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A Mediated Magic - The Indian Presence in European Modernism 1880-1930

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Asia House

63 New Cavendish Street

London

W1G 7LP

United Kingdom

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'A Mediated Magic' publication will be available for purchase after the event. A drinks reception, kindly hosted by the Axel and Margaret Ax:son Johnson Foundation, will follow.

To mark the launch of this new book, its co-editor, Prof. Naman P Ahuja will present a talk on the particular image of India that was formed in the intellectual and artistic circles of the West at the height of colonialism. This was manifest in the fields of dance, theatre, drama, music, architecture, psychology and visual arts, and had a decisive impact on the creation and shape of Modernism. This richly illustrated talk with unpublished artworks shows the great artists of Europe in new light. The book also reveals how the nature of the perception of India fed back to India, and reconfirmed the Indian intelligentsia’s own self-image. So enduring has this legacy been that it has been invoked repeatedly: most famously in the 1960s hippie counter culture, and again, in the times in which we now live, with the rise of religiously grounded identity. Who were the key mediators of the idea of the magic of India to the modern world, and what was the nature of that mediation?


The talk will be followed by a panel discussion with its other authors, Prof. Partha Mitter, Jane Pritchard and Louise Belfrage.

Talk: 6.45 – 7.30; Panel discussion: 7.30-8.15; Reception: 8.15 – 9pm

This event is co-organised with the Axel and Margaret Ax:son Johnson Foundation, and is part of Asian Art in London.

Partha Mitter

Partha Mitter is a writer and historian of art and culture, specialising in the reception of Indian art in the West, as well as in modernity, art and identity in India. He did his doctorate with E. H. Gombrich (1970). In 1974 he joined Sussex University as Lecturer in Indian History, retiring in 2002 as Professor in Art History. His publications include Much Maligned Monsters: History of European Reactions to Indian Art (Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2013), Art and Nationalism in Colonial India 1850-1922: Occidental Orientations (Cambridge University Press, 1994) and The Triumph of Modernism: Indias artists and the avant-garde – 1922-1947, (Reaktion Books London, 2007).

Jane Pritchard

Jane Pritchard is curator of dance for the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. She curated Diaghilev and the Golden Age of the Ballets Russes, 1909–1929, for the V&A and seasons of dance films for the BFI Southbank, London; the British Council for Japan, and the Nureyev Foundation. Her most recent book is Anna Pavlova Twentieth-Century Ballerina. She was awarded an MBE for services to the arts in the 2014 New Years Honours.

Naman P. Ahuja

Naman P. Ahuja, is curator of Indian art, Professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University and Co-Editor of Marg Publications. His studies on ancient terracottas have drawn attention to the foundations of Indian visual culture and led to publications and curatorial projects exploring the aesthetics of Indian iconography, transculturalism in antiquity, as well as the historiography of the Arts and Crafts Movement. His latest book, Art and Archaeology of Ancient India: Earliest Times to the Sixth Century presents a comprehensive catalogue of the collections of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.

Louise Belfrage

Louise Belfrage is head of the cultural history programme at Axel and Margaret Ax:son Johnson Foundation. She has produced numerous seminars and TV programmes on Hilma af Klint and Museums of the World. She is Co-Editor of Hilma af Klint The Art of Seeing the Invisible (2015), Cultural Heritage at Risk (2016) and Hilma af Klint: Seeing is Believing (Koenig Books, 2017). The forthcoming Visionary (2019) is based on the symposium at the record-breaking exhibition Hilma af Klint - Paintings for the Future at the Guggenheim Museum, NY.

This event is part of the Asia House 2019 Autumn Arts and Learning Programme, a completely unique initiative in the UK in presenting a pan-Asian artistic and cultural programme with a scope of more than 40 countries in the region. Through our programme of events on arts, culture and education we act as a catalyst for the discovery of the diverse arts and cultures of Asia and the Asian diaspora, and serve as a bridge of understanding between the UK and Asia.

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Date and Time

Location

Asia House

63 New Cavendish Street

London

W1G 7LP

United Kingdom

View Map

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 1 day before event

Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

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