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Lecture: Contemporary Women Artists in India—A Lineage

March 12, 2015
Price Auditorium
Free with museum admission

Although they had been making art for decades, it wasn’t until the postmodern era that women artists in India truly came to public attention. By the 1980s they had entered the public arena, having skipped over the macho manifestos of their male predecessors. Their work expands the question of Indianness that dominated the moderns and is more occupied by issues of individual expression, politics, gender, and personal concerns than with a national struggle for artistic identity.

This lecture by scholar Betty Seid begins with Amrita Sher-Gil (1912–1941), the first professional woman artist in 20th-century India, and arguably its first modernist, and then jumps forward out of modernism into contemporary art. Although most work done by women is figurative with strong narrative themes, this presentation detours briefly to look at abstraction before proceeding to a younger generation of artists who benefitted from the achievements of their predecessors. Working in a global age, these contemporary artists are dealing with global issues—environment, urban fear, gender identity—and exhibiting internationally. It is almost coincidental that they are Indian.

Affiliate Group: 

Dhruvi Acharya, India Sink, 2007. India. Private collection