From Ajanta to Yantra-with over 1300 entries on painting, drawing, prints, sculpture, galleries and institutions, including more than 300 colour illustrations-Dictionary of India Art & Artist presents a comprehensive picture of the world of art in india. The first book to focus exclusively on the evolution and context of Indian art, it provides a roadmap for the artist student, art-Professional and art-lover to discover or advance knowledge on monuments, monuments an institutions that represent the creative force of India art.
Utilizing extensive cross-referencing, links are made between artist, concept, techniques and various schools of art. Over 600 entries on artist and institutions trace the tradition and emergence of india art over the last century. More than 400 entries focus on techniques and styles, both indigenous and western, which have been adapted to suit the contemporary Indian perspective. An extensive bibliography provides suggestions for further reading.
Pratima Sheth is a graduate of the J.J. School of Art, done independent studies in art in many European cities. Her drawings and paintings are in major private and public collections. She has participated in a number of group shows in India and her solo exhibitions include those at Cymtoza Art Gallery, Mumbai, Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai and Chez Cyril Stuttgart, Germany.
At present there is no dictionary available in India covering contemporary Indian art as well as the terms popularly used in Indian art. This has resulted in the fact that contemporary African and Japanese art is generally better known in the U.S. and Europe that the works of contemporary Indian artist. In most centuries, Indian art only generally covers traditional art such as miniature paintings, Ajanta frescoes and Ellora sculptures etc.
This Dictionary provides comprehensive coverage of Indian fine art and artists, art terms, galleries and institutions. The period covered is from approximately 1890 to the present day. The purpose of this Dictionary is to act as a companion to an art inquirer as well as serve as a useful reference book for students of art and for everyone connected with the field of Indian art. Its scope is restricted to paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture. Thus by providing extensive information on contemporary Indian art and artist not conveniently accessible elsewhere, together with full examination of historical styles and movements in arts on a national scale, it is a useful compendium of the contemporary india art scene.
The Dictionary has been in preparation since 1993. Comprehensive research, spanning several institutions all over India, contacts with nearly 2000 artist through detailed questionnaires, personal calls and visits covered this period of trial and tribulation.
The genesis of the Dictionary lies in my discovery of a lack of any authentic source of information on contemporary Indian art and artists. There were many coffee-table books covering specific artist or art forms but none that could become an art inquirer’s companion or a reference book for students and art lovers alike. Such dictionaries do exist but most contain too general or broad a coverage and are focused on European art. I have travelled extensively, visiting galleries and collecting information. India is home to paintings, graphics and sculpture, each in their own style, changing through the decades to the Indian contemporary world, starting with Raja Ravi Varma form southern India and Tagore from Santiniketan. However, all these as yet largly unexplored because of a lack of information available upon which a student a layperson or a buyer could fall back on.
My exhibitions held in Germany in 1991 and 1994 gave me the inspiration to prepare a book about contemporary Indian art. Indian art and artists, who are only just beginning to be appreciated outside India, needed reference material that could be of use to artists, art students, buyers, tourists, art dealers, critics, historians and connoisseurs alike. This was the primary inspiration behind my taking on such a monumental task.
It has not been easy but, all in all, it is hoped that this Dictionary will fill the vacuum that currently exists and it is intended that future editions will handle these inherent contradictions and give this Dictionary a permanent place in the collection of everyone connected with art in general, and contemporary Indian art in particular.
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