Midnight to the Boom: Painting in India After Independence

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Following independence in 1947, India's artists faced a particular challenge: how to express the new nations distinctive character while entering a global discourse focused on modernisms universal premises of experimentation and shared human values. In the absence of a dominant aesthetic, painters could turn where they wished and blend as they liked from Abstract Expressionism to Tantric spiritualism; from Rajasthani painting to changes in India's complex politics, religions, castes and daily life. This richly illustrated, in-depth study, published to accompany the exhibition organized by the Peabody Essex Museum in the USA, surveys the three generations of artists responsible for these critical shifts in the development of India's modernist art. It shows how their achievements and the countries unprecedented boom ushered India's modern and contemporary art into a new era of globalism, a soaring international market, and an explosion in the media and technologies of art.