Indian art develops 21st century quality and value

The center of the manufacturing world has responded creatively to mass-production, importing a “unique amalgam of the sensibilities”.

Features
November 5, 2013
by Kannan Balaraman
Prajakta Palav, Untitled II, 2007. Acrylic Paint

Prajakta Palav, Untitled II, 2007. Acrylic Paint

In the 21st century, the art scene in India has undergone sweeping changes, both in the quality of work, and in relation to its more mundane commercial prospects.

Art in India is on the cusp of two trends; one being the economic dimension, and the other, the technical aspect.

The rising economy and increase in disposable income has created a thriving market for art. This has also had the fortunate effect of pulling many artists out of penury.

The art of each society is anchored in, and reflective of, the values and perceptions of that society.

Beginning from the third century BC, during the Mauryan Empire and onwards, Indian art has developed and changed, absorbing new influences and techniques, yet managing to retain an indelible Indian flavour, in all its multifaceted regional variations.

“Art in India, as across the world, has undergone  myriad changes that have eventually culminated in what we see today; a unique amalgam of the sensibilities from the west as well as from across Asia,” writes Professor Rajeev Lochan, Director of New Delhi’s National Gallery of Modern Art.

Contemporary Indian art has benefited immensely from the cross pollination among various regional styles, leading to a new movement in art related to the concept of a united modern India.

This vibrancy has caught the attention of the rest of the world, leading to critical appreciation from connoisseurs across the globe.

However Indian art has not succeeded in reaching all overseas markets uniformly. The author and academic, Amit Chaudhuri, comments: ”Contemporary Indian visual art has little presence in Britain. Ironically, Europe might be more aware of Indian avant-garde work than India’s former colonial ruler.”

In the new century, Indian art will undoubtedly blossom and it will be centred in the interaction between the two dimensions of economic buoyancy and artistic creativity.