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Virtual Galleries - Art Movements of 1960s

Following the decades of the 40s and the 50s, dominated by the aesthetic values of School of Paris, the Indian art scene in the 60s witnessed a change in direction: the language of traditional Indian art came back into reckoning; artists actively entered into dialogue with traditional visual language and reinvented their own contexts. The factors prompting this change were numerous.

Artist and aesthetician Jagdish Swaminathan, in New Delhi, opposed the modernist aesthetics brought by the colonial powers. Prof. K. G. Subramanyan, trained at Kala Bhavana, Santiniketan, for his part, played a seminal role in spreading the Santiniketan philosophy, stressing that traditional visual language was a rich art historical resource. He used traditional elements with a modernist sensibility giving a new direction to visual language.

By the early 60s a strong feeling of nationhood was palpable. In Madras, KCS Panikar formed the Cholamandalam artists’ community. Artists looked anew at traditional sources of imagery. Elsewhere, artists like Ganesh Pyne in Calcutta whose personal sensibilities made him delve into his heritage, also revisited tradition. Jogen Chowdhury, who, following his exposure to European art in Paris stopped working for a while, returned to evolve, a visual language that carried resonances of local traditions. Visual traditions, classical, folk and popular, coloured the imagination of several artists in Baroda where Subramanyan played the role of a catalyst. The creative ferment in Baroda urged experiments with the narrative mode and figuration. Gulammohammed Sheikh, Bhupen Khakhar, Jyoti Bhatt, Neelima Sheikh, Laxma Goud and others charted a new course.

These artists were inspired by the past practices and living traditions. They looked a new at murals, miniature art, illuminated manuscripts and texts. Their imagination absorbed the vitality of decorative elements of tribal and folk arts.


S B Palsikar

One without a Second, Tempera, 185X185 cm

J Swaminathan

Memory’s Journey, Oil on canvas, 126.8X76 cm

Bhupen Khakhar

Hamam Khana, Oil on canvas, 122X121.5 cm

Ganesh Pyne

Mother and Child, Tempera, 66X55 cm

Jogen Chowdhury

Reminiscences of Dream No 18, Watercolour on paper, 55.2X55.2 cm

KCS Paniker

Words and Symbols, Oil on board, 151X121.3 cm

K Ramanujam

My Dream World, Pen and ink on paper, 98.8X152.5 cm

Gulam Mohamed Sheikh

Meghdoot, Oil on canvas, 169X118 cm

Laxma Goud

Untitled, Mixed Media, 20.3X30.4 cm


A.A. Almelkar

Miniature Painting

Tanjore and Mysore

European Traveller Artists

Company Period

Kalighat Painting

Academic Realism

Bengal School

Amrita Sher-Gil

Jamini Roy

Gaganendranath Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore


Artists Collectives

Abstraction in Contemporary Indian Art

Art Movements of 1960s

Art Movements in 1970s


Modern Sculptures

Print Making


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