Beyond the Page Exhibition Catalogue

Exhibition Catalogues


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Edited by Fay Blanchard and Anthony Spira, with contributions from Emily Hannam and Hammad Nasar.

A richly illustrated exploration of the impact of South Asian Miniature painting on contemporary art.

This book tells the dynamic story of contemporary art’s engagement with the miniature painting traditions of South Asia from the sixteenth century onwards, and the role of Britain in these developments.

This is the first publication to address this remarkable painting tradition on a transhistorical and transnational scale. Readers are invited to admire the formal, technical and conceptual innovations of some of the most exciting historic and contemporary artists from South Asia, while reflecting on questions of culture and power in the entangled histories of empire and globalisation.

Many of the greatest collections of South Asian paintings are held in Britain, and some of the pivotal encounters that shaped this story happened in London. The process of these acquisitions and their central role within British and South Asian art histories are explored in this book. The book also demonstrates how the traditions of South Asian miniature painting have been reclaimed and reinvented by modern and contemporary artists, exploding beyond the pages of illuminated manuscripts to experimental forms that include installation, sculpture and film. While miniature painting represented a strand of cultural resistance to colonial rule in the early twentieth century, artists continue to find contemporary relevance in the possibilities offered by this tradition.

Soft-cover, 218 pages