According to the author, queer as an identification and subjectivity is important to his writing of transnational South Asian art histories. This book talks about new transnational South Asian art histories, to make visible histories of artworks that remain marginalised within the discipline of art history. This is done through a deliberate 'productive failure', by not upholding the strictly genealogical approach. The book discusses authorship by examining the writing about the work of Anish Kapoor to explore the shifting manner in which critics and art historians have identified him and his work. It focuses on the author's own identification as queer and South Asian American to put pressure on the coherency of an LGBTQI art history. It connects formal similarities of abstract work produced in the 1960s in New York City by Cy Twombly and Natvar Bhavsar. The book deals with an art history that concerns facile categories such as South Asian/non-South Asian and black/white, and discusses the works of Stephen Dean, Mario Pfeifer, Adrian Margaret Smith Piper, and Kehinde Wiley. It focuses on practice-led research by discussing 'Sphere:dreamz,; which was produced by queer-identified South Asian women. Continuing the focus, the book looks at the multi-site exhibition 'Mixing It Up: Queering Curry Mile and Currying Canal Street', organised by the author in 2007. It addresses the question of how certain subjects are considered as 'belonging' and others as not; and the role of art in the reconstitution of notions of 'home' and transnational South Asian art histories.
connection is the one before the viewer signifies Martin;
it again is that in-between in which meaning is held. Speed is often conflated
with circulation; here we are slowed down.
KehindeWiley, another artist whose work I explored in Chapter 4, has
explored the predicament of the black male in the United States. As critic
Deborah Solomon writes, ‘Wiley began thinking about the stereotypes that
shadow black men long before events in Ferguson, Mo.’95 Solomon is referring
to the death of 18-year-old African American Michael Brown, Jr, after an
encounter with police officer
video; stereo, 52 min; multiple projections for exhibition space
(variable). Hindi, Tamil with English subtitles. Installation view: MMK Museum für
Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main, 2012–13.
Adrian Piper, The Color Wheel Series, Second Adhyasa: Pranamayakosha II. 102 (Adrian
Piper) (7/31/01). 8.25 × 10 in. 600 dpi. Pantone #5767 CVC, 287 CVC, 1385 CVC.
KehindeWiley, Femme Fellah, 2010. Oil on canvas, 45 × 36 in.
KehindeWiley, Bonaparte in the Great Mosque of Cairo, 2010. Oil on canvas,
60 × 72 in.
Sphere Sphere:dreamz, Sackville Park, Manchester
South Asian art histories.
That is, I cannot explore whiteness in relation to what I provisionally refer to
as brownness without acknowledging whiteness’s other: blackness. Dyer writes
that no other colour but white has a complete opposite.3 More specifically, I
explore artworks, their consumption by critics and curators as well as my own
experience viewing them, in person where possible, by four artists: Stephen
Dean (b. 1968), Mario Pfeifer (b. 1981), Adrian Margaret Smith Piper (b. 1948)
and KehindeWiley (b. 1977). With the exception of Piper, who is one
Towards creolizing transnational South Asian art histories
Alpesh Kantilal Patel
; German-born and NYCand Berlin-based Mario Pfeifer; NYC-born, Berlin-based Adrian Margaret
Smith Piper; and Los Angeles-born, NYC-based KehindeWiley. Overall, I
write an art history that disrupts and keeps in play facile categories such as
South Asian/non-South Asian and non-white/white.
The second half of the book, from Chapter 5 onwards, slowly shifts from
deconstruction that dominates the early chapters to what could be described
as ‘practice-led research’: a shift from analyzing the work of others to producing curatorial projects that are then critically reflected
enhances our understanding
of historical representations of human variety in stained glass and other
media, but also remains relevant today, in a postcolonial age where racism
in Western art history, as well as other historical disciplines, needs to be
Contemporary American artist KehindeWiley (b. 1977) has demonstrated how the art of stained glass might be used to address these
issues in the twenty-first century. Wiley’s first solo exhibition in France,
‘Lamentation’ (2017), at the Petit Palais, Paris, featured six stained glass
windows designed by Wiley
Writing queer feminist transnational South Asian art histories
Alpesh Kantilal Patel
somehow. (Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman of the
Rusholme Business Association (RBA))129
I argue that the excessive displays of homosocial masculinity during Eid position young Muslim males as the constitutive limit of the ‘family’ unit (assumed
heterosexual) and the behaved British/Asian ‘community’.130 The containment
of homosociality of Muslim males by both the GMP and the RBA is a contemporary variant of the colonialist discourses discussed in the context of
KehindeWiley’s artworks in Chapter 4 – particularly the construction of South
Asian male subjects as effeminate or