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Kent art historian's book launched at first B. M. Anand exhibition

May 09, 2016

The first major exhibition of previously unseen works by the late Indian artist Brij Mohan (B.M.) Anand inspired a new book by University of Kent art historian Dr Grant Pooke.

The exhibition, Narratives for Indian Modernity: The Aesthetic of B.M.Anand (Harper Collins), opens at the India International Centre in New Delhi on 12 May. Dr Pooke's monograph of the same name, which was co-authored with biographer Aditi Anand (no relation to subject), will be launched at the same time.

B.M. Anand (1928-86) was an accomplished and largely self-taught artist. His life intersected with some of the events which framed modern India; both Anand and his father were radicalised following the massacre at Amritsar in which Anand's older brother was among the first to die. Some of his early portraits were exhibited in what became Pakistan just before Partition. Anand's Communist Party affiliations resulted in the formal confiscation of his passport by the Indian government during a period of heightened Cold War tensions.

The monograph draws upon archival research and interviews with family and peers and follows the discovery and partial restoration of a substantial archive of work by the late artist in New Delhi in 2012. Around 90 works will be shown, many of them never before seen in public.

In addition to exploring Anand's life and biography, Dr Pooke's monograph provides a critical evaluation of the iconography and political context to a series of Cold War era scratchboards undertaken by Anand between the early 1950s through to the early 1980s. His distinctive aesthetic was equally grounded in a profound belief in the ability of ordinary men and women to fashion their own lives and futures.

The exhibition and monograph launch will include a panel discussion moderated by the curator and art historian Dr Alka Pande and involving Dr Manesh Sharma, Minister of State, Culture & Tourism, Pavan Varma, Sudhanva Deshpande, Orijit Sen, Aditi Anand and Dr Grant Pooke. The film maker Imtiaz Ali will be the guest of honour.
For further information or interview requests contact Sandy Fleming at the University of Kent Press Office.

Tel: 01227 823581/01634 888879


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Notes to editors

Established in 1965, the University of Kent - the UK's European university - now has almost 20,000 students across campuses or study centres at Canterbury, Medway, Tonbridge, Brussels, Paris, Athens and Rome.

It has been ranked: third for overall student satisfaction in the 2014 National Student Survey; 16th in the Guardian University Guide 2016; 23rd in the Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2016; and 22nd in the Complete University Guide 2015.

In the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2015-16, Kent is in the top 10% of the world's leading universities for international outlook and 66th in its table of the most international universities in the world. The THE also ranked the University as 20th in its 'Table of Tables' 2016.

Kent is ranked 17th in the UK for research intensity (REF 2014). It has world-leading research in all subjects and 97% of its research is deemed by the REF to be of international quality.

Along with the universities of East Anglia and Essex, Kent is a member of the Eastern Arc Research Consortium (

In 2014, Kent received its second Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education.

University of Kent

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