Introducing our Collection
Red Earth’s art collection is spearheaded by the arts curator Himanshu Verma, who has been curating multiple forms of art and cultural expression, since he founded Red Earth in 2004. The collection showcases the work of both emerging and established Indian artists and spans multiple mediums: from paintings, and sculptures to vintage and contemporary prints, Nathdwara Pichvais, and other traditional arts, photography, sculptures and objects to textile arts.
Our collecting practice is defined by a commitment to eclecticism and the endeavour to celebrate beauty across many modes: from the classical to the contemporary, from the folk to the urban.
Balancing our curation of contemporary art practices with an equally, if not more, engaging repertoire of art forms that signify the continuum of Indian aesthetics; the Red Earth collection defies compartmentalisation and is a unique, multifarious celebration of the mad richness of Indian art, sans frontieres.
We hereby attempt to create a roadmap of the collection, and the way we have classified various genres on this website.
Contemporary Paintings: Reflecting the diverse practices extant in Indian art today, this section presents the mediums of painting, drawing, and other mixed media works by contemporary artists. While we also showcase senior and established artists, the curation has a strong focus on supporting the work of emerging artists who negotiate multiple formal spaces, from vocabularies inspired by traditional Indian aesthetics to more contemporary iconographies.
Traditional Paintings: feature various traditional / folk / regional styles of Indian painting, most of which are contemporary living traditions, but have a rich historical background. Some of our favourite idioms here include Cheriyal Painting (Telangana, South India), the Bikaner School (Rajasthan), and Jaipur school miniatures.
A large part of the Red Earth collection is centred around Pichvais, and other art from the Nathdwara and allied schools, establishing an authentic and intimate approach towards collecting this art form, which today, is very popular but can also be overtly gimmicky.
Pichvais on Cloth: We showcase the rich tradition of Pichvais, paintings on cloth, that depict the various forms of Krishna as Shrinathji, the main deity of the Pushti-Marg denomination of Vaishnavism, head-quartered today, in Nathdwara, Rajasthan. The Nathdwara tradition has a rich iconography and visual culture and we present historic and contemporary examples from the tradition as part of the collection.
Nathdwara Paper Works: This constitutes a sub-genre allied to the Pichvai tradition, following a similar vocabulary, but in smaller formats, using the medium of paper. The tradition of paper works tends to also feature images of the other main deities of the Pushti marg and often other, secular subjects also.
The medium of prints is today emerging as a growing genre of art, making art more accessible and democratic to a much larger audience. We are planning to focus significantly on making more and more prints available on this forum.
Classic Printmaking: A significant branch of contemporary visual art traditions, Printmaking affords many possibilities traditionally: like woodcuts, etchings, engravings, lithography, and serigraphy. This section presents the work of contemporary Indian printmakers.
Digital Art Prints: An umbrella category which may again include several styles, made in a more contemporary mode. This could include graphic art, or other forms of art created and printed digitally (for example: I-pad drawings).
Vintage Prints: Prints made in the late 19th and early 20th century (and later), by Indian printing presses that harnessed the new modes of printing to make art popular across the social spectrum.
Reproduction Prints: features prints of original artworks. This could include reproductions of Pichvais, traditional paintings, or contemporary paintings.
Though not a major focus area of our collection, we remain deeply interested in the diversity of the Indian photographic experience today. Hence, we attempt to present photography ideas spanning varied styles, techniques, and periods.
Sculptures and Objects
Contemporary Sculptures: Sculptures made by contemporary artists in varying styles and different media such as metal, wood, fibre…
Decorative Objects: A crystallisation of beauty into the form of an object
Functional Objects: represent utility with an artistic twist
Nomadic Textile Embroideries: Hovering around the western Indian regions of Rajasthan and Gujarat and foraying further west into Central Asia; one finds a cornucopia of nomadic textile embroideries. These textiles take various shapes, from door-hangings to throws, to more decorative wall art pieces.
Other Textile Art: India has the richest living textile tradition in the world, and textiles not only form an essential utilitarian part of our clothing, but also lend themselves seamlessly to art practices originating in various ‘craft’ or weaving traditions. Kalamkari from South India, Cross-stitch panels from Chettinad, Kantha from Bengal are just a few examples of this form.
We will keep adding other forms and styles to this rich matrix, and growing our collection with your support.