previews

New York

“THE PROGRESSIVE REVOLUTION: MODERN ART FOR A NEW INDIA”

Asia Society and Museum
725 Park Avenue
September 14 - January 20

Curated by Zehra Jumabhoy and Boon Hui Tan

In 1947, the sun finally set on the British Raj. In the same year, a group of leftists, including luminaries such as M. F. Husain, S. H. Raza, and F. N. Souza, founded the influential Progressive Artists’ Group. This fall at New York’s Asia Society, the revolutionary Bombay Progressives and their followers will anchor a landmark survey of more than eighty works accompanied by an illustrated catalogue. The Progressives insisted on a break both with tradition—Mughal miniatures and courtly paintings; vernacular, tribal, and folk art—and with empire to forge new visual languages and a modernism that was thoroughly, unmistakably Indian. Times have changed—Bombay is now Mumbai, and Hindu fundamentalism has all but destroyed the idea of a pluralist, secular nation. Emphasizing painting in the tumultuous postindependence period, this show takes us back to a time when another India was possible.