Many Visions, Many Versions: Art from Indigenous Communities in India

“Using vivid colors applied with simple brushes made of bamboo and raw cotton, Mithila women produced an astonishing vigorous and distinctive art.”

– Umesh Gaur and Aurogeeta Das, “Recent Indigenous Art of India,” in Arts of Asia

An unparalleled opportunity for audiences to view rarely seen contemporary art from four major indigenous artistic traditions in India, Many Visions, Many Versions: Art from Indigenous Communities in India showcases works from the Gond and Warli communities of central India, the Mithila region of Bihar, and the narrative scroll painters of West Bengal. The exhibition features 47 exceptional paintings and drawings, selected from private collections in the United States and Europe, by 24 significant indigenous artists including Jangarh Singh Shyam, Jivya Soma Mashe, Sita Devi, and Swarna Chitrakar, among others.

Many Visions, Many Versions explores the breadth and variety of cultural traditions in India, revealing a dynamic aesthetic that remains deeply rooted in traditional culture, yet vitally responsive to issues of global concern. Rather than taking a conventional approach to exhibiting these four distinct indigenous artistic traditions by separating them into sections distinguished by tribal and cultural affinities, the curators intentionally display the paintings thematically; accentuating the shared cultural features and contemporary concerns of these four communities that underlies the diversity of the artists’ unique expressive forms, techniques, and styles. The exhibition is divided into four broad categories: Myth and Cosmology, Nature – real and imagined, Village Life, and Contemporary Explorations.

India’s rise as an Asian power on the global scene has focused the world’s attention on the country and its culture. For American audiences eager to know more about Indian art, Many Visions, Many Versions offers an opportunity for viewers of all ages to learn about life and culture in India through these remarkable artworks.

Number of Works:
48 paintings and drawings
Organized by:
BINDU modern Gallery
Dr. Aurogeeta Das, art historian and scholar of Indigenous Indian Art; Dr. David Szanton, anthropologist and President of the Ethnic Arts Foundation; and Jeffrey Wechsler, former Senior Curator of the Rutgers University Zimmerli Art Museum
Approximate size:
350 – 400 linear feet
Moderate security
Participation Fee:
Please inquire
IA&A makes all arrangements, exhibitors pay outgoing costs within the contiguous U.S.
Booking Period:
12 weeks
September 2017–September 2020
June 2019 – September 2020
(202) 338-0680 ext. 216
The Faulconer Gallery at Grinnell College, Grinnell, IA
September 22, 2017 – December 10, 2017

Surrey Art Gallery, Surrey, BC
January 20, 2018 – March 25, 2018

Frost Art Museum at Florida International University, Miami, FL
June 9, 2018 – September 9, 2018

Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, MN
October 6, 2018 – January 6, 2019

McClung Museum of Natural History & Culture at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN
February 1, 2019 – May 19, 2019

Faulconer displays Gaur collection of indigenous Indian art
The Scarlet & Black, by Caryn McKechnie, September 28, 2017

Surrey gallery welcomes big, colourful Indian art on tour
Surrey Now-Leader, by Tom Zillich, January 15, 2018

Indian Indigenous art makes a stop at the Surrey Art Gallery
The Source, by Naomi Tse, January 9-23, 2018