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Memory, Metaphor, Mutations: Contemporary Art of India and Pakistan

Yashodhara Dalmia (Author) Salima Hashmi (Author)
Synopsis As boundaries slowly dissolve and interactive realities become evident, the cultures of India and Pakistan are beginning to draw attention. Recent exchanges have taken place in the realm of music, cinema, and other cultural forms. Moreover, both nations share a heritage of Mughal miniatures, Rajasthani and Pahari Art, and are bound together by history and the problematics of the present. The contemporary art of the two countries, in all its vitality, today has a fascinating new identity. This richly illustrated book reveals the heterogenous, complex, and vibrant life of the subcontinent of South Asia that is reflected through both Pakistani and Indian art. With their vast, chaotic landscapes, and a multiplicity of languages and cultures, the cities of South Asia, whether Karachi or Mumbai, Lahore or Delhi, have a distinct identity even as they make their presence felt on the global stage. They form the nucleus for a pluralistic art, and an ever-increasing market for its consumption. At the same time, South Asian art, in its own unique, authentic format, is crossing new cultural and geographic borders to become transnational. In the first part of the book, Salima Hashmi introduces the art practices of Pakistan, since partition, and their historical background. She goes on to discuss the subversive work of women artists, who have recently asserted themselves. The section ends with an overview of artists who have blended rather uniquely the miniature tradition with contemporary trends. The second part by Yashodhara Dalmia, begins with the historical development of art in India from the turn of the twentieth century to the present. There follows a focus on the progressive artists' group, which leaned heavily towards modernism in the fifties, and remains of paramount importance today. The essay on women artists brings issues of self, country, and the world to the forefront. The last two chapters provide an account of the hybrid styles incorporated into the work of young artists, which are at once international and local. This book will be invaluable for art lovers and critics, as well as the general reader in the subcontinent and around the world.
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About the authors

Yashodhara Dalmia

Yashodhara Dalmia has written extensively on Indian art and culture. She is the author of the book The painted World of the Warlis, and has curated ‘The Modoerns’, a show on the Progressive Artists Group which inaugurated the National Gallery of Modern Art in Mumbai, in December 1996. At present she is working on project on ‘Alternative Modernity’.

Salima Hashmi

Salima Hashmi is a well-known artist and dean at the School of Visual Arts and Design at the Beaconhouse National University, Lahore.

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Bibliographic information

Title Memory, Metaphor, Mutations: Contemporary Art of India and Pakistan
Format Hardcover
Date published: 09.02.2007
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 0195673476
length xii+228p., Plates.