ONLINE EXHIBITION SHOWING THE EXTENSION OF THE FORMS OF NEO-INDIAN SCHOOL IN CONTEMPORARY ART OF BENGAL
An indigenous identity to visual art, in the current world of pluralities and multiple identities is a debatable question. Visual art transcends linguistic barriers and speaks a common tongue, giving a voice to communities to express their cultural histories. Due to this rootedness or difference in traditional set up every community or nation is different in their artistic expression which gives it an identity of its own. The online exhibition ‘Indigenous Identities’ curated by Mrinal Ghosh is a quest to explore the ‘indigenous’ through the lens of twenty five contemporary artists from Bengal. The exhibition is set to start online from 1st September.
The need for an identity arises when a culture of a community is threatened by a hegemonic discourse. The search of an indigenous identity in art in Bengal began with Abanindranath Tagore and his formation of the’Bengal School’ in search of a form of visual art which was Indian in its sensibilities. The movement that thus started gradually gained ground and turned to be the first movement in Indian modernity that earnestly researched for an indigenous identity. The movement is known as neo-Bengal school or neo-Indian school, since it spread throughout India. The movement of neo-Indian school attained its peak during 1920-s and 1930-s. During 1940-s the temporal reality catered for more univeralisation of form. The process however started since mid-1920-s. During the subsequent period our modernity and modernism was more expanded. But the forms generated by neo-Indian school did not lose its relevance. It still exists in two ways. There are artists, who are meditatively dedicated to expand the possibility of this form. There are others, modernist in temperament and in their creation, who assimilate the form of neo-Indian style with the international art form.
The exhibition aims to find how the forms of neo-Indian school are being practiced by the contemporary artists, particularly the first category. We have invited 25 artists, including Nitya Kundu, Chandra, Shekhar Acharya, Goutam Basu and others. The artists, both senior and from younger generation also, who are dedicated in the practice of this form to create various sorts of indigenous identity.