A lucid introduction to the greatest Indian artists of our time.
Enlivened by anecdotes and forty years’ worth of conversations between the author and her subjects - eight artists, unknown during the 1970s and 80s but acknowledged masters today - Geeti Sen’s essays bring together the best of Indian art, not so much as history or biography but as vibrantly alive memories.
We travel with Sen as she explores Ganesh Pyne’s Jottings as expressions of his secret, subliminal dreams; discovers that M.F. Husain’s self-portraits are manifestations of his extraordinary, changing persona over seven decades; understands the rare religious icons Meera Mukherjee created in the last decade of her life; and unravels Nilima Sheikh’s Firdaus scrolls, which ambitiously weave together disparate elements to comment on Kashmir. In these perceptive essays, Sen deconstructs Anupam Sud’s representation of the body as beautiful and as an extension of her own identity, analyses Manjit Bawa’s ingenious merging of the mythic with the present, sees in Zarina Hashmi’s woodcuts the marks of migration and displacement, and accompanies S.H. Raza as he returns to his own past to reinvent the Bindu.
Illustrated by the paintings of these masters, each essay is a journey both by the artist and the author to explore lesser-known dimensions of their work.
About the Author
Dr. Geeti Sen is a cultural historian and author of six major books on Indian art. She was art critic for the Times of India, Mumbai, and for India Today, and assistant editor at Marg, Mumbai. From 1982 to 2006 she was chief editor of publications at the India International Centre, New Delhi. Presently, she is director of the Indian Cultural Centre in Kathmandu, Nepal.