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India 20 - Conversations with Contemporary Indian Artists

A new book profiles India's 20 leading artists based on insightful interviews with them. Titled India 20 - Conversations with Contemporary Artists, the book has been authored by Anupa Mehta. The names that form part of the interview index are indeed impressive including Bose Krishnamachari, Atul Dodiya, Jitish Kallat and Jagannath Panda.

Alwar Balasubramanium, Anandjit Ray, Anju Dodiya, Baiju Parthan, Bharti Kher, Chittravanu Mazumdar, G Ravinder Reddy, G R Iranna, Jyothi Basu, Natraj Sharma, N S Harsha, Rm Palaniappan, Shibu Natesan, Subodh Gupta, Sudarshan Shetty and T V Santosh are among the other noteworthy names.

The book is a compilation of free-wheeling interviews with leading twenty contemporary Indian artists who are internationally recognized for their cutting edge work. The interviewer, Anupa Mehta, is a known writer and art consultant who has surveyed the Indian art scenario for over two decades. She recently published a novel, The Waiting Room.

India 20 - Conversations with Contemporary Artists follows a comprehensive, crisp, interactive and lively format. These are frank and free t'te-'-t'tes that offer an insight into the respective artist's mindset, idiom, trajectory, and broad artistic concerns. Each artist featured and interviewed has an inimitable style. As a creator, curator and practitioner of art in various forms and domains, Bose Krishnamachari likes to challenge and defy conventional concepts of visual art practices to set his own norms. Atul Dodiya's diverse and dynamic art practice, socially and politically responsible in nature, has evolved to become increasingly complex, with the subjects of his address, and his references more specific. According to the artist, Indian cataclysms, particularly spasms of Hindu-Muslim violence, have deeply impacted his work.

Chintan Upadhyay's creations force viewers to turn inward; they make us to look at ourselves. He often explores the iconography of Pop to convey his subject matter. His paintings, which carry references from media, advertisements, Bollywood and even the traditional miniature paintings, delve into the various aspects of metropolitan culture, including the vocabulary of popular culture and consumerism.

T.V.Santhosh's work brings into focus the growing influence of politics and media on our understanding of global issues. It deals with complex contemporary issues like global unrest, conflict and violence. Particularly, the network of terror powered by scientific intelligence and technological advances - a kind of unholy nexus between knowledge and terror - comes under his scanner.

G. R. Iranna's work, to begin with, was largely based on my personal memories and experiences. Now, my oeuvre has expanded immensely, and encompasses broader social concerns and issues that affect common people. This, I believe, has given my work an added depth and intensity. On the other hand, Jagannath Panda's drawings are very realistic, yet he does not offer the viewer a reference to the subject's existence, or rather he does not recreate a sense of panorama in his paintings.

Rm. Palaniappan's art has gone through various intellectual phases to evolve over the years. All these evolutions and trajectories of each individual artist are depicted in the book. The informal interview format juxtaposed with a wide selection of lovely images let the reader to map each artist's progression. The specially commissioned portraits by Nrupen Madhvani and others make the interviews come alive.

An introductory essay and a representative timeline that provide an overview of developments of Indian contemporary art make the book a precious record for art lovers keen on gaining a perspective on Indian contemporary art as reflected in the work of these twenty artists.

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