Positioning Indian Art in a Global Market
by Aziz Kurtha , , pp.,
October 2006, volume 30, No 10

The recent publication of Aziz Kurtha’s Francis Newton Souza: Bridging Western and Indian Modern Art is perhaps unsurprising in a context where prices of modern Indian art generally are constantly reaching ever more spectacular levels both nationally and elsewhere. Certainly, one of the key objectives of the book is to offer an art market perspective to the art collector, the many asides with reference to ownership, signature and prices are a clue to these concerns. Indeed, the title itself can be read as an index of the manner in which Indian art is being positioned in a global market. Yet, the book is timely also in another sense – it underlines the urgent need for new critical reassessments of modern Indian art. Even a casual look at bibliographies on Souza, even the one appended to the book under review, indicates that most of the serious writing on Souza was published decades ago, contemporary catalogue essays are also not quite plentiful. Most websites mainly carry obituaries of the painter or dated accounts of his work rather than any systematic or critical description (see, for example, http://www.fnsouza.net/about.htm).

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