gallery transformation
The story of the relationship between Calcutta and Bauhaus can be summed up in a series of significant transformations. Each act of radical change bore the imprint of its historical moment as two separate locations responded to the challenge of modernity in their own ways. As a pedagogical moment, the Bauhaus responded to Tagore’s Shantiniketan project; both seeking to change the ways in which art and craft-making could become ethically-grounded, critical practices for a new industrial age. There were changes afoot in the role of museums and art institutions as well: from its early days as a site for producing colonial anthropologies with their rational bases in the natural sciences, reflected in its name, The Imperial Museum, the Indian Museum became an important storehouse of India’s Buddhist past and a witness to its diverse traditions. The 1922 exhibition was held at Hogg Street’s No. 12 Samavaya Mansion, which housed the Indian Society of Oriental Art. The significance of ‘Oriental’ art was itself in radical flux at the time- with this 
 society being founded by British patrons and pedagogues who supported the critique of academic naturalism forwarded by artists like Abanindranath Tagore and Nandalal Bose, with E.B. Havell also leading a critical charge. Bauhaus was also working out its complex relationship with Eastern or Oriental traditions as artist-teachers like Paul Klee repeatedly emphasized their own transformative encounters with Oriental architecture and forms in places like Kairouan, Tunisia. Each had their own way of reaching above and behind the damaging implications of universal concepts like the ‘Oriental’ or the ‘ornament’, choosing instead to respond to these encounters as opportunities for change and becoming something new. The transformation of the Indian Museum to accommodate this new exhibition is a motor for activating all these other transformations-social, intellectual and historical- that have defined the journey of modern art over the last century.

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