24 Apr – 24 May 2013
Most historical narratives of Indian modern art have focused on painting; few, if any at all, consider collage. Could it be suggested that the idea of collage, and the formal principles associated with it as a technique, are relevant when mapping the contours of Indian modern art from the post-Independence period? How did experiments with collage on the subcontinent break from ‘inherited’ traditions (realism, naturalism, and other dominant codes of visual representation) to create a language – figurative, abstract or a combination of both – that was significant?
Considering Collage surveys approaches to collage in India post-1947 right up to the present day, from artists working within a tradition of political and cultural critique to practitioners questioning the conceptual limits of the photograph. Part of this presentation is dedicated to historical material – Nandalal Bose, Benode Behari Mukherjee, KG Subramanyan, FN Souza, Dashrath Patel – and part collects works by artists not necessarily working within an Indian context, but who have associations with South Asia: Muhanned Cader, Simryn Gill, Mahbub Shah, Yamini Nayar, Alexander Gorlizki.
As a group, the works in this exhibition embody the spirit of collage, highlighting its enduring relevance (as souvenir, sketch, intervention, object) across a range of creative practices. Collectively, they call out to an allure for the image, never allowing their individual conceptual inclinations to undermine that allure. The image, it appears, is ultimately the work of art.