Beyond Conventions

By: Shatarupa Thakurta Roy   Tanvi Jain  

New materials in art were introduced from the very beginning of the 20th century; however, the era of Postmodernism in Europe deconstructed the meaning of art by blending and challenging distinctions between high art, low art, and popular culture. Transgressing the boundaries of art also means using unconventional materials or modes of presentation. It anticipated the dissolution of barriers between life and art, hence, objects of every sort became materials for the new art. While a direct shift of material along with artistic movements and changing social realities is evident in the west, no studies had discussed the potential and evolution of material in Indian art hitherto. This paper intends to analyse the transition from modern to postmodern ideology which in turn brought in a change in the use of art materials. By mapping the lines of historical shift from modernism to postmodernism and taking reference of the western timeline, the paper will first establish conventionality in the context of Indian art and thereby trace the evolution of material by discussing the works of three Indian artists of this transitional phase. The study is going to be critical analysis supported by personal interviews of contemporary artists. Further, by examining the applicability of the contemporary art materials to its environment, the study will give a slight introduction to the dialectical discourse of ethics in art, thereby questioning the larger narrative of the position and purpose of art in the contemporary Indian context.

Contemporary Indian Art, Postmodernism, Experimental Materials, Ethics, Art and Environment
Arts Theory and History
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Shatarupa Thakurta Roy

Presently an assistant professor jointly with the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences and Design Programme, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, India. Developed and taught several courses in Art and Design. Current areas of research and teaching are History of Art, Art Appreciation and Criticism and Design Theory. I am also a practicing artist with several national and international exhibitions to my credit.

Tanvi Jain

Humanities and Social Sciences, India

Tanvi is a practicing artist and a research scholar based in India. She is interested in the repurposing of materials in art and incorporates the same in her practice. She has engaged in several collaborative and participatory art projects with local communities. Her practice is a continuous reaction towards the contemporary and historic socio-political realities that incorporate people as a point of discourse and interrogation. She has started experimenting with pro-environmental processes and materials of art production alongside her research. She was awarded Junior Research Fellowship and one year National Scholarship in 2015. She has been a part of over thirty national and international exhibitions including Third Kunming Biennale, China, 2016; 17th Asian Art Biennale, Bangladesh, 2016; Kolkata Art Festival, India, 2017, All India Women Artist’s Exhibition, India, 2016 etc. to name a few. Tanvi had been invited to participate in national and international symposiums and panel discussions. She had presented papers at two national conferences and had been a part of important camps and workshops.