Roots in the Air, Branches Below: Modern and Contemporary Art from India

  • Bari Kumar
    Nothing (else) Matters, 2008
    Oil on canvas
    48 x 72 inches
    Collection of Mathur Family
    Photo: Courtesy the artist

  • Jehangir Sabavala 
    Marine Encounter, 1962
    Oil on canvas
    28 X 48 inches
    Private collection, San Francisco
    Photo: Courtesy Sotheby’s, Inc

  • Vinod Balak
    Vishnu with Bonsai, 2007
    Oil on canvas
    52 x 76 inches
    Private collection
    Photo: Courtesy Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai

  • Sky blue is divided by a crooked thick yellow line. An abstract human form is between the yellow lines and on the left is a black silhouette of the top of another human. To the right is a red breast, arm, and leg. To the left is a blue circle for a leg.

    Tyeb Mehta
    Untitled from the “Diagonal” series, 1976
    Oil on canvas
    44 x 35 inches
    Private collection

  • A painting of a genie wearing a yellow outfit, holding a black bird on their finger, floating above a lamp. The background is deep red.

    Rekha Rodwittiya
    UNTITLED from the series “Encrypted Soliloquies,” 2004
    Acrylic and oil on canvas; 62 x 51 inches
    Collection of Anita and Sridar Iyengar

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    Roots in the Air, Branches Below is a landmark exhibition, drawn entirely from private collections in the San Francisco Bay Area, and one of a very few surveys of modern and contemporary art from India in this country. The dramatic economic and social transformation of India since 1947, when it gained independence from British rule, has bred a similar explosion of activity in the visual arts. The artists represented in this exhibition embrace both the international art world, (with its penchant for artistic innovation), and the spiritual roots of Indian art. They draw on a multifaceted artistic heritage of political engagement, popular culture, classical mythology, and folk traditions. The branches of this hybrid artistic tree sprawl into many corners of the material world, yet are anchored by a sense of the timeless interconnectedness of life and death, good and evil, past and present, individuality and universality.


    • Applied Materials
    • Bank of America