Monday, February 22, 2016

Drawn from Courtly India @PMA

A Prince and Courtiers in a Garden, c 1720-30
I saw a really nice show at the Philadelphia Museum of Art's adjacent space, the Perelman Building.  It is a show of drawings (probably at least 50) from 1500-1800 from royal courts in Northern India.  The work is exquisite in its precision and line but also imaginative in its narrative and structure.

I liked the way the show was displayed as well.  Dark green walls and double sided plinths displayed papers with drawings on both sides throughout the room.  One of the drawings had a light behind it that illuminated the perforation done to transfer the drawing.  The effect was quite beautiful (below).



 It was a nice collection too in terms of finish.  Some of the drawings were working drawings with mutliple edits, others were partially finished in watercolor and others were sketches, more immediate and uninhibited. 

These felt like an antidote to so much of what I am fatigued by in contemporary work.  With limited materials of usually just pencil and paper and limited scale, these drawings possess the strength that comes with extreme consciousness on the part of the maker for every compositional element, every touch to the page.  Within these limitations what is made seems boundless, grand stories of war with monsters to a modest cup of tea shared between two friends.  The show is up until March 27th and worth the trip.  Here is a link.


Post a Comment