Before the Canvas

by Team ACF
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August 11’ 2019 to November 15’ 2019 | Piramal Museum of Art, Mumbai

Look around you. Have you ever noticed how art may exist within the confinement of your own home? Images of deities as calendars, beautiful drapery on textile, carvings on antique wooden shelves, are all art. Much before the ‘canvas’ was made popular by colonial hybridisation, these materials are what artists from the Indian sub-continent used as the medium for their creative outlet. Piramal Museum of Art’s newest exhibition, Before The Canvas, is a look at the geographically and stylistically diverse works of art c. 16th to 18thcentury, tracing the traditional practice of making art on materials including paper, wood, cloth, mica and glass, amongst others.    

Originating in different geographical regions and eras, many of these painting traditions continue to thrive till date. However, the form and context of these paintings is significantly different, altered as they are by the art market, tourism, art college education and availability of raw materials. Before the Canvas attempts to give viewers an introduction to the form and evolution of a few of these key painting traditions.  

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