Contemporary Indian Art: “Love Beyond Measure” by Arpana Caur

Though Caur is herself a practicing Sikh, her work is not confined by sectarian identity; indeed, her work (like the writings of the Gurus) incorporates Hindu, Buddhist, Sufi and Jain motifs. It is in this vein of inclusivity that the “Love beyond Measure” series transcends religious signifiers. The series revisits the tragic romance of Sohni and Mahiwal, a beloved folktale in Punjabi culture that continues to be retold in song, theatre and film (a brief version of the story follows this essay). The tragic love story has also been a favorite subject among painters, whether the likes of Nainsukh, the 18th century Pahari painter from Guler region, or Sobha Singh, the renowned painter of devotional portraits, or Satish Gujral, who has dominated the Indian art scene since Independence.

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