SEEING GOD IN PRINTS

Curated by Andrew McCord and Mark Baron
On View: March 4 - April 11, 2009



 

International Print Center New York announces SEEING GOD IN PRINTS: Indian Lithographs from the Collection of Mark Baron and Elise Boisanté, an exhibition of printed images of Hindu gods and goddesses published in India in the 19th and 20th centuries.  Curated by Andrew McCord and Mark Baron, the Exhibition will be on view from March 4th-April 11th, 2009, in IPCNY’s gallery at 526 West 26th Street in Chelsea, Room 824. 

SEEING GOD IN PRINTS is the first formal presentation in the United States of this genre of Indian art.  It will complement other exhibitions on view at venues in New York City during Asia Week 2009.

An Opening Reception will be held on the evening of Wednesday, March 4th from 6-8 p.m.

The Exhibition will be comprised of some thirty-one historically significant lithographs of Hindu gods and goddesses printed during the last quarter of the 19th century and through the 1940's.  First printed in Europe, later at Indian-run commercial color presses, these lithographs were produced in large editions and widely distributed to merchants and households across India.  In the words of Mr. McCord, these prints, "as standardized, forward facing icons, give an immediate and portable connection to the divine."

The story of Indian god prints, how the worship of Hindu deities became entwined with the export of printmaking expertise from Europe to India, and the subsequent development of major Indian publishing houses, will result in an exhibition with a high level of cultural and historical content. 

Tracing the history of this genre of printmaking, the Exhibition will include important examples of 19th-century prints produced in Germany for export to India, the earliest examples printed by the first Indian-run presses, and classic lithographs from the most famous early and mid-20th century Indian publishers including Calcutta Art Studio; Chore Bagan Art Studio, Calcutta; Chitrashala Press, Poona; Ravi Varma Press, Lonavla; and many others.

An illustrated brochure with a curatorial essay by Mr. McCord will accompany the Exhibition.  A time line tracking the introduction of print technologies and publishing firms into India will be included.

             

Mr. Baron and Ms. Boisanté are contemporary print publishers and collectors based in New York City.  For the past decade, they have devoted several weeks annually to traveling throughout India in search of superb examples of Indian deity prints. Currently, their collection consists of several hundred examples, thirty-one of which will be included in the Exhibition.

Mr. McCord is a writer and art critic specializing in Indian culture. He was educated in part in India and has traveled extensively there. His essay will give a brief account of the continuing history of the god print in India as well as a summary of who the gods and goddesses are.

International Print Center New York is a 501(c)(3) non-profit institution dedicated to the appreciation and understanding of the fine art print. IPCNY nurtures the growth of new audiences for the visual arts while serving the print community through exhibitions, publications and educational programs.  Seeing God in Prints is the sixth presentation of IPCNY's International Exhibition series.

Major support for Seeing God in Prints has been provided by The Reed Foundation, with additional funding from the PECO Foundation.  IPCNY is also grateful for the support of the Indo-American Arts Council.
 
A generous grant from the Robert Lehman Foundation supports IPCNY's Exhibitions Programs. IPCNY's Publications Program is made possible by the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.  The following funders have supported IPCNY's programs this season: the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, the Deborah Loeb Brice Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, The Greenwall Foundation, the Hess Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the City of New York Department of Cultural Affairs, and the New York State Council on the Arts, among other generous foundations and individuals.   

Image credit: Ravi Varma, Vishnu-Garud Wahan, c. 1900-1920, lithograph, 28 x 20 inches, Ravi Varma Press, Karla Lonavla
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