh Gupta, Vivan Sundaram, Jitish Kallat, Jagannath Panda, Atul and Anju Dodiya, Shakunthala Kulkarni, Vagaram Choudhary, Surekha, Bhupat Dudi, T.V.Santosh, Bharti Kher and Thukral and Tagra, they often found radical new directions.

Crucially, however, in a complex time when the number of currents affecting Indian society seemed to multiply, many artists sought out new, more polyvocal and immersive forms of expression. Ranbir Kaleka, Raqs Media Collective have produced compelling contemporary works using such assortments of media forms including video and internet. This development coincided with the emergence of new galleries interested in promoting a wider range of art forms, such as Nature Morte in Delhi and its partner gallery Bose Pacia Gallery (New York and Kolkata) and Sakshi Gallery, Chatterjee and Lal, and Project 88 (http://www.project88.in) in Mumbai. In addition, Talwar Gallery in New Delhi, India and New York, NY, represents a roster of diverse, internationally recognized artists from India and the Diaspora maintaining that the artist is geographically located and not the art (www.talwargallery.com).

At the same, ironically, the absence of gallery or white cube support for newer ventures, produced a lot of artists who were connected to the Bangalore art scene(like Surekha's "Communing With Urban Heroins") and those who produced a sense of art-community or art-activism in a certain sense. The "Bar1" (http://www.bar1.com) Swiss-Bangalore artists' residency, No.1Shanthiroad (http://www.no.1shanthiroad.com--both at Bangalore) are such semi-formal spaces.

Khoj (http://khojworkshop.org/), an artist led alternative space, was established in 1997 in Delhi and has provided a forum for artists trying new modes of presenting work.

Contemporary Indian art takes influence from all over the world. With many Indian artists immigrating to the west, art for some artists has been a form of expression merging their past with their current in western culture.

Also, the increase in the discourse about Indian art, in English as well as vernacular Indian languages, appropriated the way art was perceived in the art schools. Critical approach became rigorous, critics like Geeta Kapoor, R. Siva Kumar, Gayathri Sinha, Nancy Adajania, Ranjit Hoskote, Roobina Karode, Suresh Jayaram, H.A.Anil Kumar amongst others, contributed to the tradition of catalogue writing in the Indian context. Art magazines like Art India (from Bombay), Art & Deal (New Delhi, edited and published by Siddharth Tagore), 'Art Etc' (from Emami Chisel, edited by Amit Mukhopadhyay) complemented the appreciative catalogues produced by the respective galleries.

Music



The music of Indiamarker includes multiple varieties of folk, popular, pop, and classical music. India's classical music tradition, including Carnatic and Hindustani music, has a history spanning millennia and, developed over several eras, remains fundamental to the lives of Indians today as sources of religious inspiration, cultural expression and pure entertainment. India is made up of several dozen ethnic groups, speaking their own languages and dialects. Alongside distinctly subcontinental forms there are major influences from Persian, Arabic and British music.Indian genres like filmi and bhangra have become popular throughout the United Kingdommarker, South and East Asia,

See also



External links



References

  • Harsha V. Dehejia, The Advaita of Art (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 2000, ISBN 81-208-1389-8), p. 97
  • Kapila Vatsyayan, Classical Indian Dance in Literature and the Arts (New Delhi: Sangeet Natak Akademi, 1977), p. 8
  • Mitter, Partha. Indian Art (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001, ISBN 0-19-284221-8)



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