ISBN 9780199453672,The Art of Secularism: The Cultural Politics of Modernist Art in Contemporary India

The Art of Secularism: The Cultural Politics of Modernist Art in Contemporary India

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ISBN 9780199453672

Oxford University Press

Publication Year 2014

ISBN 9780199453672

ISBN-10 0199453675

Paper Back

Number of Pages 220 Pages
Language (English)

Indian Writing

Written in the wake of the widely publicized attacks by Hindu nationalist activists on the late M.F. Husain, Indias most famous artist and a prominent Muslim, The Art of Secularism addresses the entanglement of visual art with political secularism. The crisis in secularism in India, commonly associated with the rise of Hindu nationalism in the 1980s, transformed the meaning of art. It challenged the relationships between modernism, national culture, secularism, and modernity that had been built since Indias independence in 1947.
The Art of Secularism describes how four renowned artists-M.F. Husain, K.G. Subramanyan, GulammohamŽmed Sheikh, and Bhupen Khakhar-developed their practice in an era when secular nationalism grappled with the recent re-enchantment of signs. Combining close readings of these artists work with ethnography of the art worlds of Mumbai and VaŽdodara, Karin Zitzewitz describes both the everyday forms of cosmopolitanŽism practiced by figures like prominent gallerist Kekoo Gandhy and the increasing vulnerability of art world spaces to cultural regulation. She also presents the shifting conditions of the production and exhibition of art withŽin the particularly urgent, varied, and sophisticated public debates about secularism in India, in which artists have been increasingly prominent interlocutors.