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Books > Art and Architecture > Rhythms of India - The Art of Nandalal Bose
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Rhythms of India - The Art of Nandalal Bose
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Rhythms of India - The Art of Nandalal Bose
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About the Book

At a time when India’s artistic traditions had been largely lost after fifty years of British colonial rule, one artist, National Bose, made a unique contribution through art and education towards the cultural regeneration and independence of the nation. In thousands of works or remarkable depth and variety, he synthesized aspects from India’s ancient artistic heritage-Knowledge of which indigenous methods and materials a variety of elements learned from Japanese and Chinese sources, and distinctly modern sensibilities, all unified by an underlying spirituality. Rhythms of India: ‘The Art of Nandalal Bose (1882-1966) explores India’s crucial period of transition from colony to independent nation through the lens of the premier artist of the time and the intersection of his life and works with Pan-Asianism, the Arts and Crafts movement, Hindu spiritual revival, Rabindranath Tagore’s vision for cultural revival, and the freedom struggle as led by Mohandas Karamchand Ghandi.

With contributions by eight distinguished scholars, including historians, art historians, and artists spanning three generations, the essays and catalogue entries present a full view of Nandalal’s oeuvre, life, and the vital times of ferment during which he lived. The full-color catalogue is lavishly illustrated with works by Nandalal and comparative examples of historical, colonial and modern Indian art as well rare documentary photographs.

About the Author

The San Diego Museum of Art (SDMA) and the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi (NGMA), have collaborated in an unprecedented partnership in cooperation with the Government of India to present Rhythms of India: The exhibition features ninety-one paintings, prints, drawings, and a sculpture by Nandala Bose, all drawn predominantly from the collection of the NGMA; also featured are works by his teacher Abanindranath Tagore and his colleague Rabindranath Tagore, as well as late-nineteenth-century prints and printings from Calcutta in SDMA’s Edwin Binney 3rd Collection of South Asian paintings, and Nandalal’s never-before published murals in the Kirti Mandir in Vadoara.

Sonya Rhe Quintanilla received her BA in South Asian Art and Religion from Smith College and her PhD in South Asian Art History from the Department of History of Art and Architecture at Harvard University. She is the author of History of Early Stone Sculpture at Mathura, Ca. 150 BCE-100 CE (Brill, 2007) and numerous articles on aspects of Indian art. She is the Curator of Asian Art and San Diego Museum of Art and has currated many exhibitions based on the Museum’s Asian collections, especially the Edwin Binney 3rd Collations of South Asian paintings, and she was the project manager and co-curator of the major travelling exhibition of works from that collections, Domains of Wonder: Selected Masterworks of Indian Painting (2005).

Foreword

Nandalal Bose will be an unfamiliar name for most audiences outside of India. In advance of assembling the magnificent works that this artist produced throughout his long and prolific career, the San Diego Museum of Art (SDMA) asked itself:”Why present a major exhibition of Nandalal’s work at this juncture? “For the past several years the staff of this American museum has returned to that very question. With the production of the internationally touring exhibition, Rhythms of India: The Art of National Bose(1882-1966), and the accompanying publication of the same title that you now hold in your hands, we imagine that we have provided multiple positive responses. First and foremost, we recognize the unmistakable fact that India occupies an increasingly important and visible place in our common culture. The modern geopolitical rise of Nandalal’s homeland and its concomitant assertions of economic and cultural significance rightly command the attention of even the most indifferent bystanders. As the world’s largest democracy Indian’s sphere of influence in North America is beyond debate, just as its reach through multinational corporations and large expatriate communities has become an undeniable source of strength. A small boom in popular writing documents the phenomenon of growing awareness. Artistic representations of India have an importance that merits investigation in all of the world’s leading museums, and Nandalal is a significant-perhaps the most prominent-contributor to that modern legacy.

Historical chronologies provide a second justification. Nandalal’s lifetime coincides neatly with sweeping changes in twentieth-century Indian life. His relationship to key figures such a Rabindranath Tagore (1869-1941) and Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-19480) is proof of this. More than a mere recorder of change, Nandalal was an active participant in India’s transformation from a subjugated nation to an emergent global power. We recall this vividly as India completes its celebration of sixty years of independence from British colonial rule. While the end of the Raj has received its own share of attention recently, art from the era surrounding partition and independence has not been treated nearly so fully and cries out for deeper study. We hope, therefore that Rhythms of India will begin to fill this gap in scholarship as it further reinforces an appreciation of Indian culture on a changing and interdependent world stage. The time has come-indeed, if it is not well past-for American museumgoers to comprehend better Indian artistic expression during the first half of the twentieth century, the period when Nandalal and the community of artists and ideologues around him exerted a special influence on an emerging nation-state.

Popular fascination with Indian culture in today’s art world is related phenomenon and also provides us with another rationale for the launch of this project. As we watch contemporary artists from the subcontinent achieve new records in the marketplace and receive new prominence in the international art press, it behoves us to reflect on the origins of this situation. Nandalal himself occupies a central, if complex, position within the development of modern Indian art history. As a disciple of Abanindranath Tagore (1871-1951), then as incursions and as an influential teacher, Nandalal merits our attention as a prime exponent of modernist values. Indeed, it is possible to trace a unique strain of modern Indian art directly through Nandalal and the innovative art school he helped found at Santiniketan. While the last major monographic exhibition devoted to Nandalal in 1983 celebrated the centennial of his birth, that project was limited to audiences in Southern Asia and Japan. Until now, his work has not received widespread attention outside of Asia. This in-depth scholarly catalogue and the travelling exhibition that it accompanies should correct this oversight.

Beyond these external forces, SDMA possesses its own special commitment to India and its visual history. The collection of Indian painting bequeathed by Edwin Binney 3rd to this institution in 1986 established a permanent foothold for Indian art at the Museum. Binney’s interest in the miniature tradition covers encyclopaedically the period from the twelfth to the late nineteenth centuries. Comprehensive presentations of the Binney collection to audiences beyond San Diego, most recently through the 2005 exhibition Domains of Wonder: Selected masterworks of Indian Painting, which will continue its tour in the United States through 2008, have helped assert SDMA’s credentials as an institution with display. The concomitant growth of research into the conservation issues surrounding Indian painting-serves to further this museum’s authoritative claims to leadership in this burgeoning field. It makes sense, therefore, to investigate the growth of Indian art inthe critical figure in this development. In future years SDMA Indian art with equal curiosity and vigor.

While this exhibition and its accompanying catalogue do not claim to be the final word on Nandalal and his relationship to issues surrounding modernism in India during the colonial and postcolonial periods, it is our hope that they contribute a new and fuller perspective on this artist and the crucial time of transition during which he lived and worked. More than simply a nationalist painter (as he is often portrayed), Nandalal was responsible for implementing and disseminating a vision for the reestablishment of a cultural awareness in Indian which contributed to the country’s ability to negotiate the transition to modernity and freedom. By working in many ways like a traditional artist while remaining true to the changing needs of the modern society around him. Nandalal provided the means for doing so in a sincere and unaffected way that was not derived from Western models.

On the occasion of the last exhibition of works by Nandalal in 1983, the celebrated artist K.G. Subramanyan (b.1924), who in many ways is the most vital living link between Nandalal Bose and the current generation of contemporary artists, observed that , thus far Nandalal’s work have not been properly understood.Primarily,focus has been on his early romantic mythological paintings, and these reveal only a very limited aspect of his work. This exhibition and catalogue contextualize them by drawing closer attention to other aspects of Nandalal’s work on which Subramanyan has commented: These will include some works of his early years that rely more on their visual content than literary sentiment, those paintings and drawings of the twenties and thirties in which he grasps the ethos of the Bengal countryside and its human drama with graphic immediacy born of a sound understanding of Far Eastern brush techniques, those iconic and narrative paintings which show his masterly use of traditional devices for new purposes(of which his Haripura posters and murals are the finest examples), his inimitable ink landscapes and scrolls, and finally, thousands of studies, doodles, and scribbles on cards that record analyze and hit the public eye. Only when it is will the new generation realize full why he was so highly thought of in his time.

Contents

The Search for a New Indian Art 112
The Abode of Peace:Nandalal Bose at Santiniketan 122
Nandalal Bose and The Ideals of Gandhi 158
Murals of the Kirti Mandier 188
The Sumi-e Period 206
Biographical Timeline and Map 224
Glosary 226
Bibliography 232
Contributors 236
Index 238


Sample Pages









Rhythms of India - The Art of Nandalal Bose

Item Code:
NAP304
Cover:
Paperback
Edition:
2008
ISBN:
9780937108413
Language:
English
Size:
11.5 inchX 10.5inch
Pages:
245 (Throughout Color Illustrations)
Other Details:
Weight of the Book: 1.4 kg
Price:
$90.00   Shipping Free - 4 to 6 days
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About the Book

At a time when India’s artistic traditions had been largely lost after fifty years of British colonial rule, one artist, National Bose, made a unique contribution through art and education towards the cultural regeneration and independence of the nation. In thousands of works or remarkable depth and variety, he synthesized aspects from India’s ancient artistic heritage-Knowledge of which indigenous methods and materials a variety of elements learned from Japanese and Chinese sources, and distinctly modern sensibilities, all unified by an underlying spirituality. Rhythms of India: ‘The Art of Nandalal Bose (1882-1966) explores India’s crucial period of transition from colony to independent nation through the lens of the premier artist of the time and the intersection of his life and works with Pan-Asianism, the Arts and Crafts movement, Hindu spiritual revival, Rabindranath Tagore’s vision for cultural revival, and the freedom struggle as led by Mohandas Karamchand Ghandi.

With contributions by eight distinguished scholars, including historians, art historians, and artists spanning three generations, the essays and catalogue entries present a full view of Nandalal’s oeuvre, life, and the vital times of ferment during which he lived. The full-color catalogue is lavishly illustrated with works by Nandalal and comparative examples of historical, colonial and modern Indian art as well rare documentary photographs.

About the Author

The San Diego Museum of Art (SDMA) and the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi (NGMA), have collaborated in an unprecedented partnership in cooperation with the Government of India to present Rhythms of India: The exhibition features ninety-one paintings, prints, drawings, and a sculpture by Nandala Bose, all drawn predominantly from the collection of the NGMA; also featured are works by his teacher Abanindranath Tagore and his colleague Rabindranath Tagore, as well as late-nineteenth-century prints and printings from Calcutta in SDMA’s Edwin Binney 3rd Collection of South Asian paintings, and Nandalal’s never-before published murals in the Kirti Mandir in Vadoara.

Sonya Rhe Quintanilla received her BA in South Asian Art and Religion from Smith College and her PhD in South Asian Art History from the Department of History of Art and Architecture at Harvard University. She is the author of History of Early Stone Sculpture at Mathura, Ca. 150 BCE-100 CE (Brill, 2007) and numerous articles on aspects of Indian art. She is the Curator of Asian Art and San Diego Museum of Art and has currated many exhibitions based on the Museum’s Asian collections, especially the Edwin Binney 3rd Collations of South Asian paintings, and she was the project manager and co-curator of the major travelling exhibition of works from that collections, Domains of Wonder: Selected Masterworks of Indian Painting (2005).

Foreword

Nandalal Bose will be an unfamiliar name for most audiences outside of India. In advance of assembling the magnificent works that this artist produced throughout his long and prolific career, the San Diego Museum of Art (SDMA) asked itself:”Why present a major exhibition of Nandalal’s work at this juncture? “For the past several years the staff of this American museum has returned to that very question. With the production of the internationally touring exhibition, Rhythms of India: The Art of National Bose(1882-1966), and the accompanying publication of the same title that you now hold in your hands, we imagine that we have provided multiple positive responses. First and foremost, we recognize the unmistakable fact that India occupies an increasingly important and visible place in our common culture. The modern geopolitical rise of Nandalal’s homeland and its concomitant assertions of economic and cultural significance rightly command the attention of even the most indifferent bystanders. As the world’s largest democracy Indian’s sphere of influence in North America is beyond debate, just as its reach through multinational corporations and large expatriate communities has become an undeniable source of strength. A small boom in popular writing documents the phenomenon of growing awareness. Artistic representations of India have an importance that merits investigation in all of the world’s leading museums, and Nandalal is a significant-perhaps the most prominent-contributor to that modern legacy.

Historical chronologies provide a second justification. Nandalal’s lifetime coincides neatly with sweeping changes in twentieth-century Indian life. His relationship to key figures such a Rabindranath Tagore (1869-1941) and Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-19480) is proof of this. More than a mere recorder of change, Nandalal was an active participant in India’s transformation from a subjugated nation to an emergent global power. We recall this vividly as India completes its celebration of sixty years of independence from British colonial rule. While the end of the Raj has received its own share of attention recently, art from the era surrounding partition and independence has not been treated nearly so fully and cries out for deeper study. We hope, therefore that Rhythms of India will begin to fill this gap in scholarship as it further reinforces an appreciation of Indian culture on a changing and interdependent world stage. The time has come-indeed, if it is not well past-for American museumgoers to comprehend better Indian artistic expression during the first half of the twentieth century, the period when Nandalal and the community of artists and ideologues around him exerted a special influence on an emerging nation-state.

Popular fascination with Indian culture in today’s art world is related phenomenon and also provides us with another rationale for the launch of this project. As we watch contemporary artists from the subcontinent achieve new records in the marketplace and receive new prominence in the international art press, it behoves us to reflect on the origins of this situation. Nandalal himself occupies a central, if complex, position within the development of modern Indian art history. As a disciple of Abanindranath Tagore (1871-1951), then as incursions and as an influential teacher, Nandalal merits our attention as a prime exponent of modernist values. Indeed, it is possible to trace a unique strain of modern Indian art directly through Nandalal and the innovative art school he helped found at Santiniketan. While the last major monographic exhibition devoted to Nandalal in 1983 celebrated the centennial of his birth, that project was limited to audiences in Southern Asia and Japan. Until now, his work has not received widespread attention outside of Asia. This in-depth scholarly catalogue and the travelling exhibition that it accompanies should correct this oversight.

Beyond these external forces, SDMA possesses its own special commitment to India and its visual history. The collection of Indian painting bequeathed by Edwin Binney 3rd to this institution in 1986 established a permanent foothold for Indian art at the Museum. Binney’s interest in the miniature tradition covers encyclopaedically the period from the twelfth to the late nineteenth centuries. Comprehensive presentations of the Binney collection to audiences beyond San Diego, most recently through the 2005 exhibition Domains of Wonder: Selected masterworks of Indian Painting, which will continue its tour in the United States through 2008, have helped assert SDMA’s credentials as an institution with display. The concomitant growth of research into the conservation issues surrounding Indian painting-serves to further this museum’s authoritative claims to leadership in this burgeoning field. It makes sense, therefore, to investigate the growth of Indian art inthe critical figure in this development. In future years SDMA Indian art with equal curiosity and vigor.

While this exhibition and its accompanying catalogue do not claim to be the final word on Nandalal and his relationship to issues surrounding modernism in India during the colonial and postcolonial periods, it is our hope that they contribute a new and fuller perspective on this artist and the crucial time of transition during which he lived and worked. More than simply a nationalist painter (as he is often portrayed), Nandalal was responsible for implementing and disseminating a vision for the reestablishment of a cultural awareness in Indian which contributed to the country’s ability to negotiate the transition to modernity and freedom. By working in many ways like a traditional artist while remaining true to the changing needs of the modern society around him. Nandalal provided the means for doing so in a sincere and unaffected way that was not derived from Western models.

On the occasion of the last exhibition of works by Nandalal in 1983, the celebrated artist K.G. Subramanyan (b.1924), who in many ways is the most vital living link between Nandalal Bose and the current generation of contemporary artists, observed that , thus far Nandalal’s work have not been properly understood.Primarily,focus has been on his early romantic mythological paintings, and these reveal only a very limited aspect of his work. This exhibition and catalogue contextualize them by drawing closer attention to other aspects of Nandalal’s work on which Subramanyan has commented: These will include some works of his early years that rely more on their visual content than literary sentiment, those paintings and drawings of the twenties and thirties in which he grasps the ethos of the Bengal countryside and its human drama with graphic immediacy born of a sound understanding of Far Eastern brush techniques, those iconic and narrative paintings which show his masterly use of traditional devices for new purposes(of which his Haripura posters and murals are the finest examples), his inimitable ink landscapes and scrolls, and finally, thousands of studies, doodles, and scribbles on cards that record analyze and hit the public eye. Only when it is will the new generation realize full why he was so highly thought of in his time.

Contents

The Search for a New Indian Art 112
The Abode of Peace:Nandalal Bose at Santiniketan 122
Nandalal Bose and The Ideals of Gandhi 158
Murals of the Kirti Mandier 188
The Sumi-e Period 206
Biographical Timeline and Map 224
Glosary 226
Bibliography 232
Contributors 236
Index 238


Sample Pages









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