Archive Exhibit: The World of the Gods: Tradition and Modernity in South Asia

December 2 - February 10, 2011

Tantric ritual image, circa 1985

"The World of the Gods” presents paintings and works on paper depicting the gods and goddesses of Hindu and Buddhist South Asia.  The show explores both traditional image-making practices and the transformation of traditional imagery by self-consciously modern artists in India, Nepal and elsewhere. Curated by art historian Debashish Banerji, the show includes clusters of work featuring treatments of the gods Ganesha, Shiva and Vishnu, or the goddess Devi. A brochure with an essay by Banerji, published to compliment the exhibit, is available in the gallery.

Among the artists represented in the show are Ramananda Bandyopadhyay, of Kolkata, India, among the most reputed and senior modern artists of India; Sohan Qadri, who lives in Copenhagen, Denmark, and who is among the leaders of the genre of geometric optical experimentation known as Neo-Tantra; Biswarup Datta, a resident of Bankura in Bengal who often paints images of goddesses with imaginative attributes, stretching their symbolism; Allen Harrison, an artist from Los Angeles who utilizes the postures and multiple body parts of Hindu and Buddhist deities in repeating and ornamental patterns so as to infuse subliminal presences and energy forms in semi-abstract landscapes, and others, including anonymously produced paintings and ritual images which reflect regional traditions. 

Related link: http://www.pasadena.edu/artgallery

 

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