Author: Juliet Reynolds
Publisher: Blue Jay Books
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8188575127
This is a well researched, thought provoking, sometimes hard hitting book on two vital issues linked to art: politics and science. Written for the lay reader rather than the specialist, it marks a departure from existing art writing in India.
In the first part of the book, the cardinal issues examined are art's socio-political function, its propaganda value to the ruling elite across ages and the role of the artist as the conscience keeper of the society. The second part begins by highlighting the inextricable links between art and science and goes on to discover the scientific foundations of ancient Indian art. The writer's contention that the great art of the past had its roots in the real world more than in religion is supported by a fascinating overview of the theory or Rasa, which she convincingly argues to be timeless and universal.
In her explorations, Reynolds travels back and forth in time and establishes a connection between cultures with rare ease. This helps pave the way towards an understanding of a life sustaining subject like art, of late made suspect by the senseless egotism of artists and art experts and by the dark machinations of those who control the market.