By Karen A. Levine, Senior Editor, Art History
I and fellow colleagues from UC Press recently enjoyed not one but two opportunities to celebrate the new San Jose Museum of Art exhibition Postdate: Photography and Inherited History of India with our museum partners, including director Susan Krane and curator and author Jodi Throckmorton. This smart group show brings together artists whose works are entirely distinctive but share a fascination with the history of photography and visual culture in India. On February 5 the SJMA previewed the exhibition for an appreciative crowd of museum patrons, with several of the artists also in attendance, and on March 12 the museum offered another special viewing of Postdate while unveiling new work by video artist Diana Thater.
Having never seen anything quite like them before, we were particularly taken with the panoramic and lenticular Mumbai street scenes of Jitish Kallat; Gauri Gill’s poignant, jewel-like glass-plate portraits of village girls from Rajasthan; and the series of photo-performances by Pushpamala N., the artist featured on the cover of the exhibition catalogue. There are also not-to-be-missed projects by Nandan Ghiya, Annu Palakunnathu Matthew, Madhuban Mitra and Manas Battacharya, Raqs Media Collective, Vivan Sundaram, and Surekha.
Readers hungry for more on contemporary Indian art should watch for Sonal Khullar’s Worldly Affiliations: Artistic Practice, National Identity, and Modernism in India, 1930–1990, coming from UC Press this May. Bay Area residents can attend a free panel featuring Pushpamala N. at UC Berkeley’s Institute for South Asia Studies on April 3. And those interested in Thater might be interested in Gabrielle Jennings’s forthcoming Abstract Video: The Moving Image in Contemporary Art.
Enter to win a copy of the exhibition catalog for Postdate on Goodreads through April 13th.