The talk will take the recent publication of International Departures: Art in India after Independence (Reaktion Books, 2023) as a starting point to discuss new transnational approaches to the history of art. This captivating and richly illustrated account presents together for the first time the work of Indian and foreign artists active in India after independence in 1947. It engages with the many creators, critics and patrons of the postwar Indian art world, from K.G. Subramanyan, Zarina and Mulk Raj Anand to Isamu Noguchi, Le Corbusier and Clement Greenberg. International Departures opens up new ways of thinking about Indian art, closely examining artworks and analysing how they were received in India and abroad. Featuring a wealth of rare and previously unpublished images, this provocative book explores how artists in India participated in global modernism during a crucial period of decolonization and nation building.

Devika Singh is Senior Lecturer in Curating at the Courtauld. She was previously Curator, International Art at Tate Modern. Singh has also been Smuts Research Fellow at the Centre of South Asian Studies at the University of Cambridge and a fellow at the Centre allemand d’histoire de l’art (Max Weber Foundation) in Paris. She has curated exhibitions and collection displays at the CSMVS (Mumbai), Dhaka Art Summit, Dubai Design District, Kettle’s Yard (Cambridge) and Tate Modern. She is on the editorial group of the Oxford Art Journal and her writing has appeared widely in exhibition catalogues, art magazines and journals. Her book International Departures: Art in India after Independence came out with Reaktion Books in 2023. Devika holds a BA in the History of Art and a PhD from the University of Cambridge, where she was a member of King’s and Trinity college.