Keeping the gospel of free and imaginative thinking alive in the country, Indian artists have brought the name and glory to themselves and the nation. Unmindful of the man-made barriers, they have transcended to a level where the world is their home and take inspiration from diverse schools of thought, at home and abroad. This adds to the characteristic tinge to their work that appeals to the global art-lover alike.

Indian artists like V S Gaitonde, F N Souza, Tyab Mehta, M F Hussain have surely carved a niche for themselves on the global stage and the younger blood is following suit.

Let’s take a look at some of the artists.

  1. Nalini Malani
  2. Drawing from literature, mythology and personal life, Nalini Malini is a true global artist for her art has transcended the boundaries of cultures. She works with diverse media, including drawing, painting, projected animation, shadow play, video and film, where she sensibly addresses the social issues through her syncing modern and traditional elements together. Being affected by 1947 Partition, the theme is very close to her heart and finds catharsis in many of her creations. Her spectacular and sensitive art has earned her many accolades and given her a towering reputation in the world largely dominated by male artists.

  3. Bharti Kher
  4. The central theme of her art is exploring and representing misconceptions, ambiguity, conflict in contemporary human life. The way she has made use of bindi– a traditional Indian woman forehead decoration- displays the oscillation between tradition and modernity in a woman’s life. She also engages with allegorical tales, fantastical creatures, magical beasts and mystical monsters.

  5. Subodh Gupta
  6. Trained as a painter, Subodh went on to experiment with a variety of media. His work encompasses sculpture, installation, painting, photography, performance and video. He masters at transforming the icons of everyday life into artworks that are readable globally. He is among a generation of young Indian artists whose commentary tells of a country on the move, fuelled by boiling economic growth and a more materialistic mindset.

  7. Raqib Shaw
  8. Known for his sumptuous and minutely detailed paintings of imagined paradises, and inlaid with vibrantly coloured jewels and enamel, Raqib’s artwork is a splendour to see on a canvas. In his own words,” these fantastical worlds are laden with satire and irony, and can be read as a commentary on my own experience of living in this society, and of being alive”.

  9. Jogen Chaudhary
  10. Jogen Chowdhury himself is a master of lines and he has mastered to make the curves depict the character of his figures. By careful distortion of the form he imparts the air of caricature in his figures, figures of men and women.

  11. Jitish Kallat
  12. Jitish’s work is inspired by his encounters with the multi-sensory environment of Mumbai. Noted art historian Chaitanya Sambrani has remarked, “His practice as painter has frequently highlighted a concern he shares with the founders of Indian modernism in visual and literary art. Kallat has couched his references to the “underdog” in a hyper-pop language in order to signal the ironies that attend the lives of migrant workers and menial labourers in India’s megacities: people met on “second class” train compartments, people whose labour continues to keep afloat the nation’s aspirations.”

  13. Atul Dodiya
  14. Much influenced by modernist currents and Indian modernist masters like F N Souza and Tyab Mehta, Dodiya re-interprets their traditions through a fresh contemporary perspective. He brilliantly engages with both political and art history in a way that entwines global and public memory.

  15. Akbar Padamsee
  16. Considered one of the pioneers in Modern Indian painting, Padamsee has developed his proficiency in working with various mediums including oil painting, plastic emulsion, water colour, sculpture, printmaking, computer graphics, and photography, and also worked as a filmmaker, sculptor, photographer, engraver, and lithographer. His work is largely introspective. His topics include landscapes, nudes, heads and he has done portraits created in pencil and charcoal.

  17. Shilpa Gupta
  18. Renowned for her interdisciplinary practices, Shilpa utilizes interactive video, photography, installation and performance to portray her varied themes like consumer culture, desire, security, religion and human rights. She is amongst the young generation of Indian artists whose work is a poetic display of the contemporary India’s social divisions.

  19. Zarina Hashmi
  20. Zarina creates abstract work that resonates with her life experiences of exile and dispossession and the concept of home. Her contemplative, poetic works includes woodcuts, etchings, drawings, rubbings and casts made from paper pulp. Her handcrafted and calligraphic lines constitute a unifying element in her compositions.