In the Presence of Another Sky traces the nearly seven-decade-long arc of Sakti Burman’s career, situating the artist in various contexts, including Indian modernism, the School of Paris, the sumptuous background of the Renaissance and the Baroque, the enchantments of commedia dell’arte,the turbulence of a Europe wrestling with questions of migration and an India vexed by rival claims on identity.Ranjit Hoskote, poet, cultural theorist and curator, adapts the literary and cinematic techniques of montage to tell this story, not in chronological order, but by reference to Burman’s lifeworld, distributed across France and India, and his varied emotional and intellectual investments, whether in the art of Ajanta and Pompeii, his childhood memories of festivity, or the talismanic power of the Kalighat gouaches and Dokhra objects he collects. This book maps, without simply replicating, the mise-en-scene of the eponymous retrospective of Burman’s work, held at the National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai, in 2017.
Baiju Parthan, (1956, Kerala, India) is an inter-media artist, working with painting as well as digital technology based installation art. He is one of the early exponents of new media art and mediatic-realism in the Indian contemporary art scene. His work presents worldviews built upon differing ideologies that are in collision and transforming each other, and the resulting ontological fallout felt by us all. Human history thus becomes a compilation of tracks, traces, and debris left behind by such collisions for the artist.Included in the book are essays by poet, cultural theorist and curator Ranjit Hoskote; Dr Leon Tan art and culture historian, critic, educator and registered psychotherapist; and well known writer on Modern and Contemporary Art Gopal Mirchandani.The book provides a documentation of Baiju Parthan’s works from 2007 to 2016, and is presented by Art Musings, to coincide with the artist’s solo exhibition ‘Necessary Illusions’. Art Musings is a Mumbai – based gallery committed to engaging with modern and contemporary Indian art in its many facets. After Image Publishing is a Division of Art Musings.
Sakti Burman was born in Calcutta in 1935 and educated at the Government College of Art and Craft there, and at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris. He has lived between France and India since the mid-1950s. Since the early 1960s, Burman has had held numerous exhibitions of his work in India, France, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, and the USA. Among the salons in which he has been invited to participate are the Biennale de Paris, Section Française at the Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris; the Salon d’Automne, Grand Palais, Paris Salon de la Jeune Peinture, Paris; the Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux Arts, Paris; and the Salon des Artistes Français, Grand Palais, Paris. His solo exhibitions include The Enraptured Gaze (2009) and The Beholder’s Share (2016), both presented by Art Musings.Burman’s works have found place in the collections of major museums and cultural institutions, including the British Museum, London; the Musée de la Ville, Paris; the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi; the National Gallery, Auckland; the Punjab Museum, Chandigarh; the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Bombay; and the Ministry of Culture, Government of France, Paris.In the course of a distinguished career, Burman has received many honours, including the Prix des Etrangers, École des Beaux-Arts, Paris; the Medaille Arts, Science et Lettres, Paris; the Medaille d’Argent de Montmorency; the Medaille d’Or, Salon des Artistes Français, Grand Palais, Paris; and the Prix de la Ville de l’Isle-Adam, France. Burman’s art has been the focus of several publications, among them Sakti Burman: Dreamer on the Ark (2001) and Sakti Burman: A Private Universe (2014).
In some countries, the cultural authorities designate as national treasures not only precincts, buildings and artefacts, but also individuals who have, through their thought and work, contributed to the creation and nourishment of culture. In this sense, S H Raza is a national treasure. Raza is the last surviving founder member of the Progressive Artists Group, which was among the most salient of the circles and formations of artists who came into their own during the late 1940s in India.Well into his nineties, he continues to be a questor for new horizons of significance. Over the decades, he has renounced the pleasures of the perceived landscape and the figure’s mingled festivity and anguish. Instead, he has dedicated himself to a symbolic vocabulary and a system of geometrical interpretations with which he celebrates the cosmos in which the individual is both homeless wanderer and returning native.The bindu or plenum-void is the best known of Raza’s symbols, but his pictorial subtleties embrace a far wider range of preoccupations. He invokes the blaze of the desert sun, the shadows of clouds, the presence of the replenishing waters, the unread map of the cardinal directions. Raza is the cartographer of the spirit’s seasons: witness to all that is subject to the flux of time and also to all that remains constant, that abides despite the flux of time.This book provides a documentation of SH Raza’s works made since his return from France to India in 2011, and presented by Art Musings.
Maite Deltei (born 1933, Fumel, France) received her art education at Ecole Des Beaux – Arts, Academie de la Grand Chaumiere, Academie Julian and the National School of Art. This was followed by a fellowship from the Government of France to study in Spain and Greece. Delteil worked under the painter Roger Chapelain – Midy and the engraver Robert Cami. Her work has been exhibited widely in Europe, America and Japan.Enchanted celebrates a solo exhibition of Deltiel’s work at Art Musings in Mumbai, 2013. The publication documents works that span the artist’s career, and catalogues her most recent works. It also presents rare photographs of the artist with her family, including her husband, the celebrated artist Sakti Burman.It includes an in – depth essay by Dr. Alka Pande who considers the nature of the artist’s journey in relation to the artist’s bicultural influences, and delves into Deltiel’s personal histories in a conversation with the artist.Anupa Mehta offers a stylistic analysis of the artist’s current body of work.Ranjit Hoskote’s poems, chosen from his published work, offer a correspondence to Deltiel’s concerns.
Syed Haider Raza, (1922), is one of the most prominent Indian artists. As the original member of the Progressive Artists group, Raza shaped the face of modernism in India with his own unique vision and style. Vistaar offers an in-depth look at the life and career of the artist, and includes over a hundred reproductions of his work from the 1950s until the present day, guiding readers through the evolution of his aesthetic of the Bindu. A collection of pages from Raza’s journals and studio sketches articulate insights into the mind of the artist. Included is an essay by Ranjit Hoskote, which delves into the conceptualization of Raza’s paintings. Ashok Vajpeyi considers the nature of the artist’s journey in his essay. Yashodhara Dalmia discusses Raza’s memories and personal histories in a conversation with the artist. The visual history of Raza’s art is woven together through an analysis by Avni Doshi. The book has been published by Afterimage, a publishing initiative of Art Musings.
Baiju Parthan (1956) who entered the contemporary Indian art scene as a self-declared ‘outsider’, is today an acclaimed painter. He is also one of the pioneers of intermedia art in India. Written by the noted art critic, poet and curator Ranjit Hoskote, Baiju Parthan: A User’s Manual takes the reader on a tour through the artist’s diversely populated imagination. It maps Parthan’s journey from his childhood, through his student years, to his gradual improvisation of a niche for himself in the contemporary Indian art scenario. This book records Parthan’s participation in the countercultural hippie scene, his encounters with spiritual teachings and shamanic lore, his formal experiments and his engagement with media flows and alternative reality environments. It includes a monographic essay on the artist by Hoskote as well as a freewheeling conversation, between artist and author, extracts from Parthan’s journal, a section on his intermedia works and a selection of the artist’s occasional writings. The book has been published by Afterimage, a publishing initiative of Art Musings.