The Triumph of Modernism: India's Artists and the Avant-garde, 1922-47

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9781861893185: The Triumph of Modernism: India's Artists and the Avant-garde, 1922-47

          The tumultuous last decades of British colonialism in India were catalyzed by more than the work of Mahatma Gandhi and violent conflicts. The concurrent upheavals in Western art driven by the advent of modernism provided Indian artists in post-1920 India a powerful tool of colonial resistance. Distinguished art historian Partha Mitter now explores in this brilliantly illustrated study this lesser known facet of Indian art and history.

          Taking the 1922 Bauhaus exhibition in Calcutta as the debut of European modernism in India, The Triumph of Modernism probes the intricate interplay of Western modernism and Indian nationalism in the evolution of colonial-era Indian art. Mitter casts his gaze across a myriad of issues, including the emergence of a feminine voice in Indian art, the decline of “oriental art,” and the rise of naturalism and modernism in the 1920s. Nationalist politics also played a large role, from the struggle of artists in reconciling Indian nationalism with imperial patronage of the arts to the relationship between primitivism and modernism in Indian art.  An engagingly written study anchored by 150 lush reproductions, The Triumph of Modernism will be essential reading for scholars of art, British studies, and Indian history.

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About the Author:

Partha Mitter is professor emeritus of art history at the University of Sussex and is also the author of several books, including Art and Nationalism in Colonial India, 1850–1922 and Indian Art.

Review:

"Lucid and well-illustrated." (The Independent 2008-01-19)

"Mitter proceeds chronologically . . . filling the immensely readable pages with personality, place and incident--and with a remarkably low incident of art-speak and theory--giving the reader a sense of living through the 25 years as a member of this remarkable community." (Don J. Cohn Art AsiaPacific)

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Partha Mitter
Published by Reaktion Books, United Kingdom (2007)
ISBN 10: 1861893183 ISBN 13: 9781861893185
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Book Description Reaktion Books, United Kingdom, 2007. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. This richly illustrated book explores the contested history of art and nationalism in the tumultuous last decades of British rule in India. Western avant-garde art inspired a powerful weapon of resistance among India s artists in their struggle against colonial repression, and it is this complex interplay of Western modernism and Indian nationalism that is the core of this book. The Triumph of Modernism takes the surprisingly unremarked Bauhaus exhibition in Calcutta in 1922 as marking the arrival of European modernism in India. In four broad sections Partha Mitter examines the decline of oriental art and the rise of naturalism as well as that of modernism in the 1920s, and the relationship between primitivism and modernism in Indian art: with Mahatma Gandhi inspiring the Indian elite to discover the peasant, the people of the soil became portrayed by artists as noble savages. A distinct feminine voice also evolved through the rise of female artists. Finally, the author probes the ambivalent relationship between Indian nationalism and imperial patronage of the arts. With a fascinating array of art works, few of which have either been seen or published in the West, The Triumph of Modernism throws much light on a previously neglected strand of modern art and introduces the work of artists who are little known in Europe or America. A book that challenges the dominance of Western modernism, it will be illuminating not just to students and scholars of modernism and Indian art, but to a wide international audience that admires India s culture and history. Bookseller Inventory # AA99781861893185

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Book Description Reaktion Books, 2007. Book Condition: New. 2007. Paperback. Explores the contested history of art and nationalism in the tumultuous last decades of British rule in India. With a fascinating array of art works, this book throws much light on a previously neglected strand of modern art and introduces the work of artists who are little known in Europe or America. Num Pages: 256 pages, 40 black & white illustrations, 107 colour illustrations. BIC Classification: 1FKA; 3JJG; 3JJH; ACBK; ACXD2. Category: (G) General (US: Trade); (P) Professional & Vocational; (U) Tertiary Education (US: College). Dimension: 247 x 193 x 19. Weight in Grams: 644. . . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9781861893185

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Partha Mitter
Published by Reaktion Books, United Kingdom (2007)
ISBN 10: 1861893183 ISBN 13: 9781861893185
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Book Description Reaktion Books, United Kingdom, 2007. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. This richly illustrated book explores the contested history of art and nationalism in the tumultuous last decades of British rule in India. Western avant-garde art inspired a powerful weapon of resistance among India s artists in their struggle against colonial repression, and it is this complex interplay of Western modernism and Indian nationalism that is the core of this book. The Triumph of Modernism takes the surprisingly unremarked Bauhaus exhibition in Calcutta in 1922 as marking the arrival of European modernism in India. In four broad sections Partha Mitter examines the decline of oriental art and the rise of naturalism as well as that of modernism in the 1920s, and the relationship between primitivism and modernism in Indian art: with Mahatma Gandhi inspiring the Indian elite to discover the peasant, the people of the soil became portrayed by artists as noble savages. A distinct feminine voice also evolved through the rise of female artists. Finally, the author probes the ambivalent relationship between Indian nationalism and imperial patronage of the arts. With a fascinating array of art works, few of which have either been seen or published in the West, The Triumph of Modernism throws much light on a previously neglected strand of modern art and introduces the work of artists who are little known in Europe or America. A book that challenges the dominance of Western modernism, it will be illuminating not just to students and scholars of modernism and Indian art, but to a wide international audience that admires India s culture and history. Bookseller Inventory # AA99781861893185

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Book Description Reaktion Books. Book Condition: New. 2007. Paperback. Explores the contested history of art and nationalism in the tumultuous last decades of British rule in India. With a fascinating array of art works, this book throws much light on a previously neglected strand of modern art and introduces the work of artists who are little known in Europe or America. Num Pages: 256 pages, 40 black & white illustrations, 107 colour illustrations. BIC Classification: 1FKA; 3JJG; 3JJH; ACBK; ACXD2. Category: (G) General (US: Trade); (P) Professional & Vocational; (U) Tertiary Education (US: College). Dimension: 247 x 193 x 19. Weight in Grams: 644. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9781861893185

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Book Description Reaktion Books. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, The Triumph of Modernism: India's Artists and the Avant-garde 1922-1947, Partha Mitter, This richly illustrated book explores the contested history of art and nationalism in the tumultuous last decades of British rule in India. Western avant-garde art inspired a powerful weapon of resistance among India's artists in their struggle against colonial repression, and it is this complex interplay of Western modernism and Indian nationalism that is the core of this book. "The Triumph of Modernism" takes the surprisingly unremarked Bauhaus exhibition in Calcutta in 1922 as marking the arrival of European modernism in India. In four broad sections Partha Mitter examines the decline of oriental art and the rise of naturalism as well as that of modernism in the 1920s, and the relationship between primitivism and modernism in Indian art: with Mahatma Gandhi inspiring the Indian elite to discover the peasant, the people of the soil became portrayed by artists as noble savages. A distinct feminine voice also evolved through the rise of female artists. Finally, the author probes the ambivalent relationship between Indian nationalism and imperial patronage of the arts. With a fascinating array of art works, few of which have either been seen or published in the West, "The Triumph of Modernism" throws much light on a previously neglected strand of modern art and introduces the work of artists who are little known in Europe or America. A book that challenges the dominance of Western modernism, it will be illuminating not just to students and scholars of modernism and Indian art, but to a wide international audience that admires India's culture and history. Bookseller Inventory # B9781861893185

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