The Orion
Lecture Series in Fine Arts

Through the generous support of the Orion Fund in Fine Arts, the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Victoria, is pleased to present:

Rebecca Brown

Professor & Chair, Department of Art History, Johns Hopkins University


“Modern Ecologies: KCS Paniker’s Painted Gardens” 


1:00pm (PST) Saturday, June 4, 2022

Room 103, Fine Arts building + streaming online


Free & open to the public

Part of the South Asian Art History Student Symposium

Register here for the Zoom session 


Presented by UVic’s Department of Art History & Visual Studies

For more information on this lecture please email:

Dr. Rebecca M. Brown’s research engages in the history of art, architecture and visual culture of South Asia from the late 18th century to the present. She is particularly interested in the tensions and struggles that emerge within visual culture at moments that present themselves as transitional (but usually do not constitute a true “break”)—the early British presence on the subcontinent, the anti-colonial movement of the early twentieth century, the decades after India’s independence in 1947, and the economic and political machinations of the long 1980s.

Her current research focuses on the painting and editorial work of K.C.S. Paniker (1911–77) as it evinces a rich mode of experimentation with gesture, colour and line to deeply question the foundations of knowing in a fraught postcolonial linguistic and political landscape of southern India.

“Throughout my work, I am attentive to the interplay between space and the activities it shapes and enables, as well as the temporality of movement, performance, and duration as embodied by textiles, photographs, paintings, and people,” she says. “At the core of each of these engagements lies an attentive commitment to visual culture in its materiality, its instability, its active role for history, and its reconstitution in different epistemes under changing political demands.”

Paniker’s work explodes with vibrant life, both vegetal and animal, all carefully arranged alongside the marks humans make to seek understanding of the world: writing, math, charts, and astrology. His work thus presents an ecology of human-animal-plant mutuality, one of painted, curated modernist “gardens.”


About the Orion Fund

Established through the generous gift of an anonymous donor, the Orion Fund in Fine Arts is designed to bring distinguished visitors from other parts of Canada—and the world—to the University of Victoria’s Faculty of Fine Arts, and to make their talents and achievements available to faculty, students, staff and the wider Greater Victoria community who might otherwise not be able to experience their work.

The Orion Fund also exists to encourage institutions outside Canada to invite regular faculty members from our Faculty of Fine Arts to be visiting  artists/scholars at their institutions; and to make it possible for Fine Arts faculty members to travel outside Canada to participate in the academic life of foreign institutions and establish connections and relationships with them in order to encourage and foster future exchanges.

Free and open to the public  |  Seating is limited (500 Zoom connections) |  Visit our online events calendar at