This generously illustrated survey of the acclaimed Indian artist Vivan Sundaram offers a comprehensive and wide ranging examination of his multi-media practice extending over a period of five decades.
Vivan Sundaram’s eclecticism is a distinctive feature of his work and is the focus of this monograph. A pioneer of installation art in India, Sundaram started off as a painter in the late 1960s but his desire to break free of the limits imposed by the pictorial frame only came to fruition in the early 1990s, when Sundaram began making works that no longer hinged on the specificity of a medium. This change in artistic direction coincided with his interest in exploring the materiality of a range of substances, whether artisanal or industrial. Sundaram’s choice of materials has had a thematic resonance in the different bodies of work that he has made over the last twenty-five years. His practice keenly registers the civic dimension and political import of art. History, memory, and archive are the overarching concerns of his work. These themes define and structure this important publication and offer an open-ended framework for exploring the oeuvre of a highly original artist.