Arts and Culture •  Art

Regional Modernity - The Madras Art Movement 1960s-1980s - Painting and Sculpture


24 Mar '2017, 06:00 pm to 07:00 pm
25 Mar '2017, 10:00 am to 05:00 pm
28 Mar '2017, 10:00 am to 05:00 pm
04 Apr '2017, 10:00 am to 05:00 pm
18 Apr '2017, 10:00 am to 05:00 pm
NGMA, Bengaluru
Entry :
As applicable @ NGMA

Posted by :
Deepa Vaishnavi


<posting as received>

The exhibition will have representation of artists who shaped and contoured the modernity in the south popularly known as The Madras Art Movement. It was a modern regional phenomenon, which through the lens of tradition began forming its special characteristic from mid-1950’s. Its initiation was the concerted efforts of pioneers as K.C.S Paniker and S Dhanapal in painting and sculpture later extended by other artists who played a seminal role in its growth and development. This art movement had a character and identity, which though consanguine in many respect to the modern Indian art, was different and distinct.

Modernity in Madras achieved its special character by rooting it in regional culture. For modernity to take shape, the pedagogical space of the art institution namely the Government College of Arts and Crafts (established 1980) proved crucial, becoming the locus for the emergence of this movement had been initiated under the tenure of  D P Roy Chowdhary, the first Indian artist principal (1930-1957). He was followed by K.C.S Paniker (1957-1967) the next administrative head who brought in a study of European modern art. The pedagogy subscribed by Paniker opened avenues, for experimentation in techniques, conceptual and creative forays for individual expression, which became the hallmark of the art pedagogy at the school. The interplay of tradition and modernity provided the framework for the Madras artist in the 1960’s.

Within the Madras Art Movement it is possible to draw out two broad areas within which the artists visualized their creative temper. This was the ‘figurative’ and the ‘abstract’ mode. A few women artist who defied the patriarchal hierarchy were also able to define their individual artistic authority. They were Arnawaz Vasudev (1945-1988), TK Padmini, (1943-1982) Rani Nanjappa and Anila Jacob (1941).​

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