The Living Tradition

Perspectives on Modern Indian Art
Translated by
₹1,199.00 $40 £29.99


Now available in India. Forthcoming in the rest of the world in August 2024.

Explores the quest for individuality within the rich tapestry of artistic traditions.

K. G. Subramanyan (1924–2016) played a pivotal role in shaping India’s artistic identity after Independence. Mani-da, as he was fondly called, seamlessly blended elements of modernism with folk expression in his works, spanning paintings, murals, sculptures, prints, set designs and toys. Beyond his visual artistry, his writings have laid a solid foundation for understanding the demands of art on the individual. In the year of his centenary, Seagull is proud to publish his writings in special new editions.

The fulfilment of a modern Indian artist's wish to be part of a living tradition, i.e. to be individual and innovative, without being an outsider in his own culture, will not come of itself, it calls for concerted effort.

In The Living Tradition, a critical study of modern Indian art as it has evolved through continuous interaction with several traditions, foreign and indigenous, K. G. Subramanyan offers a theoretical groundwork for that ‘concerted effort’. In the course of his study, he explores the distinctions between Indian and European traditions, the continuities in India's folk traditions and the attempts of several thinkers and artists to identify an Indian artistic tradition or to deny it altogether in a quest for personal expression or universality. This essay is accompanied by a large selection of illustrations in colour.

ISBN: 9781803091310
Pages: 226 pages, 75 colour plates
Publication Year: 2024
Format: Hardback
Size: 6 x 9
Rights: India
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