In the sec. XX, in the Thirties and Forties Indian art witnessed a movement back to its origins in order to identify a fertile source of inspiration in its cultural heritage (remember the creations of Amrita Sher Gil, of Jamini Roy, by Sailoz Mukherji); however, afterwards the main concern was to creatively integrate the influences coming from the West through a process of assimilation which, while remaining open to external stimuli, would not do harm to the Indian mentality. Thus various movements were born, such as the Delhi Silpi Cakra (Artistic Circle of Delhi), which proposed to oppose the critical preparation of other societies and had KS Kulkarni among its top representatives; or like the Bombay School, from which the Progressives Group broke off, whose main figures were Rancis Newton Souza and MF Husain. If the first artists, vaguely inspired by Western painters, such as Gauguin and Modigliani (Amrita Sher Gil), focused their research on indigenous cultural heritage, in particular Bengali (Jamini Roy), the others aimed to create a purely Indian figurative language, while not denying the dominant international currents.
A trend that in the seventies attracted international attention and which, within the national panorama, has set itself as a point of reference for the authentically Indian values of which it is a vehicle, is that which draws inspiration from mystical-symbolic roots. of the country’s rich religious heritage. Strengthened by a national identity and the link with their own tradition, corroborated by a solid philosophical framework, the artists produced a neo-abstractionism that for significance, formal quality and sensuality of color was of immediate charm. In the 1980s, the need was felt to critically review the adoption of international creative values to verify whether they actually satisfied the native genius and were a stimulus for indigenous inventiveness. At the same time, a figurativist current developed that tried to act as a hinge between the ideologically more advanced currents and the social background, which risked being marginalized by the evolutionary process.
According to animalerts, the cultural approach of this current has also been expressed with periodic group exhibitions that have continued the tradition begun in the sixties and seventies. With these intentions, the heterogeneous “Saar” group, formed in New Delhi, has been pointed out. Subsequently, a current established itself which merged the fantastic aspect of the neo-abstract movement with the more conventional forms of figurativism; the result was a painting with a more intimate tone which set itself as an expressive development of a surrealistic orientation with allusive forms which, in terms of sensitivity and adaptability, are not new to Indian art. Among the names that emerged in the last part of the twentieth century. some of them are mentioned: Riyas Komu (b. 1971), video artist; Nalini Malani (b. 1946), born in Pakistan but who has chosen Bombay as the seat of her work and which combines traditional art and new media; Sanjay Bhattacharya (b. 1958); NN Rimzon (b. 1957); Satish Gupta (b. 1947), painter, sculptor and poet; Bikash Bhattacharjee (b. 1940), landscape and portrait painter; Shilpa Gupta (b. 1976), whose favorite medium is the web; the Raqs Media collective, a group of artists active in the field of new media, in photography, as well as in traditional art criticism and research. As for architecture, sensitive to the European experience, India has collected the stimulating experiences and achievements of the major Western architects called to work in the country (Le Corbusier, Chandigarh plan; E. Lutyens and H. Baker, New Delhi). The influence of Western culture also asserted itself with the spread of the International Style. Since the 1980s, a class of Indian architects has formed, promoters of modern architecture attentive to climatic conditions and traditional language; first of all we remember Charles Correa (Bombay planning, Jawahar Kala Kendra Museum in Jaipur), B. Doshi (village for the Gujarat State Fertilizers) and Satish Grover (b. 1940), author of the Indian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur.
THE CIVILIZATION OF MOHENJO-DARO AND HARAPPA
The urban civilization of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappā prearia India is not strictly limited to the chronology of its major manifestations (2500-1400 BC), nor strictly limited to the territories where the archaeological records of the valley of the Indo (from whose river this civilization takes its name). It seems to have its roots in somewhat similar cultures, which flourished in Afghanistan and Western Pakistan (IV-III millennium BC). Prehistoric cultures of India had interesting manifestations in Kot Diji in Pakistan (whose urban organization precedes the more functional one of the Indus cities), in Mundigak in Afghanistan (which documents the remote Indo-Iranian ties) and elsewhere, with radiations significantly oriented towards the West and with anticipations (Amrī in Sind, Quetta in Baluchistan) of a few millennia with respect to Harappā and Mohenjo-Daro. Furthermore, the end of these two Indus cities in a period in which a process of decline was in progress did not erase the signs and legacy of this civilization, which survived or extended for centuries in numerous other locations (Chanu-Daro, Lothal, Rangpur), according to the study of the archaeological finds found at a higher level than the layer referable to the dating of the Indus civilization. Such is the case with the Jhukar culture, superimposed on a delayed phase of the Indus civilization (Chanu-Daro) and characterized by poorly made pottery and the production of round seals (in various respects correlated with Iran and the Caucasus). The bearers of the Jhukar culture were succeeded by the Jhangar breeders. Other traces of the Indus civilization continued to persist during the first millennium BC. C. in the documentation of the finds provided by the mound burials of Moghūl Gundai in the Zhob Valley, not lacking here too references and chronological evidence with Iranian and Caucasian cultures. Caucasian references also appear in the manifestations of the civilization that flourished in the Ganges plain with organized urban centers and characterized by ocher, gray painted (8th century BC) and black-glossy (5th-2nd century BC) ceramic production.), as well as from a great metallurgical development (copper). Important cities of the Jumria-Ganges basin were Hastināpura (discovery of glass jewelry and terracotta figurines) and Ahichch-hatra (ca. 500 BC).