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Many Visions, Many Versions

Art from Indigenous Communities in India

On View:
Saturday, June 9, 2018 — Sunday, September 9, 2018


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An unparalleled opportunity for audiences to view rarely seen contemporary art from four major indigenous artistic traditions in India, Many Visions, Many Versions: Art from Indigenous Communities in India showcases works from the Gond and Warli communities of central India, the Mithila region of Bihar, and the narrative scroll painters of West Bengal. The exhibition features 47 exceptional paintings and drawings, selected from private collections in the United States and Europe, by 24 significant indigenous artists including Jangarh Singh Shyam, Jivya Soma Mashe, Sita Devi, and Swarna Chitrakar, among others.

Many Visions, Many Versions explores the breadth and variety of cultural traditions in India, revealing a dynamic aesthetic that remains deeply rooted in traditional culture, yet vitally responsive to issues of global concern. Rather than taking a conventional approach to exhibiting these four distinct indigenous artistic traditions by separating them into sections distinguished by tribal and cultural affinities, the curators intentionally display the paintings thematically; accentuating the shared cultural features and contemporary concerns of these four communities that underlies the diversity of the artists’ unique expressive forms, techniques, and styles. The exhibition is divided into four broad categories: Myth and Cosmology, Nature – real and imagined, Village Life, and Contemporary Explorations.

India’s rise as an Asian power on the global scene has focused the world’s attention on the country and its culture. For American audiences eager to know more about Indian art, Many Visions, Many Versions offers an opportunity for viewers of all ages to learn about life and culture in India through these remarkable artworks.

Many Visions, Many Versions: Art from Indigenous Communities in India was organized by BINDU modern Gallery and toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC and curated by Drs. Aurogeeta Das and David Szanton, with assistance from consulting curator Jeffrey Wechsler.

This exhibition was made possible at the Frost Art Museum FIU by the Jane Hsiao Asian Art Endowment.

Image Caption: Jamuna Devi, Raja Salhesh with his two brothers and three flower maidens [detail], c. 2000, natural dyes on paper. Photo courtesy of Sneha Ganguly.

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