The Peabody Essex Museum has called on ASF several times in the past few years, but preparing for the upcoming exhibit with works assembled from the “Herwitz collection of Modern and Contemporary Indian Painting” was by far the biggest project ASF has tackled with the Essex. The work is large, exuberant, and at times a little complicated to fit into suitable frames but the results were worth the effort!
Usually ASF handles a project from start to finish at our Cambridge location. The nature of the work and the size of the undertaking meant ASF had to work on site and at secure storage facilities. This allowed for our staff to get accurate measurements and finalize design decisions with the show curator and exhibit design staff. Once ASF had manufactured or refinished approximately 40 frames, it was back to Salem for final on site assembly.
See the final results beginning February 2nd at the beautiful Peabody Essex Museum!
MIDNIGHT TO THE BOOM: PAINTING IN INDIA AFTER INDEPENDENCE
From the moment India achieved independence from British rule on August 15, 1947, through the global economic boom of the 1990s, a revolutionary art movement emerged. The Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) presents Midnight to the Boom: Painting in India after Independence, an exhibition spanning three generations of Indian painters who changed the way we think of Indian art. Nearly 70 works by 23 leading artists are presented alongside conversational groupings of key works by well-known artists from around the world including Paul Cezanne, Marc Chagall, and Andrew Wyeth, lending context to the development of this movement in the wider world of modern painting.
During this time of enormous political and cultural upheaval, artists working in post-independence India were able to express their individual artistic visions, transcending the limits of the region’s traditional art forms. From the 1940s to the 1990s, they responded to art from around the world and across time, developing original themes, techniques, and means of expression.
In carefully selected juxtapositions throughout the exhibition, paintings by Indian artists are presented with works by international and local artists who resonated with their aesthetic preferences or techniques. These comparisons expand our understanding of modernism as a global phenomenon and reflect its boundless spirit of exchange.
The Chester and Davida Herwitz Collection of modern Indian art comprises 1,200 works by more than 70 of India’s leading artists of the second half of the 20th century, including M. F. Husain, S. H. Raza, Manjit Bawa, Tyeb Mehta, Ganesh Pyne, K. Laxma Goud, Jogen Chowdhury, Nalini Malani, Nasreen Mohammedi, Bhupen Khakhar, Gieve Patel, Sudhir Patwardhan, Gulammohammed Sheikh, and Arpita Singh. This groundbreaking collection also includes a major international art library and an archive of letters, papers, and other documents. In 2003, the Peabody Essex Museum opened the Chester and Davida Herwitz Gallery of Contemporary Indian Art, the first gallery dedicated to India’s modern and contemporary art by an American museum and featuring changing installations from the collection.