Art a result of human tendency for constant innovation: Prof Panikkar

ITANAGAR, Mar 18: Eminent art historian and former Dean of the School of Culture & Expression at Ambedkar University, Prof Shivaji K Panikkar while defining ‘art’ as a human faculty, remarked that art is a result of the human tendency for constant innovation.

Prof Panikkar who was on a two-visit to the department of Fine Arts & Music at Rajiv Gandhi University (RGU) near here, said this while delivering a lecture on ‘Basic categories of art history and its relevance for visual art practice’, on Friday, a communiqué informed.

He cited the instance of creating a stone tool from the Paleolithic period to handling technology, from weaving, and cooking to solving any social, cognitive issue as per requirement.

“The modern understanding of art is strictly institutional depending upon the modes of making art practices at various geographic locations and periods,” he said. He also spoke on the relevance of art history for practising artists, especially for fine arts students.

Prof Panikkar emphasised on the definition of fine arts and lalit kala according to the 19th-century British and Indian schools respectively. He also talked about the purpose of Art History for future artists in the making, whether it’s for its own sake or it has a significant role in moulding the present art practices and trends.

According to him, the answer lies in the ‘inheritance of art’, the long time frame of the history of art making which can only be found on the pages of Art History.

He also briefed the students about various mediums and methods artists have been using throughout history and how they transformed from traditional methods like painting, sculpting, drawing, and sketching to collage, assemblage, found objects, new/multimedia, web art, performances, etc.

The professor also pointed out the distinctions between varied ideas in art starting from arts and crafts, craft and folk/popular arts, fine arts and visual arts, and distinctions between ancient and pre-modern art aesthetics to modern and contemporary aesthetics and ideology.

He defined how art is impacted by time, quality, style, category according to ideology, icons, narratives and geographical spaces, religious orientation, and social growth from time to time. Panikkar concludes his around 3 hours long lecture with the various chronologies of art progressions, and roles played by allied disciplines like Archaeology, Museology, Art Criticism, etc.

He ended his deliberations with the presentation of an Indian miniature painting displaying the narrative of Radha-Krishna and how the pre-modern artists used 2-dimensional spaces to show various times, emotions, and events at a time and direct the young artists to take the liberty to tell their own stories in their unique ways.

On March 16 last Prof Panikkar interacted with the students of the department and shared his views on contemporary aesthetics in visual art trends, colour symbolism, and the ‘ways of seeing’, the communiqué added.

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