Abstract Signs and Temple Frieze

Mohan Samant Indian

Not on view

Informed by his world travels, Samant’s practice employed a multitude of references including Indian traditions of painting and sculpture, Egyptian hieroglyphs, art of the ancient Americas, and the large-scale abstract works favored by the so-called New York School of artists. Many of these influences are discernable in this work: from the signs and symbols (possibly derived from glyphs seen in Mexico) arranged in columns—a favored approach Samant shared with his European and American contemporaries, including Jasper Johns—to a band of dancing figures similar to those adorning the sides of Indian temples at Khajuraho. By using plaster and sand to build this object’s highly textural surface, Samant may have been further alluding to architectural friezes.

Abstract Signs and Temple Frieze, Mohan Samant (Indian, Mumbai 1924–2004 New York), Oil, plaster, sand, charcoal on canvas

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.