Modernist Art from India

    November 16, 2012 - April 29, 2013

    Radical TerrainUntitled, S.H. Raza; 1956; Oil and mixed media on canvas

    Radical Terrain, the third exhibition in the series Modernist Art from India, highlights the exploration of landscape in Indian art for the generation after independence. The exhibition will also feature new work by international contemporary artists of diverse backgrounds currently working in and identifying with landscape. This is both a response to the modernist paintings on view and to work towards a nuanced conceptual understanding of what "landscape" in art is.

    The modernist paintings in the exhibition suggests that landscape became a recognizable form of expression in this period as a means for artists to come to terms with the vastness and diversity of India as a newly sovereign nation.   Explorations of landscape – especially rural landscapes-- by painters inadvertently paralleled official initiatives of government organizations like the Films Division of India, which commissioned many films of rural and distant regions like Orissa and Himachal Pradesh for a primary audience of citizens in urban centers. These activities reflect a country creating a new identity. Radical Terrain shows the great variety of landscapes created by artists in India after independence from British rule – including figural and abstract landscapes, specific sites and conceptual landscapes painted in a wide range of styles and from many social, political, and formal perspectives.

    The contemporary interventions in the exhibition will be in various modes and media, reflecting the diversity of what landscape means to contemporary artists of various backgrounds. The artists include Lisi Raskin, Marc Handelman, Seher Shah, Janaina Tschäpe, and others.

    Curated by Beth Citron

    This exhibition was supported, in part, by the Dedalus Foundation, Inc.

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    American Sign Language Tour of Radical Terrain
    Friday, December 7 at 7 p.m.

    Deaf Guides offer American Sign Language tours of the museum's collection specifically designed for individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing. These tours afford all of our visitors a chance to learn about the cultures, history, religions, and sacred art of the Himalayan region.

    Tours meet in the spiral lobby of the museum and last about one hour. If you have questions, please contact the Manager of Visitor Experience and Access Programs at 212.620.5000 x354. 


    Exhibition Resources

    Exhibition Microsite

    Launch Exhibition Microsite

    Watch video interviews with each of the contemporary artists in the exhibition, as they discuss their artistic processes and interpretations of landscape with Assistant Curator Beth Citron.

    Audio Tour

    Download the exhibition audio tour from iTunesU

    This audio tour provides commentary from contemporary artists who participated in the exhibition.

    Installation Photography

    To see the installation photography for this exhibition, click the thumbnail to the left.