From Persian Miniatures to Stan Brakhage

Vivan Sundaram Indian

Not on view

Vivan Sundaram studied painting at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Baroda, India under the influential pedagogue K.G. Subramanyan, following which he travelled to England as a commonwealth scholar in 1966 and joined the Slade School of Art where he was mentored by R.B. Kitaj. From Persian Miniatures to Stan Brakhage hails from a group of five paintings completed during this time.

While at Slade, Sundaram took a course on the history of cinema, during which he encountered the experimental works of Stan Brakhage. In this painting, Sundaram crosses the spatial conventions of Persian miniature painting, in which there is an absence of linear perspective and rather simultaneity of experiences, with the notion of "pure" sensory perception of form and color that was the basis of Brakhage's experimental films. Here, Sundaram brings modernist abstraction together with historic pictorial legacies of representation. This work demonstrates a roving eye, but one that draws agilely across cultural contexts and media, and is also emblematic of a transnational awareness, one that locates artists, and in this case an Indian artist, at the interstices of many social and historical conversations.

From Persian Miniatures to Stan Brakhage, Vivan Sundaram (Indian, Shimla 1943–2023 New Delhi), Oil on canvas

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