Symposium – After Midnight: Indian Modern and Contemporary Art, 1947/1997

When 26 Oct 2012 - 27 Oct 2012
Where Asian/Pacific/American Institute (A/P/A) of New York University
8 Washington Mews
New York, NY 10003
United States

Shilpa Gupta, 100 Hand-drawn Maps, 2011, digital print on paper, 22 1/8 x 17 inches, courtesy of the artist

Friday, October 26 and Saturday, 27, 2012, 11 am–6 pm

Press Release:

Organized by Arshiya Lokhandwala and Queens Museum of Art
In collaboration with A/P/A Institute at NYU

The symposium After Midnight: Indian Modern and Contemporary 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 contemplates 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 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 BalaramVisiting Scholar at Washington University, St LouisRina Banerjeeartist, New YorkDr. Rebecca BrownProfessor of Art History at John Hopkins UniversityDr. Akeel BilgramiProfessor of Philosophy, Columbia UniversityLuis CamnitzerProfessor Emeritus at SUNY Old Westbury/artistDoryun ChongAssociate Curator of Painting and Sculptures, MoMAIftikhar DadiAssociate Professor and Chair, Department of Art, Cornell UniversityParul Dave-Mukherji,Professor in Department of Visual Studies, School of the Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru UniversityDr. Salah HassanAssociate Chair of the Department of History of Art and professor of African and African Diaspora, Art History and Visual Culture, Cornell UniversityGeeta Kapurart historian/curator, New DelhiDr. Arshiya Lokhandwala,Founding director/curator at Lakeeren Gallery, MumbaiDr. Saloni MathurAssociate Professor of Art History, UCLA; Naeem Mohaiemen, artist, writerDr. Ajay Sinha,Professor of Art History, Mount Holyoke UniversityShuddhabrata Sengupta of Raqs Media Collective, New DelhiVidya ShivadasCurator 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).

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 Asian/Pacific/American Institute (A/P/A) at NYU. Other support provided by Asia Art Archive in America. Special thanks to the Holiday Inn SOHO New York City.

After Midnight is free and open to public. Seating is limited. Please RSVP

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.


Friday, October 26

11:00 AM
Introduction by Tom Finkelpearl, Executive Director, QMA
Opening remarks by Arshiya Lokhandwala

Session 1
The Clock Strikes: Making of a Nation
Chair: Parul Dave-Mukherji

11:15 AM
Ajay Sinha The Artist at ‘Midnight’

11:45 AM
Rebecca Brown Exhibiting Acts of Courage: Indian Modern Art in the American Museum

12:15 PM
Vidya Shivdas The Past as Muse: Modernist Practice and Art History

12:45 PM
Panel discussion/Q & A


Session 2
Opening Keynote
2:15 pm
Akeel Bilgrami Modernity: A View from the South
Chair: Geeta Kapur

Session 3
3:00 PM
Modernity at Large: Global Perspectives
Chair: Salah Hassan; panelists: Geeta Kapur, Luis Camnitzer, Doryun Chong

Session 4
Film Screening
4:30 PM Tyeb Metha, Koodal (1970), 35mm, B/W, 16:16
M. F. Husain, Through the Eyes of a Painte (1967), 18:00
Akbar Padamsee, Syzygy (1969-70), 11:00

5:30 – 7:30 PM
Cocktail reception at A/P/A at NYU

Saturday, October 27
11:00 AM
Opening remarks by Arshiya Lokhandwala

Session 5
Arguing for an Indian Contemporaneity
Chair: Arshiya Lokhandwala

11:15 AM
Saloni Mathur Lost in Stories of Twentieth Century Art

11:45 AM
Parul Dave-Mukherji How Global is the Global Contemporary? Persistence of Ethnicity Then and Now.

12:15 PM
Shuddha SenGupta Once Again, to the Distant Observer

12:45 PM
Panel discussion/Q & A


Session 6
2:30 PM Diaspora Undone
Chair: Saloni Mathur; Panelists: Rina Banerjee, Rakhee Balram, Naeem Mohaiemen and Iftikhar Dadi

Session 7
Closing Keynote
3:45 PM Geeta Kapur Proposition Avantgarde: A View from the South
Chair: Akeel Bilgrami

Session 8
Film Screening
4:30 PM 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.

5:00 PM
Closing remarks by Hitomi Iwasaki, Director of Exhibitions/Curator, QMA

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