Indian art forms are rich in heritage and traditions. At the same time, they have also evolved to incorporate modern facets, thus creating a wide mosaic of Indian arts that are creative, artistic and yet, very true to the core sentiments and value of being Indian. For art is an expression of culture and a reflection of the past, as well as aspirations of the future. But art cannot have its desired effect if it is confined to the knowledge of only the creator and few others. Its real purpose is served when it is understood and viewed by large sections of society and thinkers. And therefore, the role of Indian art magazines and publications is crucial in the pursuit of spreading art to a wider audience.
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Some decades ago, the art magazines were the only way to know more about the artists and all the happenings in the artistic world. However, in the digital age today, social media and technology also are important mediums to spread awareness and information about the arts. Indian arts are a bustling and encompassing environment where different types and kinds of art forms exist and grow together. Documenting these art forms, both through history and modern times is essential for the preservation of the knowledge of art. And the Indian art magazines, both in print and online platforms are entrusted with the responsibility of this vital task.
Documenting the Indian art forms has been on for hundreds of years now. There are different ways of doing so, for example material history can be derived from wall paintings, sculptures and more. Similarly, contextual art history can be understood through temple art or folk art. Besides, there are art museums that also act as repositories of art knowledge over the years. However, where art can be understood by observing the creation itself, books and magazines provide the context around it. Why was a particular piece of art created? What is its significance? Art magazines and books provide readers with the detailed information that surrounds the art itself. They also make it easily tangible and relatable by talking about the artists, regional variations, Indian history and so on.
Indian art magazines and books
Books are a one time read, but art magazines are regular, arriving in the interval of either a month or few weeks. With the current happenings in the world of arts, as well as, showcasing new talent, exploring ancient art and many other such artistic endeavors the Indian art magazines are the constant fuel that keep the flame of artistic passions alive for both artists and art lovers.
There is thus no better way, to keep yourself updated and knowledgeable about the Indian arts, than reading or subscribing to art magazines.
Best Indian art magazines
Marg is one of the oldest and most renowned Indian art magazines. MARG or Modern Architectural Research Group was created in 1946, by Mulk Raj Anand and 14 other artists, architects and historians. Since then the magazine has been fundamental in propagating and researching Indian art. The magazine covers a wide range of topics including writings on designs, theater, textiles, temple art, cuisines and much more. A quarterly magazine, the group also publishes a book every quarter and a few other publications related to Indian heritage and art. They also produce documentaries on different heritage sites. Marg is available both in print and the digital format on subscription. (https://marg-art.org/)
Art India Magazine
Art India is a leading art publication that covers contemporary and modern art. Founded in 1996 by Ms. Sangita Jindal the magazine is great platform that discusses and appreciates art forms. The topics cover the theory and practice of various art forms, such as sculpting, photography, installation art, painting, performance art, graphic art, craftsmanship and more. A quarterly magazine, Art India also through Art India Education presents a series of videos centered on conversations, classes, interviews etc. with eminent artists and personalities of India. One can subscribe or read the magazine in digital format. (https://www.artindiamag.com/)
Sruti is a monthly magazine dedicated to classical music, theater and dance. Sruti aims to preserve the heritages and traditions of the past, as well as, motivate modern innovations in art. Its first issue was out in 1983 and since then it has been one of the pioneering publications that have brought about significant change in the field of performing arts. For instance, one of its earliest campaigns was to restore the relevance of ‘ragam-tanam-pallavi’ in concerts. With profiles of musical exponents, documenting the methodology and characteristics of music and dance, Sruti also interviews senior and young artists, as well as teachers and gurus who may not be in the limelight. Its sophisticated, objective and researched writings make it a strong authority on many aspects of performing arts. The publication also publishes eBooks and one can read the print or digital version on subscription. (https://www.sruti.com/)
Art and Deal Magazine
Art and Deal was created in 1998 and its aim remains to make art accessible to the masses. It explores the different art forms of sculpting, painting, photography, books, architecture, design, new media, print and more. The magazine reports on the important art events and provides art based information to its readers. With articles, essays, profiles and interviews, the magazine seeks to merge art theory and its contemporary practices. The publication has also produced documentaries, books, such as the Art of the Earth, organized events, lectures, slides etc. A monthly magazine, one can subscribe for its print version or also read the articles on its website. (https://artanddeal.com/)
Take on Art Magazine
Take on Art is published twice in a year and covers contemporary art in South Asia. Its discourse is on photo essays, reviews, features, essays, criticism etc. The magazine’s mission is to report on vital developments in the art and culture of regions across South Asia and to foster global connections through art. Besides publishing, it also organizes educational workshops, mentorship programs and global partnerships. One can access the print and digital magazine on subscription. (https://takeonartmagazine.com/)
Arts Illustrated Magazine
Arts Illustrated is published by LA 5 Global Publications once in two months. Its topics revolve around design and visual art, signifying a national and global perspective. Its articles elucidate arts through its many aspects, such as cinema, architecture, photography, design, literature, theater etc. You can subscribe for the print version or check out the website for various write ups. (https://www.artsillustrated.in/)
Indian Contemporary Art Journal
Founded by the art institute Kalavishkar in 2009, the Indian Contemporary Art Journal is a quarterly magazine. The magazine exhibits interviews, reviews, profiles, essays by experienced art writers and critics. They report on the current art events, the art market and highlight the achievements of new, as well as, old talent. It published its last print version in January 2020 after which due to the pandemic, the magazine continued only its digital presence. (https://indianartjournal.com/)
Art Soul Life Magazine
Art Soul Life began in 2011 and is a colorful quarterly magazine. With essays, features, profiles, news and art ideas, the magazine has a wide readership. One can subscribe to the digital magazine online or buy the print version in book stores across the country. (https://www.artsoullifemagazine.com/)
Kala Dirgha Magazine
Kala Dirgha is published twice a year in both Hindi and English. An art journal, it promotes the visual arts and contains news, essays, features related to the world of art. First published in 2000, the magazine has useful articles for not only avid art lovers, but also for students and art writers.
Art Etc. News and Views
Art Etc. News and Views is an online magazine that publishes not only art news, but also important details of auctions, galleries, trends in the market, artist price index and more. Each issue is edited by a guest editor and also includes topics around antiques, furniture, collectibles and more. It is a monthly magazine that is a ready reference for artists, collectors, gallery owners, investors etc. (http://www.artnewsnviews.in/previous-issues.php)
Hakara is published in English and Marathi and is an online journal. A peer reviewed magazine it is accessible by all. Its interactive nature helps in bringing out the diverse and local nuances of art and expression across regions. The magazine encourages articles and discussions on art practices, developments in the art world, sharing of research etc. (https://www.hakara.in/)
For art lovers, subscribing to the best Indian art magazines is a wonderful way to keep in touch with contemporary art, as well as learn about the heritage of the past.