"Europe belongs to Picasso, Matisse, Braque, and many others. India belongs only to me,” declared Amrita Sher-Gil, the part-Indian-part-Hungarian painter who stands at the cosmopolitan helm of modern art in South Asia.
This presentation will explore the work of Sher-Gil, who was trained in post-impressionism in Paris and arrived in the subcontinent in the 1930’s in search of a new visual language. It will examine, in particular, how Sher-Gil’s mixed race heritage, her insider/outsider status, and her experiences of migration and dislocation, became a powerful driver for her artistic career.
Saloni Mathur received her PhD in Cultural Anthropology from the New School for Social Research in New York, and is currently Professor and Chair of the Department of Art History at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her areas of interest include the visual cultures of modern South Asia and the South Asian diaspora, colonial studies and postcolonial criticism, museum studies in a global frame, and modern and contemporary South Asian art. She is the author and editor/co-editor of five books, including most recently, A Fragile Inheritance: Radical Stakes in Contemporary Indian Art (Duke University Press, 2019).