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.
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: StephenDean (b. 1968), Mario Pfeifer (b. 1981), Adrian Margaret Smith Piper (b. 1948)
and Kehinde Wiley (b. 1977). With the exception of Piper, who is one
Anish Kapoor, 1000 Names, 1979–80. Wood, gesso and pigment, dimensions variable.
Cy Twombly, Ferragosto II, 1961. Oil, oil crayon and pencil on canvas, 64¾ × 78⅞ in.
(164.5 × 200.3 cm).
Natvar Bhavsar, VAATRI, 1969. Pigment, oil and acrylic on canvas, 108 × 192 in.
Natvar Bhavsar, THEER-A-THEER-A, 1969. Pure pigment, oil and acrylic on canvas,
81.5 × 360 in.
StephenDean, Stills from Pulse, 2001. Video installation, sound, 7:20 min.
Mario Pfeifer, A Formal Film in Nine Episodes, Prologue & Epilogue, 2010. 35 mm film
transferred to HD
Towards creolizing transnational South Asian art histories
Alpesh Kantilal Patel
explores the work of artists who have all mobilized subject
matter in their artworks that could be read as ‘South Asian’, but none of whom
are genealogically linked to the subcontinent. In particular, I explore whiteness, the unstable and invisible ground on which a transnational history of
artworks by artists of South Asian descent is implicitly constructed. As an
integral part of this discussion, I also expand the range of authors whose work
I explore by considering whiteness’s other: blackness. These artists are Frenchborn, NYC (New York City)-based StephenDean