Why Do We Need to Reimagine Modernism? The Centre-Periphery Problem in the History of Modernist Art

The heterogeneous character of contemporary global art practices has given rise to anxiety about the end of art history as a grand Hegelian narrative. The constant merry-go-round of international biennales, art fairs and auctions, where select artists from the peripheries are trumpeted as evidence that the modernist art of the West, and the Rest of the World, now share certain common values. As my talk will argue, rather than being universal, these values are in fact the product of the western modernism and its special claims to universality.

Partha Mitter is a writer and historian of art and culture, specialising in the reception of Indian art in the West, as well as in modernity, art and identity in India, and more recently in global modernism. He studied history at London University and did his doctorate with E. H. Gombrich (1970). He is Emeritus Professor in Art History, University of Sussex, Member of Wolfson College, Oxford, and Honorary Fellow at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. In 2008 he received an Honorary D.Lit. degree from the Courtauld Institute, London University.

Read more here: www.hoa.ox.ac.uk/event/wednesday-1-november-partha-mitter

All talks are approximately one hour and followed by a wine reception.

Open to all, no booking required.