From Washington Times:
The first major U.S. exhibition of the contemporary art of India is spread between two New York City museums and is arranged to illustrate five interlocking themes that reflect a subcontinent torn between economic globalization and isolating nationalism linked to religious fundamentalism.
The Asia Society gallery in Manhattan is exhibiting art with thematic content described as "Unruly Visions" and "Location/Longing," and it is the smaller show, mostly paintings. The Queens Museum of Art in the outer borough of Queens is exhibiting more varied art work that reflects "Transient Self," "Contested Terrain" and "Recycled Futures."
There are more than 80 exhibits including paintings, sculpture, drawings, photographs, installations, video and interactive media creations dating from 1993 to the present. Thirty-eight artists, some of them internationally recognized and some just emerging and three art collectives are represented in the show which will run at both museums through June 5.
... Everything in the show was chosen to get the attention of the Western viewer including an inflatable, walk-through Hindu temple. One of the most arresting is a sculptural work by N.N. Rimzon titled "Speaking Stones," depicting a squatting male nude, his face held despairingly in his hands, surrounded by a score of rough boulders that weigh down photographs of violence in India, particularly in Kashmir.
The Kashmir situation is also treated by Nilima Sheikh in canvas wall scrolls bearing casein tempera miniatures in the Mughal style of Indian art that record the history of religious and political strife that has riven an earthly paradise. The artist's sculptor husband, Gulammohammed Sheikh, depicts the destruction of a famous mosque in Ayodhya in 1992, setting off years of sectarian unrest, in the form of a portable shrine composed of a wooden box with multiple doors.
At the core of the exhibition are three resonant paintings by K.G. Subramanyan, an 81-year-old artist whose work is rooted in early Indian modernism. He draws on folk art and tribal traditions to create a canvas such as "Black Boys Fight Demons" reflecting avant-garde vision enforced by popular culture. Echoing this approach is Surendran Nair's "Mephistopheles," and amusing depiction of a holy man in the act of levitation.