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Modern and Contemporary Art in Nepal: An Introduction

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Modern and Contemporary Art in Nepal: An Introduction

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Thursday, January 25
1:00–3:00 p.m. PT
Speaker: Owen Duffy, Ph.D., Nancy C. Allen Curator and Director of Exhibitions at Asia Society Texas
Virtual Event


Join us online to virtually travel with our speaker, Asia Society Texas’s Nancy C. Allen Curator and Director of Exhibitions Owen Duffy, to Kathmandu. Duffy will outline a foundational history of modern and contemporary art in Nepal, beginning with the country’s so-called “father of modern art,” Lain Singh Bangdel. After becoming part of the Independence-era artistic scene in Kolkata, Bangdel traveled to London and Paris, where he spent a decade experimenting with various avant-garde artistic styles. The lecture will then highlight key figures in Nepal’s 20th and 21st century art histories, including Ashmina Ranjit, Tsherin Sherpa, and others.


Speaker BiographyOwen Duffy, Ph.D., is the Nancy C. Allen Curator and Director of Exhibitions at Asia Society Texas. Duffy comes to Asia Society Texas from St. John’s University’s Yeh Art Gallery where he served as its director since 2019, leading the institution through physical renovations to the exhibition spaces and the creation of a new exhibition program around the theme of diplomacy. During his tenure he organized more than 20 exhibitions, including Lain Singh Bangdel: Moon over Kathmandu, the first solo museum exhibition outside Nepal of the country’s preeminent modern artist Lain Singh Bangdel (1919-2002). Duffy’s exhibitions have earned press in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Hyperallergic, The Art Newspaper, Brooklyn Rail, and Art in America, among others. In addition, Duffy has published scholarship on the work of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor, and Nepali performance artist Ashmina Ranjit. Among other publications, his writing about contemporary art has appeared ArtReview, Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, Artforum, Art & Education, frieze, Momus, Journal of Curatorial Studies, and BOMB.


Please note, this session will be conducted virtually via Zoom.

Save your spot by clicking on this link. All participants will be sent the Zoom link via confirmation email with instructions once you secure your place.


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Sponsored by the Asian Arts Council.


Featured at top right: Lain Singh Bangdel, Moon over Kathmandu (detail), 1962. Oil on canvas. Collection of Mervin Stevens.

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January 25
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
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