13 May, 2021

The Calendar Of Art

Perhaps, a second volume is needed to do justice to this fascinating subject.

The Calendar Of Art
Forbidden fruit apart, there’s more to Pakistani art than we thought. Over the last decade, Pakistani artists—particularly the women—have boldly critiqued authoritarian and obscurantist forces. And they have done so with aesthetic verve and imaginative experimentation, without casting off traditional art forms like miniatures and calligraphy.

India and Pakistan share the same art heritage of Rajasthani, Pahadi and Mughal miniatures. Yet post-Partition, they took divergent paths. Art and politics have been "uneasy yet constant bed fellows in Pakistani art", according to Salima Hashmi. Perhaps that explains their vibrancy. Hashmi shows how women artists used irony, black humour (and the burqa) to confront the male gaze, tackle issues of identity and re-appropriate their own bodies.

Dalmia takes us through Indian art from the turn of the 20th century up to now. Unfortunately, the picture is far from complete, with much of what was and is happening in the south, east and central parts of India missing. Perhaps, a second volume is...

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