An intrepid group of faculty weathered pounding, cold rain last Wednesday evening to savor the warm, visual delights of Modernist Art from India; The Body Unbound, a beautiful exhibition curated by Beth Citron, Assistant Curator at the Rubin Museum. The attendees included professors and advanced researchers from diverse city-wide institutions, including NYU, Pace, The New School, St. John’s College, and CUNY’s Graduate Center.
A meet & greet in the Rubin Cafe was followed by a private exhibition tour with Beth Citron, whose engaging gallery talk inspired a lively evening discussion, and paved the way for faculty to build curricular connections for the Spring 2012 semester. Although the faculty in attendance represented a range of academic disciplines, from Art History, to Creative Arts Therapy, to Cinema Studies, they shared a common interest in learning about a period of Indian art rarely addressed in exhibitions or published works.
Faculty were intrigued by the exhibition’s multiple thematic entry points, thanks to Beth’s skillful arrangement of pieces representing the rich, eclectic nature of Indian art movements, as well as the artists within those movements wrestling to forge a new sense of identity in post-Independence India.
The exciting and tumultuous years from 1947 through the 1980s presented creative, social, political, and philosophical challenges for Indian artists within an ever-expanding, global community, as illustrated by Tyeb Mehta’s poignant existential works, Bhupen Khakhar’s playful social critiques, or B. Prahba and Nalani Malini’s exploration of gender roles for women within Indian society.
Beth Citron’s deep knowledge of these works, and the visionaries who made them, allowed our group to look, think, and feel deeply while exploring her inspiring exhibition.
Many thanks, Beth!