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Towards A New Art History — Studies in Indian Art

Essays presented in honour of Prof. Ratan Pari by: Shivaji K Panikkar , Parul Dave Mukherji , Deeptha Achar

The essays here, challenging the boundaries and assumptions of mainstream art history, question many preconceived notions about meaning in representations — artistic and art historical. Emphasizing on specific visual cultures within the dynamics of historical processes, they raise critical issues of art production, circulation and consumption and attempt to rescue traditional arts from a past that is hermetically sealed off from the present.



ISBN: 9788124602300
Year Of Publication: 2003
Edition: 1st
Pages : xxii, 494
Bibliographic Details : Index
Language : English
Binding : Hardcover
Publisher: D.K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Size: 29 cm.
Weight: 1900


Mainstream art historical writing on Indian art has remained focused on identifying and defining stylistic schools, understanding evolutionary patterns and regional styles as well as understanding iconographic and narrative conventions and structures. The wide-ranging essays in this volume challenge the boundaries and assumptions of mainstream art history. Moving away from an art history structured by an art object-centered approach, this book gestures at a framework-oriented approach that calls attention to the political, social, economic structures that undergird art. It is an attempt to reformulate the discipline in a manner that can explain the field of the visual in a way that goes well beyond the explanatory capacity of conventional modes of studying Indian art. These essays question preconceived notions about meaning in representations — artistic and art historical. They contest earlier claims about the objectivity of scholarship in general and history writing in particular as much as they critique the valorization of a purely individuated, subjective art criticism. In its attempt to historicize the practice of art, the book examines the economic, political and social implications of art that enable the re-situation of Art History among social science disciplines. The emphasis is on the study of specific visual cultures within the dynamics of historical processes. These essays raise critical issues of art production, circulation and consumption as well as production of meaning. Traditional arts have been studied from a critical perspective that extricates them from a past that is hermetically sealed off from the present. The opposition of ‘High Art’ and ‘non-art’ (read popular or mass visual culture) has been challenged. Breaking outside the ambit of high art, studies in the book extend from popular, mass-produced art to MTV imagery to digital art.


List of Plates
Prof. Ratan Parimoo: A Journey in Art History
Shivaji K Panikkar
Research Publications of Prof. Ratan Parimoo
From Iconography through Iconology to New Art History
Ratan Parimoo
Introduction: Towards New Art History
Deeptha Achar
Parul Dave Mukherji
Shivaji K Panikkar
1. Visual Culture in an Indian Metropolis
Geeta Kapur
Ashish Rajadhyaksha
2. Contemporary Art, Issues of Praxis and Art-Collaboration:
Interventions in Bastar
Navjot Altaf
3. Art History and Art Practice Today: A Question of Interface
Anshuman Das Gupta
4. Reading the Regional Through Internationalism and Nativism:
The Case of Art in Madras; 1950 to 1970
Shivaji K Panikkar
5. Rethinking Gender Issues in Indian Art
Parul Dave Mukherji
Part II
6. Technique, Time and Form in Ancient Indian Terracotta Sculptures
Baishali Ghosh
7. The Socio-Economics of Art in the Silpa Sastras
Vaijayanti Shete
8. Roda Temples: Edifice of Spiritualism or Political Advertisement?
Jayaram Poduva
9. Methodological Crisis in the Studies of Indian Painting: The Case of the Mewar School
Shailendra Kushwaha
10. The Poetics and Politics of Citation in Jodhpur Miniatures
Debra Diamond
11. Miracles in the Park: The Design and Politics of a Contemporary Religious Space in Bangalore
Annapurna Garimella
Part III
12. History as Allegory: The Bhaja Narratives
Deepak Kannal
13. The ‘Subjectivist Turn’ in Indian Temple Architecture
Ajay Sinha
14. Guilds as Determinants of Style: Shamalaji Sculptures
Abha Sheth
15. Intertextuality, Authorship and the Conundrum of Interpretation in the
Sursagar Paintings of Mewar
Rita Sodha
16. Body and Transcendence: Representations of Two Contemporary
Women Artists
Shubhalakshmi Shukla
17. The ‘Madras Art Movement’ and the Lineages of Abstraction
Ashrafi Bhagat
18. The Female Body Problematized: The Paintings of T.K. Padmini
Savithri Rajeevan
Part IV
At the edge of the discipline
19. The Contours of the Androgynous Body: Deciphering the Sarnath Buddha
Image Type
Sugata Ray
20. The New Antiquity of ‘Tamil’ Temples: Constructing Identities
through Architecture
Shriya Sridharan
21. On Signature and Citizenship: Further notes on the ‘Husain Affair’
Karin Zitzewitz
22. Subalternism in the Studies of Indian Art: An Argument Concerning
Dushadh ‘Madhubani’ Paintings
Meena Singh
23. Identity, Discourse and Hybridity: An Analysis of MTV Imagery
Vellachi Ramanathan
24. Ganesa-Caturthi: Meaning and Excess in Contemporary Public Culture
Madhuvanti Anantharajan
25. Windowed Style of the Desktop Interface, Web Narrativity and
the Indian Theories of Meaning
Nandini Gandhi
Part V
26. Museums and the Making of the Indian Art Historical Canon
Kavita Singh
27. What Makes for the ‘Authentic’ Female Nude in Indian Art?
Tapati Guha-Thakurta
28. Crafting Education: Caste, Work and the Wardha Resolution of 1937
Deeptha Achar
29. Re-Membering Indian Art: Plotting Journeys through Colonial and
Postcolonial Discourses
Rahul Bhattacharya
30. National Gallery of Modern Art: Museums and the Making of National Art
Vidya Shivadas
31. Constructing A Museological Paradigm of Living Cultures: The Making of
the South Asia Gallery at the Asian Civilizations Museum, Singapore
Gauri Parimoo Krishnan
32. The Photograph on a Rowdysheet
R Srivatsan

Meet the Author
Shivaji K Panikkar teaches at the Department of Art History and Aesthetics, M.S. University of Baroda. He is the author of Saptamatrka Worship and Sculpture: An Iconological Interpretation of Conflicts and Resolution in the ‘Storied’ Brahmanical Icons, Twentieth Century Indian Sculpture: Last Two Decades (ed) and the exhibition catalogue Creative Process: Tangible Realities, Concrete Myths are among his publications. He is presently engaged in writing on art developments in Madras since the 1940s.
Books of Shivaji K Panikkar
Parul Dave Mukherji teaches at the Department of Art History and Aesthetics, M.S. University of Baroda. She has done her doctoral dissertation at the Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford. Her publications include the translation of The Citrasutra of the Visnudharmotara Purana. Her current area of work is on visuality in early Indian art.
Books of Parul Dave Mukherji
Deeptha Achar teaches at the Department of English, M. S University Baroda. She has worked on representations of Africa in popular boys’ fiction of the late nineteenth century Britain for her Ph.D dissertation. Her current research interests center around education and childhood in India and she is currently engaged in a project entitled `Educational Policies and Gender: The Case of Gujarat’.
Books of Deeptha Achar