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Contemporary Art

In 1947, India became independent of British rule. A group of six artists - K. H. Ara, S. K. Bakre, H. A. Gade, M.F. Husain, S.H. Raza and F.N. Souza - founded the Bombay Progressive Artist’s Group in the year 1952, to establish new ways of expressing India in the post-colonial era. Though the group was dissolved in 1956, it was profoundly influential in changing the idiom of Indian art. Almost all India’s major artists in the 1950s were associated with the group. Some of those who are well-known today are Bal Chabda, Manishi Dey, V. S. Gaitonde, Krishen Khanna, Ram Kumar, Tyeb Mehta, K. G. Subramanyan, A. Ramachandran, Devender Singh, Akbar Padamsee, John Wilkins, Himmat Shah and Manjit Bawa. Present day Indian art is varied as it had been never before. Among the best known artists of the present generation include Bose Krish- namachari and Bikash Bhattacharya to name a few. Another prominent Pakistani modernist was Ismail Gulgee, who after about 1960 adopted an abstract idiom that combines aspects of Islamic calligraphy with an abstract expressionism (or gestural abstractionist) sensibility. Paintings and sculptures remained important in the late twentieth century, though the works of these leading artists such as Nalini Malani, Subodh Gupta, Narayanan Ramachandran, Vivan Sundaram, Jitish Kallat often found radical and new directions, thereby appearing fresh and unusual.

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