Jangarh Singh Shyam: A Conjuror’s Archive by Jyotindra Jain

Books
  • Location / Bangalore

Designing a monograph on a prolific ‘tribal artist’: A retrospective show on Jangarh Singh Shyam at the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi, offered a fresh perspective and deep insights into the life and work of this artist. We created the book that accompanied the show. The book was published by MAP (Museum of Art & Photography) in association with Mapin Publishing.

While visually rich, the book is academic in content. The design is deliberately traditional and structured — allowing the viewer to read, reference and absorb the material with ease. Divided into 3 sections, the separator colours draw from the artist’s evolving palette, from earthy to vibrant. Large, dramatic images highlight textures and details.

The cover is dynamic and bold in its choice of painting, crop and composition — directly referencing the contemporary nature of the artist’s work. The outer jacket reveals a tactile, fabric book cover — a subtle detail of a screen-printed, graphic interpretation of the artist’s original work.

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While visually rich, the book is academic in content. The design is deliberately traditional and structured — allowing the viewer to read, reference and absorb the material with ease. Divided into 3 sections, the separator colours draw from the artist’s evolving palette, from earthy to vibrant. Large, dramatic images highlight textures and details.

The cover is dynamic and bold in its choice of painting, crop and composition — directly referencing the contemporary nature of the artist’s work. The outer jacket reveals a tactile, fabric book cover — a subtle detail of a screen-printed, graphic interpretation of the artist’s original work.

About the Book:
“Before any sound critical framework could be evolved around the phenomenal artist Jangarh Singh Shyam as the originator of an extraordinary individualistic idiom of painting, ruthless market forces regrettably came to dominate his art and Jangarh himself became their first casualty. While trying to finish a large commission at a museum in Japan under adverse circumstances, Jangarh committed suicide in 2001. He was 40.

A whole range of conditions, events and mediations associated with Jangarh’s life and his art practice has since remained under-explored. This book is a first attempt to construct an equitable account of the formation of his prodigious artistic body of work that founded his legacy and grew into a movement. As a prime critical analysis of Jangarh Singh Shyam’s oeuvre, this book also serves as a model framework for the study of a contemporary individual folk and tribal artist.”

(from the Mapin Publishing website)

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