Approaching the Mughal Past in Indian Art Criticism by Devika Singh


The talk examines the model value of the Mughal period in MARG, the leading art journal of post-independence India. It discusses key historiographical questions of Indian art history, including the broader interaction of national cultural identity with global modernism. The Mughal period—celebrated in MARG for its synthesis of foreign and indigenous styles—was consistently put forward as an example for contemporary artists and architects. From its inception in 1946 until the 1960s, MARG favoured a return not to the form but to the spirit of India’s Mughal past that was perceived as a cornerstone of India’s composite culture.

Devika Singh is Curator, International Art at Tate Modern. She was previously Smuts Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge and a fellow at the Centre allemand d’histoire de l’art in Paris. She holds a PhD from Cambridge. She has published extensively and co-curated ‘Gedney in India’ (CSMVS, Mumbai, 2017; Duke University, 2018) and curated exhibitions including ‘Planetary Planning’ (Dhaka Art Summit, 2018) and ‘Homelands: Art from Bangladesh, India and Pakistan’ (Kettle’s Yard, 2019-20).

Location: National College of Arts, Mall Road

Date: February 28, 2020

To view the complete talk, please visit: Devika Singh on Approaching the Mughal Past in Indian Art Criticism