The symposium After Midnight: Modern and Contemporary Indian Art, 1947/1997 is the precursor to the exhibition The Rising Phoenix: A Dialogue Between Modern and Contemporary Indian Art, the first full-scale exploration of Indian artists and their legacy curated by Dr. Arshiya Lokhandwala scheduled to open at the Queens Museum of Art in 2014-2015. The exhibition and symposium both contemplate and compare two critical moments of Indian history. First, the period immediately following Indian independence in 1947, which sees the rise of the Progressive Artists Group, self-declared ‘moderns’ of Indian art. Second, the exhibition examines the globalization of Indian art that picked up momentum in the 1990s, and saw mid-career Indian artists exhibiting in large-scale international exhibitions, and biennales with 1997 as a critical year, which not only commemorated 50 years of Indian Independence, but also witnessed a significant rise in the number of Indian artist’s that year that exhibited all over the world. This moment represented a turning point in Indian art, from which a younger generation of artist’s were also presented with multiple opportunities to participate in the international art scene through scholarships, residencies and exhibitions. By 2000, Indian artists had entered an accelerated and emphatically global art scene.
The symposium will examine these two moments in a jump-cut: modern/progressive and global/contemporary. It will also draw from the interim space the sustained questions about modernity and globalization viewed from multiple perspectives, as opposed to western narratives, in the regions of Africa, East Asia and Latin America.
Participants include: Dr. Rakhee Balaram, Visiting Scholar at Washington University, St Louis; Rina Banerjee, artist, New York; Dr. Rebecca Brown, Professor of Art History at Johns Hopkins University; Dr. Akeel Bilgrami, Professor of Philosophy, Columbia University; Luis Camnitzer, Professor Emeritus at SUNY Old Westbury/artist; Doryun Chong, Associate Curator of Painting and Sculptures, MoMA; Iftikhar Dadi, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Art, Cornell University; Parul Dave-Mukherji, Professor in Department of Visual Studies, School of the Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University; Dr. Salah Hassan, Associate Chair of the Department of History of Art and professor of African and African Diaspora, Art History and Visual Culture, Cornell University; Geeta Kapur, art historian/curator, New Delhi; Dr. Arshiya Lokhandwala, Founding director/curator at Lakeeren Gallery, Mumbai; Dr. Saloni Mathur, Associate Professor of Art History, UCLA; Naeem Mohaiemen, artist, writer; Dr. Ajay Sinha, Professor of Art History, Mount Holyoke College; Shuddhabrata Sengupta of Raqs Media Collective, New Delhi; Vidya Shivadas, Curator at Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi.
The forthcoming exhibition The Rising Phoenix, is the fourth in an ongoing series of Queens Museum of Art examinations of South Asian modern and contemporary art following Out of India: Contemporary Art of the South Asian Diaspora (1997-98); Edge of Desire: Recent Art in India (2005 – presented with the Asia Society and Grey Art Gallery NYU); and Fatal Love: South Asian American Art Now (2005).
Dr. Arshiya Lokhandwala is an art historian (Ph. D. Cornell University and M. A. Goldsmith College, London), curator, and founding director/curator of Lakeeren Gallery, Mumbai (1955-2003 and 2009-ongoing). She has presented over 100 exhibitions of the Indian contemporary art. Dr. Lokhandwala resides and works in Mumbai.
After Midnight is free and open to public. Seating is limited. Please RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, October 26
Introduction by Tom Finkelpearl, Executive Director, QMA
Opening remarks by Arshiya Lokhandwala
Session 1, 11:15AM
The Clock Strikes: Making of a Nation
Chair: Parul Dave-Mukherji
Ajay Sinha The Artist at ‘Midnight’
Rebecca Brown Exhibiting Acts of Courage: Indian Modern Art in the American Museum
Vidya Shivdas The Past as Muse: Modernist Practice and Art History
Session 2, 2:15PM
Akeel Bilgrami Modernity: A View from the South
Chair: Geeta Kapur
Session 3, 3PM
Modernity at Large: Global Perspectives
Chair: Salah Hassan
Panelists: Geeta Kapur, Luis Camnitzer, and Doryun Chong
Session 4, 4:30PM
Tyeb Metha, Koodal (1970), 35mm, B/W, 16:16
M. F. Husain, Through the Eyes of a Painter (1967), 18:00
Akbar Padamsee, Syzygy (1969-70), 11:00
Saturday, October 27
Opening remarks by Arshiya Lokhandwala
Session 5, 11:15AM
Arguing for an Indian Contemporaneity
Chair: Arshiya Lokhandwala
Saloni Mathur Lost in Stories of Twentieth Century Art
Parul Dave-Mukherji How Global is the Global Contemporary? Persistence of Ethnicity Then and Now
Shuddhabrata SenGupta Once Again, to the Distant Observer
Panel discussion/Q & A
Session 6, 2:15PM
Chair: Saloni Mathur
Panelists: Rina Banerjee, Rakhee Balram, Naeem Mohaiemen, and Iftikhar Dadi
Session 7, 3:45PM
Geeta Kapur Proposition Avant-garde: A View from the South
Chair: Akeel Bilgrami
Session 8, 5PM
Art Talk: Six Indian Contemporary Artists, 2011, Dino Prevente, video, 26 minutes. This film documents the growth of Indian contemporary art in India and abroad, through the voices of the six artists including Jitish Kallat, Subodh Gupta, Atul Dodiya, Bharti Kher, Shilpa Gupta, and Thukral and Tagra.
Closing remarks by Hitomi Iwasaki, Director of Exhibitions/Curator, QMA
After Midnight: Indian Modern and Contemporary Art, 1947/1997 is supported by UBS. Additional support was provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and Asia/Pacific/American Institute (A/P/A) at New York University. Special thanks to the Holiday Inn SOHO New York City.