The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) will be the final North American and exclusive Canadian venue for Modernism on the Ganges: Raghubir Singh Photographs.
Organized by the Metropolitan Museum of Art with the cooperation of Succession Raghubir Singh in Paris, this retrospective presents the visionary works of late photographer Raghubir Singh (1942-1999), who pioneered the use of colour film to document the rapidly changing social, political, and cultural scenes of India from the late 1960s to the 1990s.
The exhibition will be on display at the ROM from July 21 to October 21, 2018, following its run at The Met Breuer in New York City and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
“As home to one of the world’s largest collections of South Asian art and culture, we are pleased to host this retrospective on the pioneering work of photographer Raghubir Singh,’’ says Josh Basseches, ROM Director & CEO. “Singh’s illuminating portraits of India, taken from within the culture, have had a major influence on shaping our understanding of the richness and complexity of South Asian society and its unique place in the modern world.”
Modernism on the Ganges: Raghubir Singh Photographs traces the full trajectory of Singh’s career from his early work as a photojournalist in the late 1960s through to his last unpublished projects of the late 1990s.
The exhibition features more than 80 photographs and other objects on loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Succession Raghubir Singh.
Using a handheld camera and colour slide film, Raghubir Singh recorded India’s dense milieu in complex frieze-like compositions, pulsating with opulent colour.
“This exhibition celebrates a pioneering colour photographer within a global history of photography. It also foregrounds images of India that reject a touristic or ethnographic lens, and embrace complexity,” says Dr. Deepali Dewan, Dan Mishra Curator of South Asian Art and Culture at the ROM. “The bold colours and striking compositions of the work bring together Western modernism and South Asian visual modes, allowing us to look at both ordinary and iconic views of rural and urban India with new eyes.”
Modernism on the Ganges: Raghubir Singh Photographs will be included with general Museum admission. The ROM will host a slate of associated programming to complement the exhibition. More details to follow. – CINEWS