Browsing: Art

Contemporary Indian art, antiquities from South Asia & noted artists from India and Pakistan.

1 Walking with the Dalai Lama

“I am convinced that if more of us could spend a few minutes every day trying to develop a sense of inner peace, eventually it would become part of our lives; then everything we do will contribute to peace in the world.”

These were the words of the Dalai Lama about The Missing Peace project which took place in 2007 at the Rubin Museum, sponsored by the Committee of 100 for Tibet and the Dalai Lama Foundation. The exhibit may be long over but here as we browse some of the images and the text, re-walk the galleries in memory, the exercise becomes both a meditation and a benediction.

2 This Ravaged Land

The tragedy of Partition is almost Shakespearean in its fallout. It’s been over sixty-three years since this catastrophic event occurred yet its effects continue to unfold, like seismic aftershocks. No one on the Indian sub-continent has really escaped its scathing wounds as the two countries carved out of undivided India in 1947 – independent India and Pakistan – reel even today from the legacy of hatred and suspicion unleashed by the Partition. In reality, one people, one culture, today stand on opposite shores – We and They – talking in tongues which neither understands.
One would think that everything that had to be said about the Partition has been said but along comes Sarah Singh, an intrepid film-maker who has boldly gone into this troubled, calloused territory.

0 From Viet Nam to India

Would you like to import an elephant or a rhino perhaps? Ornaments of jade, lapis lazuli, crystal and carnelian?

We may think of global trade as a modern day invention but way back in the ancient world there was a brisk trade and rich cultural exchange going on between far-flung countries. ‘Arts of Ancient Viet Nam: From River Plain to Open Sea’ is an intriguing new exhibition at The Asia Society in collaboration with Museum of Fine Arts Houston, which shows the interconnections which existed between Viet Nam and many countries, including India.

0 Home and the World

Think of home, and for many Indian immigrants it evokes memories of cool interiors, a whirring fan and the street sounds floating from the outside. Inside was a cool, domestic heaven, outside was the chaos, the traffic, the ugly realities of the work world, of political upheaval, of price cuts. It was always about inside and outside, two very different worlds. And now in our new global world it is about India interacting with a larger, more complex world at its doorstep.

0 President Abdul Kalam Turns Photography Fan

They’ve come from different parts of America, each finding their way to India. With their cameras, eleven American photographers have captured the essence of the country, each drawn to the lush, visual kaleidoscope that is India.

0 Sipping Wine with F.N. Souza

Looking at those powerful images, I was reminded of an evening many years ago spent interviewing Francis Newton Souza in his rundown Manhattan apartment. Art was everywhere and not a spot to sit on, until he pointed to a big bundle of magazine covers with his bold pen-work on it. Quite irreverently he commanded ‘Just sit on it!’ – and I did.

0 Birendra Pani’s Spring Chases the Winter Blues

Snow, blizzards, ice, the grim topography of winter. Caught in the clutch of cold, hazy mornings and dark evenings in New York, I suddenly got a gift from the artist Birendra Pani. An image of Spring, sent via email. It certainly lifts up the spirits, making one’s heart soar like a kite. So if you’re feeling the winter blues, take a whiff of Spring. It’s not too far away!

0 Pakistani Art from the Heart


That’s probably the word one is searching for when asked about the new face of Pakistani art which is now being shown in art centers internationally. For a country in so much pain politically and socially – not to mention economically – Pakistan is surprisingly on top of things where art is concerned.

0 Painting Pakistan

“The steel structure of Spine is transformed through the stitching of red suede, and was inspired by the two-piece choli that is worn at weddings in the Subcontinent. Spine led me to rethink the function of the choli and the inherent contradictions it carries; it is, at the same time, flirtatious and oppressive.”

– Naiza Khan

1 Searching for the Divine

Krishna the Blue God and the Beautiful Names of Allah are both the work of the same artist, and each painting is suffused with a spirituality which cannot fail to move viewers. For Salma Arastu there is but one god and one humanity and she reiterates this belief in painting after painting.

0 Kashmir: Return to Paradise

In recent years, Kashmir has been a flawed paradise, a killing field where families have been torn asunder and homes lost forever. The timeless, idyllic place that visitors in happier times remember may well be lost, never to be experienced again. Yet there is a strength and beauty that lives on in the arts of diehard, resilient Kashmiris who, in spite of all the difficulties, continue to create crafts that blossom like the flowers of their native land. (This antique shawl above shows the map of Kashmir)

1 The Purdah Comes Down

Creating a space for voices which are seldom heard has been the passion for Myna Mukherjee, director of Engendered, a New York-based human rights organization which recently held the first ever South Asian Queer Leaders Summit in New York. You heard some strong, individual voices including those of Sunil Pant, Nepal’s first openly gay parliamentarian who worked to get same sex marriage rights for the community there

5 A Chat with M.F.Husain on his 94th Birthday

Would you like to go to a birthday party? A 94-year-old’s very special birthday party? Should I add – M.F. Husain’s 94th birthday party?

With a birthday cake decorated with his famous horses and the iconic artist himself showcasing his latest work – a grand 45 by 13 feet canvas which chronicles 9 decades of his life – it was a must-see, must-be-at event.

0 A Journey to the East

In the heart of Chelsea in New York stands a bountiful bulwark and anchor of Eastern spirituality, a treasure trove of hundreds of Himalayan artifacts, as peaceful and inspiring as a Buddhist temple. This is the Rubin Museum of Art, started just four years ago by the noted philanthropists and collectors, Donald and Shelley Rubin.

1 The Guggenheim Turns 50

There are hundreds of people streaming around a circular, stunning white building on Fifth Avenue as cars and buses and taxis honk and inch their way on the traffic laden street. With a start you realize the men are all wearing suits and hats, the women prim dresses, even the children are dressed decorously in coat dresses – and the automobiles are all large, with chrome plating and flashy tail fins.

0 Art for Tough Times

So you love contemporary Indian art but don’t want to burn a deep hole in your pocket with the high prices? Aicon Editions may be just the answer for tough, economic times.

0 Gauri Gill Photographs the Americans

When you look at Gauri Gill’s images in her touring collection ‘The Americans’, it sometimes feels as if you’re gazing into a mirror and seeing a reflection of yourself. Indeed, there will be few immigrants who do not see a piece of themselves, a bit of their story echoed in her photographs.

0 Remembering Tom Keehn

He was a true friend to India, to human causes and to artists – and the world is a lesser place for his passing. An era ends with the death of Thomas B.Keehn, 93, whose sojourn in India had an impact on the nascent art movement in India.

0 Indian Art: The Gaur Collection

As director of the AIDS program, Sunanda is committed to Child Life therapy, which is play therapy for children with chronic diseases. She finds art invaluable in diagnosing emotional disorders in children and a great therapy.

2 Carved in Gold: An Intense Devotion

In the collection there is a pair of tiny sandals for a deity, made of sheet gold with rubies, diamonds and pearls. There are also gold accoutrements for a Krishna shrine – umbrella, rattles, peacock and parrots as playthings for Baby Krishna.