New Delhi: To celebrate the release of the book (Roli Books), an exhibition of selected works from the Crites collection was also opened for public viewing at the Bikaner House.
The exhibition will remain open from 14 – 24 October 2017, between 10.30 am – 6.30 pm. Please note that Bikaner House will be shut on October 19 & 21, 2017.
About the Book
Jangarh Singh Shyam was born in the early 1960s to an impoverished, indigenous family in rural, central India. He flew into and out of the Indian art scene like a bright, yet elusive bird. Nurtured by the renowned artist J. Swaminathan at Bharat Bhavan, the multi-arts centre in Bhopal, Jangarh rose to prominence after participating in a seminal exhibition in Paris.
After a relatively brief career spanning 20-odd years, he committed suicide in Japan, while on an artist residency in the remote Niigata Prefecture. His work, which arguably defied established art historical categories and inspired a contemporary school of indigenous painting, continues to attract admirers within India and abroad.
Exploring his aesthetics, thematic engagements and art historical relevance, this book focuses on Niloufar and Mitchell S. Crites’ collection of Jangarh Singh Shyam’s paintings and drawings in New Delhi.
About the Author
Aurogeeta Das trained as a printmaker and completed her postgraduate and doctoral studies at the University of Westminster, London. Her PhD involved extensive research on Indian floor-drawing and floor-painting traditions, a genre of domestic practices that Jangarh had drawn upon to create a transformed ‘contemporary tradition’.
In 2005, the Museum of London hosted an exhibition of the artist Bhajju Shyam’s work, titled The London Jungle Book, where Aurogeeta first encountered Pardhan-Gond art.
Entranced, she began researching this school of art for her postgraduate dissertation, thus discovering the incredible art and life of Bhajju’s uncle and the founder of the ‘contemporary tradition’, Jangarh Singh Shyam. As she told Jangarh’s widow Nankusia, ‘Jangarh fever’ took hold of her. Aurogeeta has written for numerous publications, including Wasafiri, Manifesta Journal, Arts of Asia, Etnofoor, New Quest and First City.
In 2015, the Tagore Centre in London published her limited edition artist book, If only I were a bird… Aurogeeta has taught at the Universities of East Anglia, Hertfordshire and Westminster and regularly lectures on Indian art at Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London. She is close to completing research towards a biography of Jangarh.
About the Photographers
Robyn Beeche (1945–2015) moved from Sydney to London in the mid-1970s. From catwalk shows to clubs, she captured the leading artists and designers of the time and worked extensively with Zandra Rhodes, Vivienne Westwood and Mary Quant. She is celebrated for her ground-breaking pre-Photoshop photographs of painted bodies, collaborating with legendary make-up artists.
After regularly travelling to India for several years, she permanently relocated to Vrindavan in 1992, and documented the festivals and the Vraj culture of the region. Her photographic works can be found in the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
The Robyn Beeche Foundation, which was set up in her memory in 2016, maintains and promotes her photographic archive, and provides charitable support to emerging artists.
Abhinav Goswami is a temple priest, photographer and student of archaeology who lives in Vrindavan.