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South Asian Art - At The Davis Museum In Wellesley


"Painted Songs and Stories" features the works of eight contemporary artists belonging to a tribal clan of Central India, the Pardhan Gonds, who traditionally serve as professional bardic priests. Starting in the early 1980s, certain talented Pardhan Gonds began transforming their ritual performing arts into a new tradition of figurative and narrative visual art: using a variety of modern media (including acrylic paintings on canvas, ink drawings on paper, silkscreen prints, and animated film) they have created unprecedented depictions of their natural and mythological worlds, traditional songs and oral histories. Rich in detail, color, mystery and humor, these artworks brilliantly employ modern means to evoke the pre-modern psyche. The exhibition, organized by the Wellesley College South Asia Studies Program, features selected works from the private collection of guest curator John H. Bowles.

April 7 – June 6, 2010 - Davis Museum in Wellesley College


This exhibition tells the story of Indian god prints, how the worship of Hindu deities became entwined with the export of printmaking expertise from Europe to India. These widely distributed devotional lithographs were printed first in Europe, and later at Indian-run commercial color presses, and became ubiquitous in commercial and domestic spaces across India. The exhibition will trace the history of this genre, and includes important examples of 19th-century prints produced in Germany for export to India, the earliest examples printed by the first Indian-run presses, and classic lithographs from the most famous early and mid-20th century Indian publishers.

Seeing God in Prints, the first formal presentation in the United States of this genre of Indian art, was organized by and first exhibited at International Print Center New York. It was curated by Andrew McCord and Mark Baron. Major support for Seeing God in Prints has been provided by The Reed Foundation, with additional funding from the PECO Foundation. At the Davis Museum, the exhibition is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Helyn MacLean Program Fund. It will complement Painted Songs and Stories: Contemporary Pardhan Gond Art from India (on view from April 7 - June 6).

Elizabeth Wyckoff
Assistant Director for Curatorial and Education
and Curator of Prints and Drawings

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