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Towards a New Art History: Studies in Indian Art

Deeptha Achar (Editor) Parul Dave Mukherji (Editor) Shivaji K. Panikkar (Editor)
Synopsis Mainstream art historical writing on Indian art has remained focused on identifying and defining stylistic schools, understanding evolutionary patterns and regional styles as well as understanding iconographic and narrative conventions and structures. The wide-ranging essays in this volume challenge the boundaries and assumptions of ainstream art history. Moving away from an art history structured by an art object-centered approach, this book gestures at a framework-oriented approach that calls attention to the political, social, economic structures that undergird art. It is an attempt to reformulate the discipline in a manner that can explain the field of the visual in a way that goes well beyond the explanatory capacity of conventional modes of studying Indian art. These essays question preconceived notions about meaning in representations -- artistic and art historical. They contest earlier claims about the objectivity of scholarship in general and history writing in particular as much as they critique the valorization of a purely individuated, subjective art criticism. In its attempt to historicize the practice of art, the book examines the economic, political and social implications of art that enable the re-situation of Art History among social science disciplines. The emphasis is on the study of specific visual cultures within the dynamics of historical processes. These essays raise critical issues of art production, circulation and consumption as well as production of meaning. Traditional arts have been studied from a critical perspective that extricates them from a past that is hermetically sealed off from the present. The opposition of ‘High Art’ and ‘non-art’ (read popular or mass visual culture) has been challenged. Breaking outside the ambit of high art, studies in the book extend from popular, mass-produced art to MTV imagery to digital art.
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About the authors

Deeptha Achar

Deeptha Achar teaches at the Department of English, M.S. University of Baroda. She has worked on representations of Africa in popular boys’ fiction of the late nineteenth century Britain for her Ph. D dissertation. Her current research interests center around education and childhood in India and she is currently engaged in a project entitled ‘Educational Policies and Gender: The Case of Gujarat’.

Parul Dave Mukherji

The author received her B.A. in the History of At from Kala Bhavana, Vishwabharati University, Santiniketan and took her M.A. in the Department of Art History & Aesthetics at the Faculty of Fine Arts, M S University, Baroda. She then enrolled herself as an M. Phil student at the Faculty or Oriental Studies, Oxford University to work on “The Theory of imitation (anukriti) in Early Indian art” with Prof. B K Matilal. Later, for her doctoral dissertation, she took up the task of editing the Citrasutra of the Visundharmottara Purana with Prof. Alexis Sanderson. Grants from the Charles Wallace, the British Council, the Al Falak Foundation and the Radha Krishnan Memorial Bequest funded her doctoral research. Dr. Dave Mukherji is currently Reader of Art History & Aesthetics at the Faculty of fine Arts, M S University, Baroda. She has lectured in India and Europe and published a range of articles on historiography of Art History and the dialectics of nationalism and ‘naturalism’ in the study of Indian art. At present, her research focuses on the question of caste and gender in the study of early treatises of Indian art.

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Shivaji K. Panikkar

Shivaji K Panikkar teaches at the Department of Art History and Aesthetics, M.S. University of Baroda. He is the author of Saptamatrka Worship and Sculptures: An Iconological Interpretation of Conflicts and Resolutions in the ‘Storied’ Brahmanical Icons; Twentieth Century Indian Sculptures: Last two Decades (ed) and the exhibition catalogue creative process: Tangible Realities, Concrete Myths are among his publications. He is presently engaged in writing on art development in Madras since the 1940s.

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Bibliographic information

Title Towards a New Art History: Studies in Indian Art
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2003
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher D K Printworld
Language: English
isbn 8124602301
length xxi+494p., Col. & B/w Plates; Index; 29cm.