Art and Independence mapinpub

Art and Independence

Y.G. Srimati and the Indian Style
John Guy

The career of Y.G. Srimati—classical singer, musician, dancer and painter—represents a continuum in which each of these skills and experiences merged, influencing and pollinating each other.

“If artists like [Amrita] Sher-Gil boldly defied norms by looking west for inspiration, Srimati remained affixed to her eastern roots—absorbed in the profusion of mythologies, histories, and folk tales from the subcontinent—with as much steadfastness and courage of conviction.” —Somak Ghoshal, Open Magazine

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The career of Y.G. Srimati—classical singer, musician, dancer and painter—represents a continuum in which each of these skills and experiences merged, influencing and pollinating each other.
Born in Mysore in 1926, Srimati was part of the generation much influenced by the rediscovery of a classical Sanskrit legacy devoted to the visual arts. Soon swept up in the nationalist movement for an independent India, she was deeply moved by the time she spent with Mahatma Gandhi. For the young Srimati, the explicit referencing of the past and of religious subjects came together in an unparalleled way, driven by the conscious striving for an indigenous agenda. This experience gave form and meaning to her art, and largely defined her style.

As John Guy demonstrates in this sumptuous volume, as a painter of the mid and late twentieth century, Y.G. Srimati embodied a traditionalist position, steadfast in her vision of an Indian style, one which resonated with those who knew India best.

John Guy is the Florence and Herbert Irving Curator of the Arts of South and Southeast Asia at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and an elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, London, and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He formerly served as Senior Curator of Indian art at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. He has curated numerous international exhibitions and is widely published in journals and collected volumes. His major books include Indian Art and Connoisseurship (ed. 1995), Vietnamese Ceramics: A Separate Tradition (1997), Woven Cargoes: Indian Textiles in the East (1998, repr. 2009), Indian Temple Sculpture (2007, repr. 2017), Wonder of the Age: Master Painters of India (2011), Interwoven Globe: The Worldwide Textile Trade, 1500–1800 (co-author 2013), and Lost Kingdoms: Hindu-Buddhist Sculpture of Early Southeast Asia (2014).

• Preface and Acknowledgements
• Art & Independence: Y.G. Srimati and the Indian Style
• Early Years 1946–1952
• Mythology and Devotion
• The Bengal School and Journey from Ajanta
• Bhagavad Gita and Panchatantra
• Picturing Sound: The Ragamala Series
• New York Late Works
• Life and Times of Y.G. Srimati
• Exhibition History, Collections and Publications
• Bibliography
• Photography Credits
ISBN 9789385360404
Pages 144
Number of photographs 63
Number of illustrations 68
Size 8.26 x 11.69" (210 x 297 mm), hc
Date of Publishing 2019
Language(s) English
Rights Available World rights
“Dr. John Guy... makes an important contribution for the recognition of Srimati’s contribution to Modern Indian Art. The catalogue... is exemplary...”
—The New Indian Express