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Jangarh Singh Shyam: A Conjuror's Archive

Jyotindra Jain (Author)

Before any sound critical framework could be evolved around the phenomenal artist Jangarh Singh Shyam as the originator of an extraordinary individualistic idiom of painting, ruthless market forces regrettably came to dominate his art and Jangarh himself became their first casualty. While trying to finish a large commission at a museum in Japan under adverse circumstances, Jangarh committed suicide in 2001. He was 40. A whole range of conditions, events and mediations associated with Jangarh’s life and his art practice has since remained underexplored. This book is a first attempt to construct an equitable account of the formation of his prodigious artistic body of work that founded his legacy and grew into a movement. As a prime critical analysis of Jangarh Singh Shyam’s oeuvre, this book also serves as a model framework for the study of a contemporary individual folk and tribal artist. Unlike other vernacular artists, Jangarh’s muse was moulded at Bharat Bhavan, a multi-arts complex in Bhopal, where he arrived as a teenager at modernist artist J. Swaminathan’s prompting. Here, though subtly othered by the commanding presence of the art school–trained moderns, Jangarh responded with a sense of elation to various new mediatory processes, such as the use of bright poster colours and the milky white expanse of paper, which led him to say, “The first time I dipped my brush in bright poster colours in Bhopal, tremors went through my body.” Published in association with Museum of Art and Photography (MAP), Bangalore. Dr. Jyotindra Jain was formerly Director of the Crafts Museum; Professor and Dean at the School of Arts & Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU); and Member Secretary of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, all in New Delhi. He was also a Visiting Professor at Harvard University and a Rudolf-Arnheim Professor at Humboldt University, Berlin.

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About the author

Jyotindra Jain

Jyotindra Jain, Director of the National Handicrafts and Handlooms Museum, popularly known as The Crafts Museum, New Delhi, is recognized as one of the most eminent historians of Indian tribal and folk arts. He obtained a Master’s degree in Ancient Indian Culture from Bombay University, followed by a Ph.D. in anthropology and Indology from the University of Vienna. He has since conducted extensive ethnographic field research in a number of states in India with a focus on the folk and tribal religions of Western India, and has set up the Shreyas Folk Museum of Gujarat. Dr. Jain has several publications on rituals and ritual arts of India o his credit, and exhibitions curated by him on various aspects of traditional Indian art have been shown in India and abroad. He has been a consultant and a visiting scholar to several mueums and institutions around the world. He is currently working on a book, Kalighat Painting.

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Bibliographic information

Title Jangarh Singh Shyam: A Conjuror's Archive
Format Hardcover
Date published: 31.12.2018
Edition 1st. ed.
Language: English
isbn 9385360639, 9789385360633
length 148p., 30x25x2cm.