By Salina Uppal
Remember, it takes only a single click for a collector looking at your work to move to another painting or sculpture. In most cases, it will not be your art that will lead him to move away, but the low quality photograph of it that is seen online.Read Full Article
By Salina Uppal
A picture maybe worth a thousand words, but unless you've adequately described your artwork, a nouveau buyer or even an experienced art lover will not pick the art piece. Detailed, thought provoking descriptions of your art is crucial to intrigue the buyer, capture their attention and finally purchase your work. Narration of the artwork through words is as important as the visual itself especially for collectors looking to buy paintings online from India. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind while describing your art: • Detailing Describe your art as if it doesn't have a visual to it. Imagine talking to a blind man while writing or speaking about your artwork. Add in a few gestures of how your painting looks, which will assist an average onlooker to strongly relate to the artwork. For instance, IndianArtCollector's Artist Sanjay Verma talks about each of his artworks very articulately.Read Full Article
By Salina Uppal
Words have immense power, especially if they are narrating the story of something valuable like an artwork. An artwork is not an artwork until it has a name of its own, a name that signifies its being and creation. Picking a name for your work is imperative as it illustrates the significance of the art from the artist’s point of view and gives the buyer or collector some idea of what they are moving towards. Naming your piece adds a degree of value to your artwork, because it informs, develops and intensifies the experience the collector when he browses a website to buy art online.Read Full Article
By Salina Uppal
Writing about your personal life as an artist is a powerful way to market your art online. What you say about yourself will ascertain your image to potential buyers and people from the art fraternity alike. Therefore, a personal bio needs to be written in a creative and thoughtful manner. Here are a few tips on how to create an impactful biography on IndianArtCollectors: • Artist's Statement The first statement read by anyone buying or browsing through art online, an artist’s statement is a great way to make an impression on a buyer. Since there is no face-to-face interaction when it comes to the online market, a robust and well thought out statement will help build relationships as it is a sign of credibility.Read Full Article
By Salina Uppal
Artists have always been vary of talking about themselves and their works thinking good art needs no explanations, but the reality today is a little different. Thanks to the internet more and more people are buying art online. Since a human intervention is missing, the need increases for a good social profile where potential buyers can learn more about the artist and their works. The first and foremost step to this is having a well-photographed, engaging profile picture of yourself. First impressions count, and your profile picture will be key to how people relate to you. You therefore need a picture which encourages those connections. People do business with people they trust so make sure that your picture conveys the impression of the warm, skilful, friendly person that you really are.Read Full Article
By Bharti Sharma
It would be an understatement to say that Michelangelo’s masterpiece is the soul of Sistine Chapel. Adorned with the Renaissance man’s magic, the Chapel continues to awe visitors as they gaze upon the world-famous ceiling painted by Michelangelo. The Chapel is a breathing example of how art can infuse spirit in a space. The importance of art in interior decor is undeniably immense. Space is the arena where Art and design combine to create compelling environs.Read Full Article
By IAC Team
The term “modern” for artwork in India can broadly be categorized in the period post 1857. The gallery of modern art in New Delhi hosts some beautiful collections of this era. Indian modern artwork is synonymous with the Bengal School of Painting which was given much impetus by the elite British officials. When we speak of modern artwork, it is the certain sense of liberation from formation and discovery which is mainly propounded; there is a universal recognition of the free style and attitude which has aided in situating the illustrations of the artist in a worldwide standpoint, in contrast to being centered only on the provincial. There is a definite escalation of skill which over time has burgeoned and turned out to be superlative; the artist currently has surfaced as a conspicuous personality. There is one breed of individuals which regard modern artwork as forbidden and insist on sticking to the traditional forms of expression. Artists over the centuries have been evolving and will continue to do so in the future too. Raja Ravi Varma was one such progressive youth of his times who literally initiated India into the world of modern artworks. Abanindranath Tagore too is another face of the modern artist who learned many revival methods of fine art at his throne of learning. In all honesty, real modern artwork commenced to be created only post India’s independence as freedom brought with it, immense opportunities. The artist then was not willing to stick to the age old norms and was keen to be accepted globally. With the world opening up for India, the artists managed to travel to various parts of the world and some even enrolled at the top art schools of Europe. The learning here was immense and breaking out of the rigmarole, a sheer pleasure. Experimenting with new mediums and in novel styles was an exciting step forward in the world of fine art. Art collections which are modern, contemporary or abstract can be found in online galleries of modern art. Earlier on, the art lovers spent luxurious days at the physical gallery of modern art, which took up both time and energy. That’s not the case anymore. People are leading hectic and stressful lives, but modern artwork continues to be their love and passion; online gallery of modern art helps them to savor the many art pieces that appeal to them. Also, here it is possible to come across affordable artwork due to immense competition between the many artists. This platform is fantastic for the artists to display their work and also get critical acclaim from their seniors, which helps to improve their skills. The authentic gallery of modern art hosts only original works and there is no room here for duplication. They ensure that they carefully sift the works sent by diverse artists and keep the quality of the picture in mind. Affordable art collection which adds color to your vacant walls brings about a sense of warmth, taste and style to your abode. Collecting modern artwork is a brilliant form of investing your money as their worth is on a steady hike. Online modern art galleries work as perfect spots for buying and selling art; it’s not only a stage for the artists but the collectors too can make hordes of money by displaying what they own, at such portals.Read Full Article
By IAC Team
The artists creating landscape artwork are typically romantic and idealistic in their being. Nature extends an extraordinary appeal for them and the mountains, seas, forests, trees, clouds, streams, valleys, the moon and the sun are employed by them to speak their language of love. The landscape artists seem tender and thoughtful; they have this subtle capability of capturing various moods of nature and depicting it in diverse forms. Weather plays a key role in the composition of landscape artwork. The word “landscape” is consequential from the Dutch word “landschap” which literally means a piece of farm land. This word took shape in the English language about the 17th century. Landscape artists the world over have earned a place of reverence and pride due to their fabulous creations. Actually, landscape artwork goes back many centuries and in India it can be traced to the Bhimbetka caves. It is true that all artists are inspired by some source, for them to paint what they do. Nature is all around you and from times immemorial; the artists have given vent to their feeling via various themes and subjects. landscape paintings have an ethereal and spiritual feel about them and the landscape artists express with nature in its assortment of dispositions, expressions and nostalgia. The vast topography of India has lead the landscape artist to make canvases of deserts, oceans, the mighty Himalayas, the river valley plains etc. These are categorized as seascapes, cityscapes, river sceneries etc. and the medium deployed is oil, pastels or watercolors. The artists, when making landscape artwork give immense impetus to light as it impacts the shadows, colors and contrasts of the picture. The goal of the landscape artists is to create paintings which would bring joy in the life of the viewers. Having attractive landscape adorn your home factually brings nature within your four walls. The idea of the artist is to share what he makes with the world at large as where is the point in creating if your expression is not witnessed. It is online art galleries which work like magic at this time and the landscape artists from any part of the world can showcase their work here. In earlier times, it was impossible for some top of the line upcoming artists’ to get any attention. The well renowned art galleries could only stock a certain amount but with the online art galleries gaining so much popularity, all artists worth their work are getting noticed. The landscape artwork collectors too are having a great time browsing their hearts away and sitting in New-York, you can come across some very charming pieces belonging to artists in India. The well established online art galleries omit the cost of shipping and make sure that the piece reaches you in a perfect condition, at your doorstep. Abstract landscape artwork makes for fabulous presents on birthdays, weddings and anniversaries. The vibrancy in their colors makes the heavens and earth appear as one; the landscape artist inspires for a panorama to be altered as a rhythmical mystical experience instead of merely depicting an issue. It is most definitely the romantics who paved way for the abstract landscape artwork to flourish, as over the years this has become the favorite of many art lovers. With the passage of time, new styles have originated and like other forms of art, landscape artwork too is constantly evolving.Read Full Article
By IAC Team
Bose Krishnamachari was born in the year 1963 at Angamaly, in the Indian state of Kerala. In 1991 he received his Diploma in Art from Kerala Kalapeetham in Cochin and then went to Mumbai in 1986 to join the Sir JJ School of Art. He graduated in the year 1991with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art. In the year 2000 Bose received a Charles Wallace Award which took him to the Goldsmiths College, University of London from where he did his Masters in Visual Arts.
Bose is an artist who is partial to bright and bold colors. The Indian color palette of its ceremonies, religions, festivals and the costumes associated with it has inspired the artist’s canvas. His work includes paintings, figurative drawings, sculpture, photography and multimedia installations. He is also a curator and through exhibitions and projects, passionately supports and promotes the upcoming Indian artists by displaying their work in metros and in the International art world.
Bose is fascinated by the form of the book and the role of archiving or museumisation. Both the elements find places in his art work. In his highly commended debut show, AmUseuM (1992) at the Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai, Bose showcased spiral bound books which had been painted over, inscribed with poetry, while some had pages that were glued together. These were then exhibited in glass cases like artifacts displayed in a museum. In his more recent exhibition LaVa, Bose recreated a library of art, books and films in locations all over the country. The museum holds a special position in his heart, believing it to be the storehouse of knowledge. He is busy with designing and building a museum of his own in Kerala, which will hold his own art collection as well as that of international collectors.
In his solo exhibition De-Curating- Indian Contemporary Artists (2003), Bose spent about three years by travelling the length and breadth of the country interviewing, talking to, sketching and photographing contemporary living artists whose penciled and painted portraits were then mounted and displayed. Through his exhibition, Bose pays tribute to ninety four living artists, some well- established while others were on the threshold of their careers. All these artists, according to Bose are a part of our art history because they have a major role to play by way of their contribution in the development of contemporary art in India as well as by inspiring other artists like him.
The artists work also focuses on the world beyond the ‘art world’. His famous multimedia installation Ghost/Transmemoir (2008) is a critique on the urbanization of Mumbai. The work is a 40 feet installation consisting of 108 Tiffin boxes. The Tiffin or the dabba is a recurring motif in many of the artists’ works and is featured in many of his paintings, installations and sculptures. The Tiffin is the life line of Mumbai; every morning these boxes are filled with meals by housewives and are then picked up by the famous Dabbawala’s who deliver them unerringly to the rightful owners in their offices. The Tiffin’s in his installation were suspended on an iron scaffolding and had LCD monitors attached to them. The exhibit is a commentary on a city and its inhabitants who are forever in a state of flux, trying to live up to the expectations of a globally driven economy. The LCD monitors capture the buzz and the chaos of the Mumbai streets. There are short interviews of the people on the streets, their expectations, their joys and frustrations, their reasons for moving to Mumbai. The artist, himself an immigrant to Mumbai, gives voices to the multitude of migrants that have made Mumbai their home.
His installation White Builders and Red Carpets (2008), takes on a more political overtone. In this installation, Bose displayed 108 microphones on a long red table, while 13 white chairs stood behind it as sentinels. The chairs represent the powerful who would occupy them to address a press conference. This group of people is the ones who disseminate the kind of information that leads to unrest and strife within a nation state for their own economic gain.
Bose has been the recipient of a number of awards. He has received the Kerala Lalitha Kala Academy Award in 1985 and a Gold Medal from the Sir JJ School of Art in 1991. He also received a fellowship from the Mid America Arts Alliance (MAAA) in 1995 for Extensive Travel and residency to the U.S.A. He was also the First Runner-up for the Bose Pacia Prize for Modern Art in 2001.
Bose has exhibited extensively. He has had solo shows in Kochi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Baroda, Kolkata and New Delhi. He has also been a part of Group Shows in Mumbai, Kolkata, San Francisco, Palo Alto, New York, Tokyo, Singapore and London, Since 200, Bose has organized a number of shows at New Delhi, Kochi, Mumbai and Dubai, the more appreciated amongst them being MaaRKERS (2006) at the Bodhi Art Gallery, and Spy (2007), at the Museum Art Gallery, in Mumbai.
By IAC Team
Jitish Kallat was born in the year 1974 in Mumbai. He graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Sir JJ School of Art, Mumbai in 1996, specializing in painting. Kallat is also a writer on art and mainly contributes articles on Contemporary Indian Art, many of which have been published in art journals, exhibition catalogues and the local press. He has received a number of awards including a Fellowship at the Sir JJ School of Art, the Indo-American Young Achiever’s Award, the Provogue Young Achiever’s Award and the Sanskriti Award.
Kallat’s work incorporates varied media which includes painting, sculpture, installations, photography and video art. His works have been mainly autobiographical especially so in his initial exhibitions. Kallat uses his self image as the main protagonist while addressing his personal relationships and experiences as well as those between the self and that of the other inhabitants of Mumbai, the city of his birth and where he lives and works at present. Thematically Kallat moves through pain, hope and survival. His first solo show was held in 1997, barely a year after he graduated. The exposition entitled P.T.O was held at Gallery Chemould in Mumbai.
Kallat’s artistic language is bold, unrestrained and visually, extremely vibrant. He integrates both European and Asian artistic elements along with aspects of contemporary art and popular advertising imagery into his creations. For producing his monumental canvases Kallat sources his material from around Mumbai’s streets. They are a fusion of the various mediums he chances upon collecting newsprint, images, photocopies and other material. Approaching his work with abandon and impulsiveness Kallat’s aesthetically created monumental canvases and sculptures reflect the fast-paced and ever changing face of Mumbai. In his work, Departure (2000), Kallat focuses on a laborer at a train-station, in the Ode to a Spinal Cord (2000), he comments on the daily rigors of commuting in the Mumbai local trains, the cord that binds the city together. Rickshawpolis4 is portraiture of Mumbai burgeoning with traffic and masses of people trying to negotiate their way through the chaos on the streets.
Kallat’s work has undergone a change in the past few years. He has started incorporating words and passages in his work. In Public Notice (2003) and Detergent (2004), Kallat used a long forgotten historical speech as the skeleton around his bodywork. In Public Notice 2 (2007) he uses the speech of Mahatma Gandhi delivered on the eve of the historical Dandi March, when Gandhi exhorted Indians to boycott the Salt Laws. The revolutionaries were bound by a code of conduct; the Civil Disobedience movement was to be completely peaceful and non-violent. Kallat uses 4,479 pieces of sculptural alphabets while recalling Gandhi’s words and appeals to mankind to maintain peace in a world that is beset with aggression and violence.
Eruda and Annexe are huge fiberglass sculptures of young children covered with black lead. While Eruda depicts the resilience of the street children of Mumbai eking a living by selling books at the traffic lights, Annexe highlights the determination of a young child surviving by begging against all odds in the metro. Kallat uses quotes and photocopies of printed matter which he merges with his paintings and installations. By merging the real (news, manuscripts) with fiction (paintings), the artist calls upon the viewer to decipher and interpret his work, arriving at their own conclusions of the message that the images carry.
Kallat has had twelve solo shows at prestigious galleries, namely the Chemould Art Gallery in Mumbai, India Habitat Centre in New Delhi, the Bose Pacia Modern in New York, Walsh Gallery in Chicago, and Bodhi Art in Singapore amongst others. Kallat has participated in various group exhibitions held in Mumbai, Japan, Australia, USA and the UK. Some of the more impressive destinations where his work has been showcased are the Tate Modern (London), Opera City Gallery (Tokyo), Gallery 4A (Sydney), Woolff Gallery (London), Culturgest Museum (Lisbon), Royal College of Art (London), to name a few.
By IAC Team
Mehlli Gobhai was born in 1931 in the city of Mumbai. After completing his graduation from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, he went to study art at the Royal College of Art, London and then onto the Pratt Graphic Centre and the Art Students League, New York. He lived and worked in New York for over 20 years, returning to Mumbai in the late 1980’s. Gobhai’s art was influenced by the prevalent trends being practiced in New York. Gobhai’s work leaned more towards abstract expressionism while most of his contemporaries who went to the west to study were influenced by European masters.
As a student of art, Gobhai trained intensively in understanding the human body and drawing figures. On his journey in finding his own forte, Gobhai broke down the figure into a more linear form. He worked upon this style during the late 70’s and the early 80’s while in New York. Although he is bracketed as an abstract painter, hints of the traditional art forms can be seen in his paintings. Gobhai has always painted in series, using minimum strokes he represents the body, its form and structure in a simpler manner.
Structure is an important aspect of his paintings. His figures are cut down and completely pared of frivolous lines. Gobhai feels that the most important part of the human body is its axis. This is represented by straight and stark lines that cut across the painting, forming the focal point around which he arranges his painting. The artist keeps reusing an image until he has managed to depict it in all possible ways and styles. According to Gobhai, while painting Jayadeva’s Geet Govinda, he got impatient with the sensuality of the curved line, in his endeavor of searching for a pure form, he forgot about the figure completely. The figures of Radha and Krishna were almost completely abstract expressed in horizontals, verticals and diagonals.
Surface also plays an important role in his artwork. In Gobhai’s opinion, the surface of a painting is an important base for its creation. He has painted on canvas though most of his recent work is on paper. He uses handmade paper and textures it to make it appear like an aged scrap of leather, an old parchment, weathered stone, a metal sheet or the rind of a fruit. He uses various mediums like graphite, zinc powder and oil as the first step in the treatment of his base. A rag or fingertips are used to rub in the color into the canvas. A luminous sheen is added by using a paintbrush to layer on coats of acrylic. Gobhai then textures the surface by using a buffer or making notches or then by drawing lines over the surface. The most important part of a human body according to Gobhai is its axis. The figure is represented by straight stark lines that are drawn across the canvas and he builds his painting around it, giving his work a certain amount of minimalism and austerity.
Gobhai abhors color, which according to him seduces the viewer away from the essence of the painting. He employs color only when he feels that a painting actually requires it. In the artists words “If I had to give up either color or lines I would certainly give up color- which I almost have.” Although he is non committal about the colors he uses, one can perceive hints of browns, rusts, olive, black and gray.
Gobhai has been a part of a number of expositions. He has exhibited as recently as in September 2011 at Gallery Espace in New Delhi, At Gallery 7, Gallery Chemould and the Chemould Prescott Road in Mumbai and at New India House in New York. He has also been a part of group shows in New York, Berlin and Mumbai.
By IAC Team
NS Harsha was born in Mysore in the year 1969. He did his graduation in Fine Arts, specializing in painting and graduated in 1992 from CAVA in Mysore. He received his Master’s degree in painting in 1995 from the Faculty of Fine Arts, MS University, Baroda. He lives and works in Mysore and is represented in London by the Victoria Miro Gallery.
Harsha has worked in various mediums. His work includes large figurative paintings, miniature drawings, sculpture, semi-abstract panels, site-specific installations, community-based collaborations and research projects. Harsha has been influenced by artists like Bhupen Khakkar and Ghulam Mohammed Sheikh, addressing social and political inequalities using popular art forms. He reworks the traditional style of Indian miniature painting known for the use of its subtle brushwork and illumination and adapts the Pahari, Mughal and Rajasthani schools to comment on present-day political and social situations.
Harsha skillfully portrays people occupied with their daily tasks. These vignettes of Indian life are set against the backdrop of world events. His paintings are narrative, and are known for the numerous figures that inhabit them, painted with immense precision and skill. In Smoke Goes Up Smoke Goes Down Your Search For Me Is Always On (2004-2006), which comprises of twelve paintings, Harsha very sensitively describes the condition of human beings.
Cosmic Orphans (2006), created for the Singapore biennale, was a large scale installation. It was a site specific painting that was installed at the Sri Krishnan Temple. It covered the entire ceiling of the inner sanctum. On the floor below the temple tower he directly painted sleeping figures alluding to the hordes of people waiting at railway platforms. This sea of humanity was an insurmountable boundary that had to be crossed by the faithful on the way to the inner sanctum, since culturally it is taboo to step on another human being. The idea of an insuperable border is evident in Serpentine, another site specific painting which was done directly on the gallery wall. In this piece of work Harsha shows a crowd restrained by a fence and the artist urges the viewer to reflect on their relationship with the multitude of people.
For White Shadow 2002, a community based project for the Fukoka Asian Art Museum in Japan, the artist spread a white cloth on the ground to catch the shadow of a tree. The viewers were invited to participate by adding on leaves made of the same fabric to the shadow of the tree before they climbed the top of a building to view the shadow set against the backdrop of the city. They Will Manage My Hunger 2005 is a critique on the vast divide between the rural poor and the urban rich. Provocative texts are included into the painting to reinforce the point.
Early works of the artist that deserve a mention are Thousand Hands (1996), a circular drawing much like the Buddhist mandala, depicting small hands in various gestures. In Running Around The Nectars of Time (1998-99), Harsha makes a honeycomb using a technique similar to that used for Tanjore paintings. Done on silk using acrylic, bronze powder, gold foil and varnish he places miniature portraits of well-known figures within the cells of the honeycomb.
Harsha has taken part in a number of projects and exhibitions world-wide. He has participated in the Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Arts, Australia in 1999, the Second Fukuoka Asia Art Triennial in 2002, the Singapore Biennial in 2006, the 26th Sao Paullo Biennial and the Liverpool Biennial in 2010. He has had solo expositions in INIVA, London in 2009 and at the Maison Hermes, Tokyo in 2008. After his show he was invited by a famous French brand to design a scarf for them. His work has been exhibited at prestigious venues at India, Sharjah, France, Oslo, Denmark and Spain. In 2008 Harsha won the prestigious Artes Mundi prize.
By IAC Team
Prabhakar M Kolte was born in Nerur Par in Maharashtra and graduated with a Diploma in painting from the Sir J.J. School of Art in 1968. After completing his course, he freelanced as an artist and illustrator for four years. In 1974, he joined his alma mater as a teacher and spent twenty-two years there working under Shankar Palsikar, to whom Kolte credits as having given a direction to his life, both spiritually and professionally. While Palsikar introduced him to the idea of an indigenous abstraction in his paintings, it is the Swiss artist Paul Klee who seems to have a major influence on his work. Kolte retired in 1994 and lives in Mumbai where he continues painting.
Kolte’s early work is distinguishable from the present paintings by the presence of one dominant color in the background on which he placed more complex forms. At this point in his career Kolte was interested in space and form, both geometric and organic. Acknowledging the fact that Klee’s style had a major impact on his paintings, Kolte says that “People called me the Indian Paul Klee. I was busy searching for myself.” Initially he learnt to paint by copying paintings by other artists and over time has learnt to immerse himself completely into his subject, so much so that it seems to become a part of him. According to Kolte, an inner voice guides him to paint. He observes everything around him, but does not try to capture it on the canvas immediately. He prefers to paint first, then observe and feel its effect, this gives him an immense feeling of satisfaction of creation. His paintings are therefore, “Something out of Nothing but Not of Something.” An artist must according to Kolte, “paint first and see later rather than see first and paint later.”
In the 80’s while teaching at the J.J. School Kolte experimented with other forms of art. He moved beyond his canvas to try out installation and performing art. In one piece called Happening, Kolte and his students covered a car with newspaper. In another installation he tied gas balloons to the end of a ladder and released it in the air. The motive behind the installations was to infuse some thought and encourage debate amongst those present. While in yet another exhibit titled “A Man Without Shadow”, he painted a volunteer completely black. By doing this Kolte was able to explore color and form. He, however, was not pleased with this style of artistic expression preferring to continue to work with his paints.
His canvas art in the meantime had become more sophisticated. He has experimented with textures, colors and transparency. Kolte’s work is modernistic in the way he has used signs and layering of paints, he has also stuck materials like paper, pieces of fabric and staples to make his work look like a collage. Of late, nonetheless, his paintings have become glossier and are more refined than his earlier ones. The colors are muted and his paintings are permeated with a certain form of serenity. Art for Kolte gives meaning to his life and the process of creating it, brings within him, an inner joy.
Kolte has had several shows to his credit. He has participated in solo shows and in many group exhibitions. His work has been showcased in the cities of Calcutta, Mumbai, Yugoslavia, Ankara, Istanbul, Hong Kong and Amsterdam.
By IAC Team
Ranbir Singh Kaleka was born in Patiala, Punjab in the year 1953. He studied painting at the College of Art, Punjab University in Chandigarh and received his Diploma in 1975. He took up a teaching assignment in the university and taught there till 1977. He then moved to the College of Art, New Delhi in 1980. In 1985 Kaleka headed for London with the aid of a Charles Wallace scholarship. He received his Master’s Degree in painting from the Royal College of Art in 1987. During this time he received the Sanskriti award (1986) and the National Award from Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi.
Kaleka, in his career which spans over 30 years has worked with a variety of media which includes water colours, oils on canvas, mixed media on wood, digital photography and finally video. As far as Kaleka’s paintings are concerned, they comprise of objects and figures placed within a perplexing and intimidating environment. He is a surrealist in the sense that his work is based on what he sees around him. He however moves away from using sharp lines to define his figures, the images are suggested while his use of colours is rather restrained. His paintings reflect emotions such as terror and fear. The paintings leave a sense of mistrust and suspicion by his frequent use of mirrors, windows, glass, plastic metal and chrome. A couple of examples of his early paintings are Nupital Bubbles (1974) and Adam’s Ills (1979).
Kaleka’s interest in cinema goes back to the 70’s when he started a film society in Patiala. The members watched screenings of offbeat movies and international films which were loaned by embassies. Kaleka’s art in the latter years reflects his love for cinema. On his return back from England, Kaleka started including video in his creations. Painting, according to the artist has a physical quality, a motionless image which one can touch and feel. Video on the other hand uses light to create images in motion and his endeavour was to combine the two and see what this amalgamation of forms would lead to. The video art created by Kaleka resulted in a ‘hyper image’ in which the stationery image is permeated with a sense of movement by superimposing it with sound and movement.
Kaleka does not get tied down by geographical or cultural boundaries. His work is a commentary on life which encompasses grief and joy, the beautiful and the ugly, the triumphs and the sorrows. His work is multilayered and defies a singular interpretation. Man threading a Needle (1999-99), a highly acclaimed piece of work, heralded his move into a style he is associated with today - still work that moves by projecting video upon canvas. The work comprised an image of a carpenter who endlessly tries to thread the eye of a needle, occasionally blinking his eyes or taking a breath.
Man With Cockerel (2002, version 1), was his second piece of work to use a cinematic effect. Kaleka in the style of silent movies of yore projected a video on both sides of a sheer screen. It shows a man who silently tiptoes in, tries to pick up a rooster which flutters and escapes. The video runs over and over again. This did not have a painted backdrop.
In The Kettle, an image associated with roadside chaiwallah, the person who keeps us supplied with innumerable cups of tea, Kaleka uses a kettle that simmers away on a hob, while the background changes every few seconds from a kitchen window, to a storage cupboard to an improvised stove surrounded by garbage and brambles. The artist uses a single surface for this creation, overlaying the painted image with video projection. His oeuvre includes the use of single frame shots, multiple screens and still characters among a hyperactive landscape. Kaleka has also exhibited photographs and has been associated with setting up installations. Crossings (2005), is an epic work of Kaleka. It consists of four oil paintings over which four video images are projected. The work comprises of isolated individuals shown singly, together or in a line, with the background changing ceaselessly.
Kaleka has exhibited widely in India and abroad. His most recent shows and participations have been the 4th Guangzhou Triennial, 2011; Prague Biennial 5, 2011; Hong Kong Art fair in 2010; ‘Finding India’, Art for the New century at the MOCA in Tapei, 2010, Sweet Unease at the Volte Gallery in Mumbai in 2010, Fables from the House of Ibaan in 2008 at the Bose Pacia gallery in Mumbai in 2010. He has also been exhibiting regularly in Australia, USA, Berlin, South Korea, London and Geneva over the years. At present the artist lives and works in New Delhi.
By IAC Team
Sheba Chhachhi is an activist, a photographer, an installation artist and a writer. She was born in Hrar, Ethiopia in the year 1958 and completed her education from Delhi University. She then went on to the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. In the 80’s Sheba built up a formidable body of work as a documental photographer and a social activist, her work chronicled the women’s movement in India and South Asia. She focused on the way women were shown or used in popular culture and their plight in areas of conflict and violence.
In the 90’s Sheba moved away from photo documentation and started experimenting with alternative photographic styles. She worked in collaboration with women activists setting up staged photographic installations. Instead of single images of her subjects, Sheba used her lens to capture them in a series of still as well as moving images. She graduated to multi-media installations by the mid-90’s enhancing her photographs by including texts, salvaged objects, sculptures, light and sound effects as well as video. She encompasses a wider range of themes that range from myths and symbols of Indian traditions to history, from environmental pollution to urban ecologies, from visual cultures to memory. She records all she sees around her, one subject that has stayed close to her heart is women and the power of female consciousness.
In Ganga’s Daughters: Meetings with Women Ascetics, (1991-2002), exhibited at the Townsend Center, Sheba works with the women sadhvis and yoginis who have given up living within the confines of the socially accepted framework. Her photographs bring to life the existence of the women who have renounced the worldly and material pleasure to live in freedom as ascetics.
For her exhibit Neelkanth (Blue Throat): Poison Nectar, (2002), alluding to the myth of the Hindu God Shiva, who retained the poison in his throat and spewed forth nectar to save the world. In a multi-media presentation using photographs, translates and video, the artist creates a contemporary Indian city in which all the five elements of life and the five senses are poisoned. The artist plays between the mythical and social elements by using the figure of Shiva (Neel Kanth) to question us whether we can make nectar from poison, whether personal and political transformation can be brought about.
In her photo installation When the Gun is Raised, Dialogue Stops: Women’s voices from the Kashmir Valley (2001), Sheba teamed up with Sonia Jabbar, a fellow photographer. The artists take us into the very private lives of women whose daily existence has been affected by the violence in the Kashmir Valley. The exhibit consists of interviews, testimonies and photographs of both Hindu and Muslim women living through the horrors of war, fear and loss. Six years of work led to one conclusion by the victims of violence, that the gun was not the answer to a political issue.
Sheba has recently been involved in creating a new medium of expressing herself. She takes the help of light boxes, using a series of photographic images, both still and moving, which produces a rather dramatic effect very similar to that of a motion picture. She uses the light boxes in her multi installation Winged Pilgrims A Chronicle from Asia. The installation also consists of sculptures and recorded soundtrack. The iconographies used in the exhibit are birds, landscapes and robed figures. In her show Sheba turns the attention of the viewer to the result of globalization.
Sheba has held solo shows at India Habitat Centre, Pragati Maidan and Nature Morte in New Delhi, at University of California, Berkley, at Bose Pacia, New York and at the Walsh Gallery, Chicago. She has participated in over 42 group shows which include those at Chicago, Paris, Berlin, Cuba, London, Indonesia, Taipei, Beijing, and the Singapore Biennial.
By IAC Team
Sheela Gowda was born in Bhdravati, the state of Karnataka in 1957. Gowda received her diploma in painting from the Ken School of Art, Bangalore in 1979. She did a short stint at the M.S. University in Baroda before she left for Shantiniketan where she did her post-diploma in painting at the Vishwa Bharti University and passed out in 1982. She received a scholarship to study at the Royal College of Art, London (1984-86) and then went to Cite International des Arts in Paris. Gowda took up a teaching position at CAVA, Mysore for a while and lived nearby in a semi-urban village. Her interest in rural Indian traditions was influenced by her father, a well respected archivist of Indian folk music and artifacts.
Gowda started her career as an oil painter. Her early works were influenced by K.G. Subramanyam and were mainly oil paintings depicting girls in contemplative stances. She then moved onto more expressionistic work that depicted the underlying tensions within the Indian middle class and women’s issues. Her canvas dealt with the miserable and oppressive surroundings of the average person going about their daily living. The women are shown confined to living within the parameters set by society weighed down by physical, mental and sexual violation. At this phase in her life, Gowda’s work was inspired by the style of Nalini Malani.
Gowda moved onto using extremely unconventional material by the year 1992. The communal riots in Mumbai and the social unrest that followed as well as the uneven economic development in India had an effect on her style. She used incense, cow-dung, kumkum, paper, and fabric, charred wood and human hair to depict the lives of the ordinary people. Her sculptural forms and installations are a continued commentary on the violence and aggressiveness she sees around her, especially on women. Her work takes on a more abstract form while she not only explores the societal pressures a woman lives under but also nudges them to be more confident, independent and vocal about the indignities being heaped on them.
Gowda’s installations are also about the dichotomy that exists within the urban cities of India. Her choice of material reflects this duality. On the one hand we see technology ushering in a change in our day to day lives, while on the other hand certain industries fail to change with time. One such is the production of incense. For most Indians incense is associated with religious rituals, and almost half of the incense used worldwide is supplied by India. Yet the production of incense is done in small cottage industry by a labor force that consists primarily of women who are paid a meager salary for its production. Inspired by Incense, Gowda’s creation using joss sticks made by her was a part of her Therein and Besides exhibition at Iniva in London. This fragile installation reflecting the equally precarious life of the women manufacturing it consisted of what looked like an aerial view of devastated rural landscapes.
And Tell Him of My Pain (1998) is a vein-like installation. She uses masses of thread colored blood red with kumkum and pulled through the eye of needles which are then suspended from the ceiling. The artist had to pull 360-foot long thread through the eye of every single needle. The installation can be read at various levels. On the one hand it refers to daily domestic work carried out by females like knitting, sewing and weaving, on a more menacing level it suggests physical and sexual violence. In an untitled work done in 2009 for the Venice Biennale, Gowda uses human hair braided into ropes hanging down from the walls of the gallery. Human hair which is ritualistically shaved of as an offering to the Gods in south India, at the Tirupati Temple ends up being used in the wig-making industry. Huge oil barrels were used by Gowda and arranged to look like the small dingy makeshift homes of construction workers in Darkroom, an installation done in 2006. Once the viewer stepped inside, they were confronted with infinite space; the ceilings of the dwellings were filled with tiny pinpricks, so that the one could gaze out into the starry night sky.
The artist has held solo exhibitions at the Venkatappa Art Gallery, Bangalore in 1987, at the Chemould and Gallery 7 in Mumbai. She has participated in group shows at the Karnataka Lalit Kala Academy exhibitions in Bangalore in 1981, 1982 and 1985. She has also participated in the National Exhibition of the Lalit Kala Academy in New Delhi held in 1984. Gowda has also exhibited in Switzerland, Johannesburg and New York. She was short listed for the fifth Arts Mundi Prize on January 26th 2012.
By IAC Team
Shilpa Gupta, born in the year 1976, lives and works in Mumbai. She studied sculpture at the Sir JJ School of Fine Arts graduating in 1997. Shilpa employs a multimedia approach to her art. She uses interactive video, websites, photographs, sound and objects.
She was born at a time when the country and the world at large were moving out of state controlled economic development to a more liberal outlook as far as intellectual and artistic activity was concerned. Shilpa delves into themes like religion, desire, belief, terror and notions of security due to militarization or communal conflict. Shilpa approaches art in a multi-disciplinary fashion, cutting across scientific, psychological and geographical boundaries refusing to restrict herself within the prescribed limits of the traditional artist.
She has managed to blur the lines between art and the consciousness of the onlooker. She invites the viewers to be an active part of her work, soliciting a response from them about her art and the message it conveys to them, in effect she makes them an integral part of her shows. Shilpa makes us question our actions, nudges us to think and understand ourselves. Unlike the artists of the 50’s and 60’s who were inspired by the prevalent socio-political problems in society, Shilpa searches for the tangible through her abstract style of art.
The art world in the 90’s was opening up to newer Indian artists who were not restricted by their history of colonialism or bound by the styles of European masters. For Shilpa, impetus in terms of thematic input was provided by the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the destruction of the Babri Masjid in 1991. These events as well the development of user friendly technology in terms of communication and the use of imagery helped the artist innovate her art by incorporating media as an integral part of her exhibits. Prove That You Care (1997), an exhibit that is based on the shallowness of relationships and lack of emotional bonding amongst people in today’s society. The artist uses hair, menstrual fluids with carefully pressed flowers and stamps to enunciate her view.
This creativity and fluidity in her work is visible in Your Kidney Supermarket (2002-2003) based on bio-piracy that cuts across geographical boundaries. One street in Amsterdam was converted into a market place which offered kidneys from different countries on sale. The kidneys were made from sugar and glucose and were exhibited in acrylic cases. In her work Untitled (2001), Shilpa deals with the taboos connected with menstruation.
In her interactive video projections Blessed-Bandwidth.net (2003) Shilpa deals with the commercialization of religion for immediate and personal gratification. The installation which consists of video, canvases, lights, carpet and television, offers the viewer instantaneous bliss once they connect with the bandwidth. Blame (2002-2004), a part of Aar-Paar, which was a public art exchange initiative between India and Pakistan, is concerned with religious prejudices and fanaticism. She distributed bottles of blood asking the people to differentiate between the religion and nationality by looking at it. This exhibition coincided with the Gujarat riots that led to innumerable Muslim deaths.
War on Terror (2004-05) is concerned with the many faces of terror, Half Widows (2005-06) focuses us towards the injustice meted out to the Kashmiri women whose husbands are languishing in jails or have disappeared without a trace during the Kashmir conflict in the past decade. Someone Else a recent exhibit at the Chemould Prescott Road Gallery in Mumbai is a comment on the menace of censorship and is her comment on the restrictions imposed on free expression. The exhibition coincided with the banning of Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses. Each viewer could walk away with a part of the exhibit which consisted of bars of soaps imprinted with the word Threat.
Shilpa had her first solo museum show at the Contemporary Art Center in Cincinnati in 2010. She has also showcased her work in France, Austria and New Delhi. Shilpa has been invited to participate in Lion Biennale in 2009, Gwangiu Biennale and Yokohama Triennial in 2008, the Liverpool Biennale in 2006 apart from Biennales at Auckland, Seoul, Havana, Sydney and Shanghai. Her work has been displayed in museums worldwide such as the Tate Modern Museum, the Serpentine Gallery, Mori Museum, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum to name a few. Her work can also be found among the collections of the Asia Society, Daimler Chrysler, and Jerusalem Museum, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art etc and in many private collections in India and abroad.
By IAC Team
Subba Ghosh was born in New Delhi in 1964. He graduated in 1984 from the College of Art, New Delhi with a degree in Fine Arts, specializing in painting. Thereafter, he did a three year stint (1984-87) in Moscow at the Surikov Institute of Fine Arts. On his return to India he pursued a Masters Degree in Fine Arts (painting) from the College of Arts, New Delhi and then went to Slade School of Art and Theoretical Studies, on a Commonwealth Scholarship to London for a second Master’s Degree in 1994, which he cleared with a distinction. In addition to this he has also trained in puppet fabrication under Alain Duverne in Paris, France. Ghosh also took up courses in Web designing and 3D Animation.
Ghosh has been exhibiting his work since 1989. He lives and works in Delhi and is a known as a mercurial figure in the Indian art scene. Though he primarily describes himself as a painter, Ghosh is also an animator, an installation artist and also uses the video as a part of his exhibits. He showcases his work mainly in solo exhibitions, reluctant to be a part of most group shows so that he is not bound by the themes that are dictated by the market. The subject closest to his heart revolves around the use of intimidation, force and violence by the state in order to have power over its population. His work focuses on the prevalent class structures and social disparities in India. Ghosh has held solo shows at Anant Art Gallery in New Delhi, the Talwar Gallery in New York and the Shridharani Gallery in New Delhi. He is a founder member of the Indian Printmakers Guild and a working group member of Khoj International Artists’ Association.
During his spell at the Slade School of Art, Ghosh started experimenting with video and earned a name for himself as a graphic artist. In 1984 he received a medal at the Graphics ’84, an all India graphics Print Exhibition held in New Delhi. He is adept at photography, placing his pictures as floating images beside his paintings. In his 1996 exhibit called How Was I to Know Your Body Was Made for Me, Ghosh’s theme was based on the concept of the contrast between the public and private lives of a person. He used larger than life paintings of a naked man exposed to the view of the public. The private objects belonging to him were kept firmly shut up in boxes lying at the base of each image. In Man in the Corner, 2002 the artist again returns to the thematic distinction between the private- public lives of individuals. In these paintings the artist shows the protagonists involved in routinely private rituals in public areas.
Ghosh on his return to India experimented with indigenous forms of advertising used in political campaigns, such as banners, billboards and hoardings. He used life-sized painted cut outs made out of plywood and banners to highlight the plight of the ordinary man. His art was a social statement, a commentary on the status of the less fortunate and the poor belonging to the nation state of India. Thereafter Ghosh forayed into multi-media. His Remains of a Breath, a video made in 1999 shows the artist in different positions. He shows himself buried alive under newspapers, ashes, dust and flowers. The message is twofold: on the one hand the artist points us towards the mortality of man and on the other he focuses our attention towards the tons of waste generated that is choking us to death. This installation has been one of the most widely exhibited works of the artist.
Ghosh’s third solo exhibition (2009) at the Anant Gallery, the artist shows his mastery as a draughtsman as well as a video artist. The exhibition was a combination of monochromatic drawings, video, sculpture installations, animation and cut-outs. Black acrylic drawings were used in Coercion l&ll, showing a policeman using a stick on a protestor, highlighting the use of brutal force on civilians by the bodies legitimized by the government for its protection. In the Monument to National Mother he used sculpture to show a harassed Mother India on a pedestal surrounded by images of Mahatma Gandhi, in positions of strife and conflict. The installation is a critique of the nation state which venerated the female form as a goddess, a mother and the symbol of liberty. Also worth mentioning is the animated video of monochrome drawings Within darkness- Homage to Nat King Cole in Today’s World, which was a part of the exhibition through which the artist expresses his disillusionment with widespread violence seen in cities today.
Subba Ghosh constantly experiments with new styles In Vox Populi (2009) he used computer screens and employed an aural rather than the visual medium to catch the attention of the viewer. He was a visiting artist at the Queensland College of Art in Brisbane, in 2006. Ghosh has written a number of essays which have been included in several leading art publications and catalogues. He received the Junior Fellowship from the Ministry of Culture, India in 1999; he also received a National Award from the Lalit Kala Academy, India in 1994. His work is a part of the collections of the National Gallery of Modern Art, the Lalit Kala Academy in New Delhi, the Museum of Ostrow-Wielkopolski in Poland and at the Surikov Institute of Fine Art in Moscow.
By IAC Team
Subodh Gupta was born in 1964 in Khagaul, Bihar. He studied at the College of Art in Patna from 1983- 1988. He initially trained as a painter and then went on to experimenting with varied media. His work includes sculpture, installation, photography, video and performance. Presently he lives and works in New Delhi.
Gupta spent his childhood in the rural hinterland of India before he moved to a large urban metropolis. He uses objects that are used in Indian homes every day and turns them into pieces of art. According to the artist “All these things were part of the way I grew up.” Steel tiffins, thalis, milk pails, bicycles, scooters find their way into his creations, taking on a new avatar. Gupta’s style is influenced by the conceptualist Marcel Duchamp, a French artist, in the way he elevates these ordinary articles that belong in rural homes into breath taking works of art in his installations. He reworked Duchamp’s mustachioed Monalisa, L.H.O.O.Q (1919), in bronze giving it a three dimensional effect.
One of his recent major works was shown in the Tate Triennial in 2009. Titled Line of Control (2008), it consisted of a mountain of pots and pans. In spite of the facts he that he uses pieces that are essentially Indian, his work is appreciated worldwide. In the words of the artist “Art language is the same all over the world, which allows me to be anywhere.” Spill (2007), another colossal creation, consists of a large stainless steel water vessel with smaller steel utensils spilling over its edge, like water pouring out of the vessel. U.F.O. (2007) resembled a flying saucer. It was made up of hundreds of small brass water utensils soldered together.
Painting is also a major part of Gupta’s art. Memory and life experiences form the theme of his paintings. His early paintings used cow dung which was a major part of most Indian rural homes. Apart from the fact that cow dung was used as a source of fuel in Indian homes in the past, it was also used as a cleaning agent. Cow dung was used to build homes and ritualistically was also used in the purification of homes. Gupta in his video Pure (2000) filmed himself taking a shower, washing off the cow dung that he had used in place of a detergent to cleanse his body. Still Steel (2007), oil painted on canvas, is a combination of a still life of steel utensils with a bright floral design in the background.
Gupta in his work shows his concern for the socio-economic and cultural challenges faced by people today. The series, Saat Samundar Paar (Across the Seven Seas -2004) deals with the migration of people from their homeland. Gupta was especially concerned about the migration of people from his home state of Bihar to look for greener pastures. The paintings are filled with images of baggage, cartons and packed bags, with people at railway stations, airports or in transit either getting ready for departure or for their ‘return home.’ His oil on canvas, Saat Samundar Paar was sold by the Saffron art online auction for a whopping 3.4 crores.
Apart from painting, sculpture, video and installations, Gupta has also been involved with stage designing; He designed the stage set for the ballet Creation (2010) by Anqelin Preljocj, the French choreographer. The ballet was produced by the world famous Bolshoi Theatre. He has had a number of solo exhibitions to his credit. His recent solo expositions have been the “A Glass Of Water” at Hauser and Wirth, New York in 2011, Faith Matters at Pinchuk Art Centre at Kiev, Ukraine in 2010 , Take of Your Shoes and Wash Your Hands” at Tramway, Glasgow, Scotland and at Nature Morte, New Delhi in 2010.
By IAC Team
Anita Dube started out as an art historian and critic before she became an artist. Born in Lucknow in 1958, she graduated in history from Delhi University in 1979. In 1982 she completed her masters in Art Criticism from the Faculty of Fine Arts of the MS University, Baroda. Dube has exhibited widely in exhibitions in India and abroad. She has held a large number of workshops.
Dube has an unrestrained approach to art that has been influenced both by the profession of her parents who were medical practitioners and by recyclable material. A diverse variety of material finds its way into her creations. Her fascination for the human body is seen in the bones and dentures that she has cleaned, and beautified by enhancing them with velvet, thread, beads and sequins. She then mounts these handcrafted wonders in plexi-glass cases. In Silence (Blood Wedding) 1997, Dube used the ulna and the femur as a part of her exhibits, decorating them with red velvet, beads and thread.
In the 1980’s Dube became associated with a group of radical painters and sculptors from Baroda. Her art during this period was a comment on the socio-political situation in the aftermath of the anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat. Dube’s forte however lies in installation and sculpture along with video and photography. She draws upon themes of personal and social memory, history and mythology while addressing issues and concerns of mortality, desire, pain, joy, loss and regeneration.
Dube is also a keen collector of material that can be reused and takes pride in the ‘Indian’ approach of collecting discarded objects and salvaging them. Industrial waste such as foam, plastic, wire, PVC, ropes has found its way into her work which has further been embellished with readymade ceramic eyes, pearls, rope lights etc.
In 5 Words, an installation set up in 2007 at The Mattress factory Art Museum in Pittsburgh, Dube used plastic mesh, found trash, paraffin wax, books, salt, acrylic, wood, steel, PVC and rope lights. The artist used white for the installation because she did not want the colors to distract her from the conceptual process. Individual pieces that made up the exhibition all began with the letter ‘W’. The letters in ‘WASTE’ are made of containers covered in white mesh and spaced so that the viewer can walk around them. The containers are filled with discarded material. White candle letters 2 feet high by 10 feet long have been used to spell ‘WOMAN’, while the letters ‘WOUND’ are cut through a dry wall. A white bench consists of a plexi-glass container filled with books and salt that spell out the word ‘WISDOM’.
Dube’s more recent work comments on war and the destruction that accompanies it. Her collection brings to mind images of ruined cities, clash of cultures and violence. In Ah (Sigh), her work from 2008, the artist in a blow up of a black and white newspaper photograph shows protesting Indians of all ages. At top of the photograph she places a row of tree roots covered in velvet. Dube tries to awaken the citizens of India urging them to take action against corrupt politicians who work only for self gain. It can also be taken as a commentary on the socio-political struggles taking place within the Indian society as well as the struggle for peace and unity globally.
By 1996, industrially manufactured ceramic eyes started becoming a part of her sculptures and installations. They were the types that are used in the statues of Hindu deities. Initially she used them in site specific ways, attaching one in the corner of a room, or on a wall or on her sculptures such as in Intimations of Mortality in 1997. In Disease (River) 2000, the eyes started branching out all over the wall. According to Dube, her eyes are like individuals inhabiting the world. They signify the need of migration that is thrust upon people due to political, social or economic factors.
Dube has exhibited worldwide in solo and group exhibitions. Her important solo shows have been held at the Bombay Art Gallery and the Sakshi Gallery in Mumbai, Nature Morte in New Delhi, The Bose Pacia Gallery in New York, Gallery Almine Rech in Paris, and Galleria Marabini in Italy etc. She has been a part of group shows held in New Delhi, Beijing, Indonesia, Berlin, London, Venice, Oslo and Antwerp among other cities.
By IAC Team
C Douglas was born in Kerala in the year 1951. He joined the Government College of Arts and Crafts, Madras graduating in 1976 with a Diploma in Painting. South India at this point of time was undergoing an artist movement and Douglas had the opportunity to interact with many famous artists during his stint at the college. By the end of his formal education, Douglas had decided to join the artist village, Cholamandal and take to painting full time.
While at Cholamandal Douglas came across KC Panniker and K Ramanujam. His association with these artists is reflected in the work of Douglas from the mid 70’s. The colored drawings and the use of the foetus motif in Douglas’s works plainly reflects the influence of K Ramanujam while KC Panniker’s impact can be felt in his handling of the moods of his work. While at the artists’ village, Douglas started experimenting with his choice of mediums. From coloring he graduated to the use of paints, his earlier linear drawings gave way to more abstract images as Douglas grappled with learning the techniques of painting and applying them to express his creativity.
In 1981 he moved to West Germany and continued on working towards the path of self discovery, his paintings became softer and more abstract. The influence of expressionists like Clemente and Anselm Kiefer as also his isolation, despair and loneliness was reflected in his paintings as they slowly became dirtier, they incorporated tears, were scribbled upon, muddied and had tea stains. His paintings used formal techniques, painting geometrical shapes, using grids and triangles with mathematical precision. His work however was restrained and devoid of emotion.
Douglas returned to India after nine years overseas and promptly went back to live in more familiar surroundings. Cholamandal gave him the space to introspect and reflect and develop his style. He toyed with his earlier methods while trying to attain a style that was distinctive. He went back to the linearity of his student days and the foetal image that was so familiar to him. Slowly from within his paintings emerged a human figure that was angular. His figures were pierced with nails, sometimes masked, or had foetal like forms. These images came to be associated with his works of art which occupy a space between decomposition and rebirth, chaos and creativity, night and day. Douglas steered away from using oils on canvas preferring mud, chalk, crayons and water colors on crumpled and frayed paper that was glued onto cloth. He was reserved about the choice of his colors, favoring the use of more unobtrusive ones like metallic grays, browns and blacks on his heavily textured surfaces.
Douglas has exhibited extensively in India and overseas. His solo expositions have been held at Munich in 1986, Amsterdam 1994, selective shows at the Sakshi Gallery in Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore between 1992-96. He has also participated in a number of shows held at Germany during his stay there between the years 1981-90. Douglas has participated in expositions held at Help Age India, Mumbai in 1991 and 1993, Art for Cry, the Bhopal Biennale, at the Jehangir Art Gallery, Chemould Gallery and the Birla Art Academy in Mumbai. In Delhi he has been a part of shows held at Vadhera Art Gallery while down south he has displayed his work at The Gallery and the Values Art Foundation in Chennai. Douglas has also been a part of a number of shows held at Amsterdam, Sweden and London. Douglas has received awards from the IKA, Chennai in 1980, 89 and 90. In 1990 he received an award at the Bharat Bhavan Biennale in 1992 he was honored with a National Award for painting in New Delhi. He received the Junior and Senior Government of India Cultural Fellowship for the years 1991-93 and for 1994-96. He also received the Charles Wallace UNESCO grant in 1994 to study ceramics at the European Ceramics Centre in the Netherlands. Douglas lives and works at Cholamandal in the state of Tamil Nadu.
By IAC Team
Jayashree Chakravarty, born in the year 1956, in Tripura, received her education from Shantiniketan. She graduated from the Vishwa Bharati University, Shantiniketan in 1978. This was followed by a Post-graduate diploma from the M.S.University, Baroda, in 1980. In 1982 Jayashree received a Canadian grant to study art. Jayashree later migrated to France where she married a French flautist and was artist-in-residence at Ecole des Beaux Art, Aix-en- Provence, France from 1994-96.
Jayashree’s paintings reflect the experiences she has undergone. In the early 80’s her canvas was filled with romanticized images of beautiful men and women using a palette of bold expressionistic colors. Her work was figurative and narrative, a style she had been trained in at Shantiniketan and Baroda. With her move to France and exposure to post-modernist painters and French Impressionists, her style underwent a transformation. The change is visible in the imagery, colors and in her brush work. The cold, bleak and lonely environs of living in an alien city, led to a change in her style and the usage of hues. Jayashree’s canvases became more somber; pale blues, grays, dirty browns and white paint replaced the earlier gamut of colors. Her brush strokes became thicker and her style incorporated more abstractionism. Her period in France, according to the artist, is reflected in her work which is like a personal dairy that records her days in France and the incidents she encountered.
The influence on Jayashree was limited not only to her canvas but extended to the materials she used as well. While in France, Jayashree started trying out different mediums with which to express her creativity. Rice paper, tissue, cellophane and glue enhanced paper were some of the materials she incorporated into her work. Apart from oils and acrylic on canvas, she has also presented ink and mixed media on paper. The artist feels that her paintings are an extension of herself. In fact her work is multi-faceted and has a certain ambiguous visual character. One has to look at the paintings carefully to see the minute details in them. She uses superimposed forms where whirls of brush strokes move in and out, giving her work a sense of fluidity, very much like the state of the world, which according to Jayashree, is also in a state of transition. From within these chaotic layers emerge her images. Certain motifs such as dogs, waves and crescent shapes reappear regularly in her work.
In her exhibition The Mind Is Its Own Place held in 2002 in New York, Jayashree apart from her canvases also put on show a huge paper work made into a tubular floor sculpture. In Memory Record, an exposition done in oils and acrylic on canvas (2004), held in Kolkata and at the Gallery Chemould, Mumbai, one sees again the reappearance of figural heads. Also present are architectural elements like homes, castles and forts. She moves eloquently between paper and the canvas, with her paper construction becoming bigger in dimension and her canvases acquiring a more detailed presentation of what goes through the mind of the artist which include a narrative of her dreams and the workings of her unconscious mind. In her 2006 exhibition held at Kolkata, In the Very Face of Time, the artist uses subjects close to her heart drawn from her career as an artist while experimenting with modulated surfaces and bold abstractionism.
Jayashree has exhibited her work in solo and group exhibitions all over India and abroad. She received the Lalit Kala Academy Award, Gujarat and the Second Bharat Bhavan Biennale Award. Her work can be found in collections at the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, at the Chandigarh Museum and in several other public and private collections.
By IAC Team
The Indian artist today has come of age and is recognized and respected at the international level. As the realm is developing, so are its citizens and the freedom and expression put forth by artists is a reflection of their views thus showing the state of the country. Art has been in the pulse of India ever since its evolution; the artists portray what they experience. At Indian Art collectors we offer a platform both for artists and art-lovers to interact freely and directly. Both seek each other; the artists want recognition and sale while the collectors keep a keen eye for attractive art and no place better than this for such transactions.Read Full Article
By IAC Team
Famous artists of India have left their mark and are recognized in art circles across the globe. Indian art has an ancient history and this is obvious from the paintings of Ajanta and Ellora. Artists have always been influenced by their surroundings and create what they imbibe and sense. As we all know that price of art belonging to celebrated names escalates as time passes; collectors and art lovers, who are well versed on the subject, pick up as many pieces as they can from our portal, confident in the knowledge that their investment will earn them a big packet. A range of topics is covered by these artists, be it politics or culture. Each artist has his individual style and form to depict his innermost thoughts and feelings.Read Full Article
IndianArtCollectors today is a renowned Indian art gallery which has brought artists, collectors and art lovers on the same platform. There is no better place for browsing contemporary Indian art as we showcase the largest variety. This really is a one stop shop for all matters related to buying, exhibiting and selling art. From the famous to the upcoming artists, all want space here as we live by the principals we proclaim. Honesty and transparency is our motto and we verify each painting displayed by us. Please feel free to ask the artists for certification in case of any doubts.Read Full Article
By IAC Team
An individual is in search of the self and Indian contemporary artists are making attempts at personal growth and evolution. The society at large and their environment impact their work. Their via media for presenting the same is their paintings and pictures. The famous Italian artist Leonardo Da Vinci correctly stated that painting is poetry that can be seen as it depicts chaste sentiment entwined with articulation. Transformation and exploring are the two necessities for development and the Internet has played a key role here. Contemporary artwork means that which is currently being produced or has been executed in the recent past. The period for this is broadly from the 1960s and 70s up to now. The basic change from the paintings of the past is that contemporary artwork has no particular style. The contemporary artists are free thinkers and draw on no fixed medium. Their usage of form, colour, stroke or line has no specific type and the idea of art today is to be interesting and unusual, rather than mere beauty. Liberty is the secret to appealing contemporary artwork.Read Full Article
By IAC Team
Art in India has thrived ever since the ancient times and Indian paintings are as diverse in form and style as the nation itself. The evidence of paintings in India, as being really old, can be seen from the rock paintings of the Ajanta and the Ellora caves. Paintings India can be largely categorized as the miniatures and the murals. The murals are the enormous works done on the walls of temples and palaces while the miniatures are created on small and perishable materials like cloth, paper etc. The miniature India paintings are said to have evolved in Western India and these were essentially a part of the manuscripts written during the 16th and the 17th century. The main examples of these are the Jain, Rajasthani and the Mughal miniatures. Even though these were highly popular at one time, most seem to have disappeared over time. Amongst other styles of paintings India, the Madhubani form has been much appreciated. It is interesting to know that its source is masked in relics and many people believe it to have existed at the time of the Ramayana. The general belief is that King Janak hired artists to cover the sequence of his daughter Sita’s wedding with Lord Rama. This style of India paintings is intrinsic to the Mithila area of Bihar. The various other styles of paintings India include the Tanjore, Mysore, Bengali, Modern Indian Paintings and the contemporary artworks. At the time of the British Raj, it was the Bengali India paintings which started to get noticed as these were impacted by the growing patriotism and nationalism of the country. The British administrators encouraged and endorsed this style and Ravi Verma was a popular artist of this time.Read Full Article
Anju Dodiya uses a visual language that is autobiographical. Born in 1964 in Mumbai, the artist received her Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from the Sir JJ School of Arts, Mumbai. Anju is considered to be one of the most important contemporary Indian artists today. She has exhibited in major galleries in India and abroad. From her very first solo exhibition in 1991 at the Chemould Art Gallery at Mumbai to the Venice Biennale in 2009, Anju has created a niche for herself receiving recognition worldwide.
Since her student days, Anju has worked on honing her skills at painting water colors on paper. Anju’s early works were abstract and after her first exhibition she focused on painting railway stations, road side scenes etc. Her artistic nature found inspiration from Italian renaissance painters namely Giotto, Pierra Della Francesca, Massacio, medieval French tapestries, Japanese Ukiyo-e prints, Indian miniatures, photography and newspapers. Another source of influence for Anju has been the poetry of Sylvia Plath and the films of Ingmar Bergman.
Anju is an artist who prefers the solace of her studio and is given to self introspection and contemplation. She prefers to reach out to the world through the medium of her work rather than being seen as an artist promoting her work and herself through social interactions. As an artist, her work is emotionally touching and sensitive, concentrating mainly on the Self. Anju’s art delves into the self-consciousness, trying to understand and resolve the conflicts of womanhood and human relationships as experienced by her. Through her paintings Anju discloses her thoughts, conflicts, discourses and private moments to the viewer.
Self-portraiture and the female figure is the subject of Anju’s paintings. She seems to be a part of a narrative on stage and Anju carries forward the idea of stagecraft by including furniture, curtains, props, masks, actors, performers and even spotlights in her work. Her preferred medium is watercolor, though she is equally adept at using charcoal and acrylic on canvas. Anju also incorporates different patterns, textures and design imaginatively into her artwork.
Anju’s exhibition, Throne of Frost (2007) was a site specific installation. It was done on a large scale using the Laxmi Vilas Palace, Vadodara as the backdrop of her show. The exhibition had been conceived around the palace which was an intrinsic part of the show and not just a spot to show case her work. The art work on display reflected a history in ruins. It consisted of double faced boxes with her watercolors on the inner side and plush embroidered mattresses and tapestries on the outer. The exhibition which consisted of images and motifs of princesses, queens, kings, acrobats and clowns were influenced by medieval European legends. Her drawings and watercolors were visible indirectly through the shards of glass that lay strewn about on the floor. When the exhibition traveled later to the Bodhi Art Gallery at Mumbai, Anju did not use glass to reflect her work. She placed her charcoals strategically beside embroidered mattresses to create a striking effect.
All Night I Shall Gallop (2008) was another exhibition which was very festive in nature. It was a solo show of Anju’s works at the Bodhi Art Gallery, Mumbai. The exhibition consisted of multi-media works creating a three dimensional effect, which made use of mediums like mirrors, treads and beads. In Mourners (2003), a series of paintings that came up after the Mumbai explosions which left a number of people dead, Anju deals with the subject of loss. The Necklace of Echoes was also a more somber exhibition. Anju uses the image of the necklace to tell tales of sacrifice, anger, greed, humiliation and violence. Her necklaces take on various forms; in one painting fingers are strung together to form a necklace and in another burning tyres are strung around a neck, while in a third a noose-like rope unwinds from the neck of the wearer.
Anju has received a number of awards during her career. In 1998 and in 2000 she was nominated for the Sotheby’s Prize for contemporary art. In 2000, she received the ‘Harmony Award’ from Reliance Industries. The Indo-American Society presented her with the ‘Young Achiever Award’ in 2001. In 2007 she was honored with the Zee Astitva Award and the women’s wing of FICCI presented the Great Women Achiever’s Award to Anju in 2008.
Alwar Balasubramaniam is an artist who ignores boundaries and defies the preconceived notion of an artist. Born in Nellai, Tamil Nadu in the year 1971, Balasubramaniam V received his Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts in 1995 from the Government College of Arts and Crafts in Chennai. From the very beginning of his career, his work was highly appreciated and won him many awards. In 1995 he received the 3rd Sapporo International Print Biennial Sponsor Award, Sapporo, Japan, and a Research Grant Award from the Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi, India. In 1997 he got the opportunity to study print making and hone his skills in Edinburgh and then in Vienna.
Balasubramaniam, during his early days focused mainly on prints and painting. His work had a geometric precision, very much like that of an architect who plans out his creations on the drawing board. Even at the beginning of his career, Balasubramaniam worked with a number of innovative materials including silk screen printing over holograms. Tracing the motion of the moon in the night sky in his series executed in 1997 titled 19-4-97 to 15-5-97, 10.30p.m., was one such acclaimed piece of work. By the end of the 90’s however, he became more daring in his approach. His works became much larger in size and he began to experiment with different textures, mediums and contours.
The artist’s work is path breaking; it’s unusual and very striking. From drawings and etchings that were carefully executed on paper, Balasubramaniam’s work started incorporating abstractionism. He has painted, made sculpture, and has also used the medium of prints and engravings to express the creativity within him. He has utilized all types of material, from paints to fiberglass and from wax to gold. The artist has received immense national and international acclaim. The New York Times wrote: “Mr. Balasubramaniam is young, savvy and in the middle of a spurt of growth. It could take him anywhere, but there’s already a lot here.”
From the confines of the two dimensional, the artist moved into multi dimensional creations. Balasubramaniam is not concerned with producing work that is aesthetically pleasing. Neither does his work conform to any school of thought nor does he try to make a political or social statement. A self-taught sculptor, the artist through his work tries to express what lies beyond the visible- what the eye cannot see or measure. His work tries to unlock philosophical questions, “What defines the self?”, “What confines us?” He seeks the overlooked and the inexpressible, in short questioning human existence. His simplicity in expression, the unusual materials and the three- dimensional effect used is visible in one of his earliest creations of the year 2000, When I Made a Pond it Became a Mountain. In the course of creating a depression to signify a pond, he made a corresponding heap of the excavated material (in sawdust) that represented a mountain. It is this unusual handling of his subjects that has made audiences sit up and take notice of him.
As an artist Balasubramaniam crosses the line between art, perception and life. He goes beyond the tangible in trying to establish a relationship between the visible and the invisible. In his sculptures he plays with time, form, shadow and perspective. Through his “shadow sculptures” Dark Light (2006) and In Container as Content (2006), Balasubramaniam not only focuses on the material subjects he used- a stool in the first and a container in the latter sculpture, but also gives a structure to the unseen. His sculptures are minimalist; Breath (2007) consists of two holes drilled into a wall barely an inch apart placed at nostril height. In Energy Field (2006) a shiny 22-karat cast gold apple rests on a five foot tall acrylic pedestal. The apple has a live wire connected to it, if touched it leaves you with an electric shock! His recent sculptures are austere and equally striking at the same time. They are made in white where his body has been used as a cast for them. Self in Progress (2002) is a cast of his body in a seated posture, with his head stuck inside the wall.
Balasubramaniam’s work has been showcased at a year-long solo exhibition at The Phillips Collection Museum, Washington in 2011to commemorate its 90th Anniversary. Recently Talwar Art Gallery, New Delhi exhibited his work under the name Nothing From My Hands in a four-storied building which takes his vision of inside/outside to another plane.Read Full Article
Amit Ambalal was born in 1943 in Ahmedabad and has had no formal training in art. Following a childhood dream of painting, he trained under Chaganlal Jadav, an artist and teacher of repute. He belonged to a prosperous business family and after his graduation in arts, commerce and then law; he took over the textile business from his father. Ambalal sold off his business in 1979 to devote his time to painting full-time. In 1980 he had his first solo exhibition at the Hutheesing Visual Arts Centre, Ahmedabad and has had fourteen shows since then in New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Baroda and Ahmedabad. He has also participated in group expositions in India and abroad. His work has been showcased in Amsterdam, London, Singapore and Perth.
Ambalal’s passion for art encompasses historical research, documentation and collection and organizing activities associated with art. His special interests are the Nathwara paintings of Rajasthan. In 1987 his book on Nathwara paintings with Krishna as the subject, called Krishna as Shrinathji was published by Mapin. A couple of years later, in 1989, an exhibition on Nathwara paintings from his collection were organized at the CMC Gallery, New Delhi.
Ambalal’s work can be categorized under two distinctive styles. One the one hand he creates devotional paintings in the Rajasthani Nathwara tradition, and on the other, Ambalal’s paintings also have a contemporary approach to tradition. The portrayal of everyday existence and the divine is imbued with a satirical take on society. Instinctively, he puts his finger on the quirks of human behavior and uses his work to critique the flaws in the society today, one that is immersed in consumption and irrational actions. He comments on a prosperous society that is rooted within a destitute culture. His work is often autobiographical where Amit, his wife Raksha, and their dog Dusky becoming a part of his narrative on the canvas. Other characters like the monkey God Hanuman, peacocks and the holy cow, sacred to the Hindus are used to assess critically the situations he sees around him in a rather tongue-in-the-cheek manner, infusing an element of humor in his creations.
Ambalal’s work You Carry the Burden, I will Play the Flute, Painted Tigers Don’t Bite, Nat-Raj, Pee- Cow, Kaun Hai, Barking Dogs Do Bite, V Fall Victory and Jacuzzi in Jurassic Park reflects his sense of humor and his love for animals. He is also called the satirist-painter, and his characters, both human and animals, have beautifully contorted and attenuated bodies. The gestures, body and the faces of his figures that he uses to mock and express the irony in the mundane around him, enjoy an artistic freedom that has not been restricted by formal training. His paintings however are not depressing or somber. The color, form, design and texture give them an appeal that is easy on the eye and light on the mood. Form in his paintings is inseparable from the meaning; together they shape a language that the artist uses to comment on what he sees around him.
A large part of Ambalal’s work is in water colors. He has also painted oils on canvas and has made some sculpture in bronze which were displayed at the Gallery Espace, New Delhi in August 2008. However, he prefers and enjoys watercolors; he terms it as “friendly-guiding you where to stop”. Ambalal has received the Citivella Ranieri Foundation Fellowship from Italy in 1999 and the Gujarat State Lalit Kala Academy Award. Amit Ambalal lives and works in Ahmedabad.
Amitava Das was born in New Delhi in the year 1947 and was raised in Shimla. He studied drawing and painting at the Delhi College of Art, New Delhi from 1965-72. In 1974 he took up the job of a lecturer at the Art Institute of Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. He was also a visiting lecturer at the College of Art and Women’s Polytechnic, New Delhi from 1975- 77. He had his first solo exhibition in 1969 at one of the most prestigious galleries of the time, the Kunika-Chemould Gallery, New Delhi, while he was still a student and since then has participated regularly in both solo and group expositions nationally and internationally. Amitava lives and works in New Delhi.
Amitava’s earlier work has a certain amount of gentleness and quietude about it. Painting for him is a language used to express the self, a tool to comment on what he observes around him. The human figures along with trees, birds, animals, clouds, the sky, earth, sun and the wind are recurring images that find a place within his canvases. Thematically his paintings are about people who maintain their self esteem while faced with adversity. The human figures that inhabit his paintings are robotic or skeletal in appearance. Although the subjects he chooses to paint are somber, Amitava’s paintings are not foreboding or gloomy. Through the pain is reflected the inner strength and the desire to survive against all odds. His paintings are heavily textured and through the brilliantly layered colors, emerge his images. Amitava pays great attention to the background in his paintings. The sun, wind and the blue sky add to the color on his canvas and fill them with the glow of anticipation of better things to come. Amitava’s work cannot be categorized as expressionistic, figurative or narrative. As an artist he does not like to be bound within well-defined boundaries.
Amitava places a lot of importance to the medium he uses. He uses water colors, oils, pastels and acrylic. According to the artist, paintings are like his thoughts and every medium has a certain role to play. A similar image executed in two different mediums will have something different to say. The artist has also used mediums as diverse as cloth, ply, tissues, and discarded bus tickets, crumpled paper to straw and commercial packaging that has been disposed off as a part of his work. Amitava is deeply affected by the increasing materialism, violence and greed in the society today. The keen observer that he is, he keeps translating what he sees around him onto his canvases. His more recent paintings reflect the conflict in the world and are more aggressive in style than his earlier ones; they are also are more abstract than his earlier works.
Amitava has also been inclined towards design. He has been involved in the designing of publications, exhibitions, interiors and furniture. In 1989 Amitava received a fellowship from the Federal Republic of Germany for Advanced Exposure to Graphics design and Exhibitions. He has been profiled in MTV and other many television programs; he has also been profiled in a film made by K.Bikram Singh for Doordarshan called A Painters Portrait. He has been featured in many publications namely the Times of India, The Statesman, The Indian Express, The Hindu, The Pioneer, Business Today etc. He has co-curated a contemporary Indian art show for the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi titled the Yellow Deity.
Amitava received the National Award from the Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi in 1976 and has also received awards at the All India Exhibition of Prints at Chandigarh in 1980, 1981 and 1982. Amitava also received the Sahitya Kala Parishad Award, New Delhi in 1982. His work can be found in permanent collections of the Society of Contemporary Art, London, The National Gallery of Modern Art and the Lalit Kala Academy, in New Delhi, at Bharat Bhavan in Chandigarh and in many private collections.
Biren De is a pioneer of modernist art in India. Born in the year 1926, in East Bengal, Biren De started studying Fine Art in 1944 from the Government College of Arts and Crafts, Kolkata. He left the college without picking up his diploma in 1949 while still in his final year. In the same year he received a commission to make a mural at the Delhi University outside its Convocation Hall. He then took up the position of a lecturer at the College of Art, New Delhi in 1952 and remained there till 1963. Biren died on March 12, 2011 in Delhi at the age of 85.
Biren began his career as a portrait painter, toying with different styles before he moved onto figurative painting done in a Cubist style. Like most of his contemporaries Biren was influenced by existing trends in art. The influence of tribal art and symbology in his work is noticeable in his early works. Fishermen (1955) and The Net (1956) make use of thick black lines drawn around the figures; the paintings were rendered in bold colors. Apparition (1957), made while he was a lecturer in Delhi shows an inclination towards abstractionism. Figures were replaced by free floating shapes. He used the Bindu (dot, a focus point), and primitive representations of the phallus and vagina, in the form of wedges and parabolas, in his work. Biren at this time was still trying to find his own language style in the world of art. The most important addition in his paintings at this time was the appearance of streaks of white in the distant horizon.
In 1959 Biren received a Fulbright scholarship and spent a year in New York. A perceptible shift in the artist’s style was noticeable after his stint in America. Living in New York, Biren decided to start afresh. He gave up both, the figurative and the abstract, concentrating on finding a style of his own. Biren has been labeled as having been influenced by Hinduism and Buddhism, though he rejected both, calling himself an atheist and agnostic. His paintings however were definitely permeated by a spiritual quality. The post America creations have the presence of a ‘U’ shape and another upright shape signifying the male and the female, or the ying and the yang, the light and the darkness, striking to create a balance in creation. The divine spirit and the presence of a universal force of life, the energy giver or shakti became the subject of his work.
Biren by the 70’s had been bracketed as a Neo-tantric painter. His paintings were awash with a deep blue color, the color of tantra. The delightful forms he used in his work and the way he applied his color to his canvas was remarkable. His paintings left the viewer in a meditative trance infusing them with a sense of peace and tranquility. The images used in his paintings are universal, but what makes him different is the way a certain luminosity and mystery shrouds his work, forcing his audience to contemplate on the meaning of his paintings that unfold slowly within the recesses of their minds.
Biren goes beyond being just a commercial artist. His efforts to find and create a philosophical language elevated him to the level of a spiritual guru or mentor. He inspired many younger artists to express themselves by using his form of pictorial vision. Biren has exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally. His work is present in collections at the National Gallery of Modern Art at New Delhi, at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Gallery at Prague and at the Berlin State Museum.
Dharmanarayan Dasgupta was born in 1939 in Tripura. His father was employed by the Maharaja of Tripura and the job required a lot of movement within the state. This life exposed Dasgupta to a variety of influences at a very early age. He later joined Kala Bhavan at Shanti Niketan and graduated from there with a diploma in art in the year 1961.
Dasgupta’s career in painting ran parallel to his teaching career. He spent his whole life in and around Calcutta and established a foothold within the art world of Calcutta. Dasgupta joined St. Thomas School at Howrah as an art teacher in 1966 and remained there till 1979. He then moved to a school in Dasnagar as an art teacher and in 1985 joined the Faculty of Visual Arts at the Rabindra Bharati University, Calcutta. He remained there till 1997 and also held the posts of Dean and Curator at the Rabindra Bharati University Museum, Calcutta.
Dasgupta has had five solo expositions, which have been held in Kolkata, New Delhi and Chennai. At the national level he has been a part of over 50 group shows including participation at the expositions held at AIFACS, Birla Academy, Bharat Bhavan Biennale, National Exhibitions etc. Dasgupta has also participated in International shows in Kuala Lumpur, London, Cuba, New Delhi, Frankfurt, Poland, Germany, Brazil, Manchester and Paris among others. In 1981 he was awarded by the Birla Academy of Arts and Culture and in 1989 the Shiromani Puraskar was bestowed on him in Kolkata.
As an artist, Dasgupta was influenced by different forms of traditional art, especially the Bengali form of Kalighat painting. He was also inspired by the 19th century western ideals of painting and also by elements of the Babu Culture which was a legacy of the British colonial artists from the pre-independence days. In 1970 he joined the Society of Contemporary Artists. The members of the society were encouraged to develop their own personal viewpoint rather than being forced to follow classical art styles. Dasgupta amalgamated and blended various forms to find a language of his own that was completely unique in style. He has used acrylic, gouache, water color and oils but the main medium that he worked with was egg tempera on canvas (traditionally egg was used with natural pigments to bind the color). He then used a mouth spray for the finishing effect.
Dasgupta is inspired by his own heritage. According to the artist, although the world is becoming a smaller place, the geographical features of a country, its people and their culture remains the same. The changes in the political or social environment lead to transformations that are only on the surface, because tradition binds everyone to their roots. He handles his personal experiences and the issues at hand with humor, satire and tongue- in- the- cheek mischief. The characters that inhabit his canvases are a bit bizarre. The figures are distorted, they float in the air, and sometimes they are upside down surveying the world with their legs pointed to the sky. His people he paints are distinctive in style, the ladies are buxom and the men are corpulent. Creatures from mythology, animals such as turtles, insects and tigers occupy space among inanimate objects such as clocks, cars and masks. Dasgupta’s canvases are filled with bright colors and show the attention he gives to every detail.
According to Dasgupta, his paintings reflect the middle class and their predicament, a class of people who regularly face disappointments and see their dreams crash when faced with reality. Through his canvases, he paints the sorrow, struggles and the injustices of the bourgeois who do not have a secure foot-hold in society. Political disillusionment led to the creation of works such as Leader (1978) and the Kurta series in the early 80’s. In the former, Dasgupta’s protagonist was similar to the image of Ravana, with ten heads. In the latter series Dasgupta painted a kurta standing at the top of a terrace with the owner of the garment missing.
Dasgupta passed away in the year 1997 at Kolkata. Before his death, newer techniques in painting were adopted by him. In the mid 90’s he started experimenting with water colors and gave up tempera painting and his characteristic rounded figures gave way to more linear drawings. His work can be found in collections around the world such as in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, in the National Gallery of Modern Art and the Lalit Kala Academy in New Delhi and at the Birla Academy of Arts and Culture, Kolkata.Read Full Article
Francis Newton Souza was one of the first Indian artists to be recognized internationally. Born a rebel and a non- conformist, his paintings reflect his attitude. He was one of the founding members of the Progressive Artists’ Group in 1947 in Bombay, including like-minded artists like M.F. Hussain, S.H.Raza and K.H.Ara, who tried to break away from the classical styles of the European masters and traditional art.
Souza was born in Saligao, Goa in 1924. He was brought up by his mother, a seamstress, having lost his father when he was barely three months old. A serious bout of small pox scarred him physically but mentally gave him the strength to live life on his own terms. He was expelled from the St. Xavier’s College, for drawing graffiti on the college walls and was suspended from the JJ School of Art, for supporting the Quit India Movement. He left for England in 1949 and then moved to New York, USA in 1967, where he received the Guggenheim International Award. Souza spent the rest of his life in the US returning to India shortly before his death on March 28th 2002.
Soon after his move to London, Souza started getting recognition for his work. A solo exhibition at The Gallery One, London was followed by the publication of his autobiographical essay Nirvana of a Maggot, based on his life on Goa and Bombay. This was followed by inclusion of his work in an exhibition in 1954 by the Institute of Contemporary Arts. His provocative prose in Words and Lines published in 1959, his next literary piece of work, gave his career a further impetus.
The subjects of Souza’s paintings range from icons of Christianity, still life, landscapes, nudes etc. The man-woman relationship, the sexual tensions and conflicts between them is a recurrent theme. His figures are not aesthetically attractive. Souza has distorted them intentionally, expressing his impatience and defiance at convention. By the decade of the 50’s, Souza’s signature male head had made its appearance, and was used over and over again signifying the inherent evil and cruelty which is a part of human nature. His style of painting was unrestrained but there is a noticeable influence of the folk art of Goa, the Renaissance paintings, the Catholic Churches, landscapes of 18th and 19th century, European Art and modernism.
Souza’s anger was directed at the hypocrisy and double standards that exist and pervade all institutions of society. His Catholic background inspired many of his pieces of work. Crucifixion (1959) and Death of a Pope (1962) strike at the church for the negative elements that have pervaded it. On the other hand the grandeur and the rituals associated with the church have left an indelible impression on the artist. Mystic Repast (1953) and Still Life with Fish (1953) are compositions that have their roots in the church and its beliefs.
While Souza used his line with economy, he has also used crosshatched strokes that are executed in a rather frantic style. Townscape with Church (1954) is a an example of a landscape which has been executed in a geometric style, while one of his later landscapes painted in 1975, Landscape with Houses is more uninhibited in its handling. Souza’s work was also exceedingly erotic. A country of the Kamasutra and the Khajurao, he believed, was obsessed with the repression of sexuality. His female form, influenced by Indian sculpture was voluptuous and had no inhibitions about displaying her aggressive sexuality. Again, as with many of his paintings, some forms of the female aroused fear due to their ugliness, while others were executed lovingly with extreme care and affection.
Souza’s style is diverse; it is a mixture of expressionism and neo-romanticism, infused with modern elements. In New York, Souza started experimenting with new additions to his style. Images from glossy magazines were altered chemically and painted over to create new images. In the 70’s and 80’s, the Redmond Theory of infinity caught his attention as did continuous research on DNA structures.
Souza participated in a number of shows receiving rave reviews. He found acceptance as a painter early on in his career. His work has been exhibited at major galleries all over the world. His paintings are found in the collections of the Tate Gallery, London, and at the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi. Recently his paintings have sold for over million dollars. Birth (1955) sold for 2.5 million dollars at a Christie’s auction in 2008. It was bought by the Harmony Arts Foundation run by Tina Ambani, the wife of Anil Ambani. The painting set a world record for being the most expensive Indian painting sold until then.
J Sultan Ali was born in Bombay in the year 1920. He was an artist who defied classification and sought to develop his own pictorial language. Sultan Ali refused to be restricted within the confines of the rules laid down by European artists, finding it too formal and detached from life. Art for him was ‘bliss’ and had to reflect the feeling of one’s heart and soul. Ancient Indian folk art became the basis for his painting, and he adapted it to his requirements.
Sultan Ali earned his diploma in painting from the Government College of Arts, Chennai in 1945. In 1946 he received a scholarship from the Government of Madras to study Textile Designing at the Government Textile Institute in Chennai. He followed this up with a Diploma in Photography from the Lingham Institute of Photography, Chennai. Thereafter he taught for a year at the Fine Arts Department at the Government College of Art in Chennai followed by a short stint as a teacher at the Rishi Valley School in Madanpalli, Andhra Pradesh from 1951-54. From 1954-69 he held the post of the Exhibition Director at the Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi. Many forces have had a role to play in the development of Sultan Ali as an artist. His earlier work laid more importance to shape, pattern and line as seen in the Kashmiri Women painted in 1950. Sultan Ali’s work at this stage was a reflection of the training he had had as a textile designer. The mid- 50’s saw him becoming more relaxed with his approach. His stint as an art teacher at the Rishi Valley School was an eye opener for Ali. Working in an environment surrounded by young students helped him appreciate the spontaneity that should be associated with the works of an artist. The rigidity of his paintings and the weight given to illustrations was replaced by gentler effects. The essence of a piece of art, according to Ali, is that an artist should be able to convey his feelings through his paintings.
Sultan Ali also experimented with a number of styles before he developed one of his own. He went on a journey to Bastar, a tribal area, to study tribal art and to hone his painting skills. Sultan Ali, however cannot be bracketed as being influenced by any particular form of folk art. His canvas is filled with images and themes that are associated with tribal and folk art- snakes, bulls, cats, birds, Gods, and kings make a regular appearance in his creations. His canvases are filled with animals and humans vying for space; his images have elongated and puppet-like eyes as well as lengthened bodies. To these he adds his own personal touches that give his paintings a unique identity. While he uses bright colors to accentuate the figures, the background is filled with darker colors. The Sapodo Paintings based on the theme of the serpent was exhibited at the Dhoomimal Gallery, New Delhi in 1973.
Through his paintings, Sultan Ali represented the face of contemporary modern Indian art and revived the interest in tribal and folk art. Over time his paintings acquired a more multi dimensional form and became complex in character. The multifaceted quality is also represented through the complexity of technique adopted by him. Figures were superimposed on other figures and colors merged with other colors. He also added scripts to his paintings. The basis of this was the struggle of good over evil. Mystical forms represented by the bull or the garuda were seen rescuing earth from destruction and evil represented by snakes and fire. In 1969, Sultan Ali decided to devote all his time to painting and took up residence at the artists co-operative, Cholamandalam, outside Chennai. There was a phase in the artists life when he gave up color completely so as not to get distracted by the message of the painting.
Sultan Ali won a number of awards. In 1945 he won an award for painting Divine Light at the Fine Arts exhibition in Chennai. The Academy of Fine Arts, Amritsar awarded him for his painting The Divine Light in 1956. The Lalit Kala Academy gave him the National Award for Drawing in 1966 and the National Award for Painting in 1976. He served as the President of the Artists Handicrafts Association, Chennai from 1977-80. In 1988 Sultan Ali was conferred the senior fellowship by the Government of India and he passed away in the year 1990.
Jagdish Swaminathan was born in Shimla in the year 1928. In the late 40’s he became associated with the Communist Party of India and worked as a journalist for the Left magazines. Swaminathan’s presence in the art circles of the capital was established through his work as an art critic and a theoretician of art. It was only in the late 50’s that Swaminathan became serious about his painting. He received his education in art in short spells from the Delhi Polytechnic and later from The Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Poland. He then took up an apprenticeship under Sailoz Mukherjea.
In August 1962, Swaminathan with a group of over a dozen artists co-founded the Group 1890. Swaminathan and his group in their manifesto attacked the hybrid mannerisms that were based on European art. They encouraged Indian artists to look for a national art, based on their cultural identity rather than being swayed by art imported from the west. They also made a scathing attack on vulgar naturalism of the likes of Raja Ravi Verma and the idealism of the Bengal School. The group held it’s only show in 1963, the catalogue for the exhibition Surrounded by Infinity was penned by the then Mexican Ambassador to India, Octavio Paz. The group disintegrated soon after the show. In 1966, Swaminathan launched the magazine Contra in association with Octavio Paz, who identified with the cause of the artist in challenging the progressive artists.
Swaminathan's early paintings captivated the onlooker with its simplicity and the use of bright colors and imagery. He experimented with shapes using circles, squares, triangles and rectangles. Color Geometry of Space painted in the 60’s also suggests that he was inspired by Tantric icons. In his endeavor to find his forte, Swaminathan later broke away from the well ordered color geometry and brush-painting. He began incorporating a lot of symbols such as the snake, the lingam, lotus, sun and the swastika, in his paintings. At this stage there was a distinct influence of the tribal arts in his repertoire. He dipped his fingers in paint and applied the pigment on to the canvas directly to achieve the desired effect.
In 1968, a project Swaminathan worked upon, “The Significance of the Traditional Numen in Contemporary Art”, won him the Nehru Fellowship. At this stage, he also started amalgamating elements imperative for the survival of man on earth. His paintings were divided into bright color fields on which appeared mountains, stretches of water, trees, levitating rocks defying gravity and the image of the archetypal bird. The Bird and Mountain series forces one to delve into our inner selves. His paintings acquired a mystical quality, forcing man to be pure and one with nature, leaving behind the gross and the sullied.
He has also been a member of the International Jury of the Sao Paolo Biennale, has served on the board of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and was also a trustee of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts. Swaminathan, at the invitation of the Madhya Pradesh Government, set up Roopanker, an art museum, at Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal in 1981. He remained as the Director of the museum till 1990. Swaminathan collected and displayed an immense range of the tribal art of the state along with urban contemporary art.
His interest in the use of primitive and traditional Indian symbols came back to the fore in the 90’s when he broke away from the geometrical precision of the Bird and Mountain paintings. Symbol becomes Sign incorporates Indian imagery with contemporary art. The series painted in 1992-93 brought together the use of indigenous material to forge a link between the old and the new. Beeswax, sand, linseed oil and natural pigments were the mediums used to express his creativity. Swaminathan used his fingers, like a traditional artist to create his masterpieces.
Swaminathan passed away in the year 1994 and during his career, held 31 solo exhibitions and also participated in many national and international expositions.
Jyoti Bhatt was born in the Indian state of Gujarat, in Bhavnagar in the year 1934. He is one of India’s well-known artists and has been involved in painting, printmaking and photography. He was one of the founder members of the Centre of Photography, Baroda. Affectionately referred to as Jyotibhai, he received a Diploma in painting and graphic arts from the Faculty of Fine Arts, at the MS University, Baroda from 1950-56. He followed this up with a Post Diploma Specialization in Creative Painting from the same university and later joined it as a faculty member.
Jyotibhai learnt Mural and Fresco painting from Vanasthali Vidyapeeth, Rajasthan and Printmaking from the Pratt Institute and the Pratt Graphic Center, New York under a Fulbright and a Rockefeller II grant in 1964-66. In 1961 he had also been to Italy on a Government of Italy scholarship to study at the Academia Di Belle Arti at Naples, where he specialized in graphics. In the 70’s, Jyotibhai became a member of the Group 1890 which encouraged Indian artists to look for a national art. It was at this time that he received a project from the Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan, Mumbai, to photograph the folk art of Gujarat. From this time on, his camera replaced the canvas and Jyotibhai captured every detail of the terrain he traveled through. The art and craft of Gujarat, the tattooed bodies of its people, the temples and homes, its huge sprawling havelis and its embroidery, the motifs adorning the walls of the homes, its bead work, the rangolis and the traditional calligraphic ideograms, nothing escaped his lens.
The project soon became his life and documentation of the interiors of India his mission. From 1966-1995 Jyotibhai has been visually documenting the tribal traditions and culture of Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan and Gujarat. Apart from being aesthetically beautiful, his photographs also serve an anthropological purpose. They are a record of the living art present in rural homes that is fast disappearing due to modernism. By showcasing tribal talent through his photographs, Jyotibhai also helps rural artists achieve national recognition for their art. Fellow artist, Raghav Kaneria has been his partner during these journeys through the hinterland of India.
Jyotibhai in the 70’s also learnt Intaglio method of printing and screen painting. In 1985, Jyotibhai learnt the basics of holograms from the UK. He practiced these forms of art simultaneously with his documentative photography. The graphic prints have been influenced by rangolis, wall paintings and other forms of folk and tribal art. They also focus on the relationship between rural and urban arts and popular culture practices. Remains of an Old Bungalow (1965-66) an intaglio print has been hand colored to replicate a painting. Reverie (2004), The Chase ant The Peacock &Fish Story (2005) are reverse paintings in mixed media done on plastic. His Self Portrait 1971 is a remake done in dry pastels on paper.
Jyotibhai lives and works from Baroda. He has been the recipient of many awards during his career as an artist. He has been honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005 by the Academy of Visual Media, New Delhi. He has taken part in a number of solo exhibitions and group shows. His work can be seen in many international collections, which include the Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Smithsonian Institution at Washington D.C. and The British Museum, London.
Kalapthi Ganapathi Subramanyan was born in 1924 in Kerala and lives and works in Baroda. Subramanyan’s range of styles is extensive. As an artist, Subramanyan does not believe in being restricted by boundaries. He is credited with blending a number of mediums which were used in Indian art such as glass painting and terracotta, thereby infusing them with a new lease of life. He draws, prints, paints, and has experimented with sculptures, glass paintings, weaving, toy-making and photography. He has authored and illustrated children’s books as well and is also an art historian, scholar and a teacher. He uses his in depth knowledge of various artistic traditions to create paintings that have universal appeal while incorporating images and symbolism derived from Indian folklore.
Subramanyan started drawing as a young child. Attracted by Gandhian ideology, he joined the freedom struggle for an Independent India. In 1942, he participated in the Quit India Movement and was arrested and imprisoned for six months. This spoiled his chances for an education in government run educational institutes. He joined Shanti Niketan in 1944 to study art where education was based on Indian culture and moral values. The creative trinity of Shanti Niketan- nature, tradition and freedom of expression had a lasting effect on the artist. He learnt painting under the tutelage of illustrious teachers- Nandanlal Bose, Benode Behari Mukherjee and Ramkinker Baij.
Subramanyan became a teacher at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Baroda in1951 and remained associated with it until 1980 when he returned to Shanti Niketan. He has also studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, University of London for a year (1955-56) on a British Council Research Fellowship. From 1958-60, he was Deputy Director of the All India Handloom Board and worked in New York from 1966-67, while on a Rockefeller Scholarship. During his long and illustrious career, Subramanyan has won many accolades as an artist and has guided generations of artists as a teacher.
Subramanyan is a modernist; his oeuvre however has evolved over the years. During the 40’s his work was influenced by his teachers at Shanti Niketan, his work was post-cubist and he used the calligraphic style associated with the Far East for his paintings of women and children. Motifs of flowers and birds made an entry on his canvas in the mid 50’s. His diverse interests found an outlet when he started working with Rajasthani craftsmen for the 1961 annual Fine Arts fair held at the MS University, Baroda. Subramanyan was involved in producing masks, costumes, puppets and toys for the event.
Subramanyan’s versatility as an artist comes through the diverse range of media, styles and techniques he has used over the years to express his creativity. Subramanyan occupies a unique place in modern Indian art. He has explored the possibilities of modern art from different perspectives. Conformity to a single style or medium is not possible because each medium used responds to only a certain artistic instinct that he wishes to express. Images of objects like jugs, paint tubes, tables and other ornaments which dominated his work in the early 60’s became blurred by the end of the decade. They became a part of a collective whole rather than remaining individual objects. It was at this time that his compositions became smaller in size. Constraint of studio space in New York forced Subramanyan to adapt his style. The technique of panel painting helped him express his creativity. The Windows (1968-69) is a series of paintings which the artist left to the onlooker to piece together, rather like a brainteaser.
The 70’s saw him move towards sculptures using terracotta, for which he had a soft spot. The political upheavals like the Bangladesh war and natural disasters like floods in Gujarat, became the source of his inspiration. By the end of the decade he had started experimenting with glass paintings using the style of Indian miniature paintings using a combination of mediums such as water colors, oil and gold leaf. His paintings at this juncture were erotic; the women had voluptuous bodies and large eyes- they tend to seduce, tease, provoke and amuse, lending his work a certain wit and humor. In his later paintings of which many done on acrylic, his work became more narrative. He gave a new dimension to the human figure by making them appear as characters from ancient myths and stories.
Almost all the paintings of Subramanyan are known for their wit, ironies, satire and critical social commentaries. Bush Blair Still Life (2003) shows the two leaders watching a sacrificial ritual. Fairytales at Purvapalli- IV (1986) is a series painted as an animated landscape. Other famous works are Black Boys Fight with Demons (1986), Girl with Cats (1987), Terrace (1976), and Bowl of Fruits and Blind Mother (1980). The themes he has been returning to recently are animals, interiors and women.
Subramanyan has traveled widely and exhibited extensively. He has had over 50 solo shows. His exposition ‘The Magic of Making’ was held at the Seagull Arts and Media Resource Centre, Kolkata, Rabindra Bhavan and Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi in 2007. An exhibition titled, ‘The Painted Platters’ was held at the Guild Art Gallery, Mumbai, in 2007. His work was showcased by the Seagull Foundation for the Arts in collaboration with Nandan Gallery at Kala Bhavan, Kolkata in 2009. He was awarded prizes at the São Paulo Biennale (1961), the first Indian Triennale (1968), and the Kalidas Samman (1981) and has also been decorated with the Padma Bhushan in 2006 by the Indian Government.Read Full Article
Navjot Altaf lives and works in Mumbai and Bastar, in Central India, where she also maintains a studio. Born in the year 1949, in Meerut, Navjot graduated in Fine and Applied Arts from the Sir JJ School of Arts, Mumbai. Since 1973 she has had exhibitions in India, Germany and New York and has been invited to participate in major national and international exhibitions, biennales and triennials. She has also participated in national and international workshops and residencies and has presented papers in seminars on art in India, Japan, Indonesia, U.K., U.S.A. and Canada.
Navjot’s major work has been more collaborative rather than individualistic. Her interest in Marxism and student movements in her younger years has influenced her work. Through her work Navjot addresses violence, memory, history, educational issues and human condition and has over the years turned her focus to women and their suppression. She has participated in exhibitions which highlight women painters like “Expression’s” Women’s Cultural festival in Mumbai in 1990. It is difficult to label Navjot since she falls into various roles effortlessly. She is an artist, a researcher, an anthropologist, a social worker and a political activist.
Navjot started out by expressing her stance on social issues like dowry, rape and child labor. The Pavement Series of 1981 came in response to the slum demolitions in Mumbai. Confrontations (1986-87), Palani’s Daughters (1995) and Rethinking Stereotypes (1997) dealt with feminist concerns such as women suppression and their social standing. Navjot’s sculpture, Blue Lady is considered to be one of her major pieces of work. It was inspired by her interactions with the Adivasi (tribal) community in Bastar. The sculpture highlights the plight of women influenced by religion, superstition and cultural mores.
Navjot has worked in a number of mediums including sculpture, installations and video. She is considered the pioneer of video art in India using it as a part of her creative expression as early as in 1994. Her more famous films are Touch 4, a film on sex workers, Barakhamba 2008 and Lacuna in Testimony. Navjot has collaborated with musicians, composers, technicians, visual artists, filmmakers and classical vocalists. Through her work she voices her concern about the social fabric of India and other parts of the world. The communal riots of 1992-93 in Mumbai in the aftermath of the Babri Masjid demolition in Ayodhya, led to the creation of an installation that included collage, photography, screen printing and sculpture called Links Destroyed and Rediscovered in 1994.
She has moved onto community based projects in Indian villages since the mid-90. Her projects include cleaner and more efficient water collection, playgrounds and children’s temples (Pilla gudis) in collaboration with the Adivasis. Pilla gudis emerged through the realization that children had no area where they could play safely and interact with the elders and visitors from other villages. Navjot has also worked on designing these sites in order to make them safe, hygienic and aesthetically appealing. She has brought about a positive change in these tribal areas neglected by local municipal corporations and has received tremendous support from the local people, since she addresses their needs.
Navjot also believes that education needs to be holistic. Art and language are two important tools that can be used in the process of teaching and learning. In Between Memory and History, her installation included messages written out on paper, tied to ribbons and fastened to a wire mesh. The messages were eye-witness accounts and painful memories from survivors of the communal violence of 1992 in Mumbai. Navjot stretches the boundaries of artistic expression to include her audience in social interactions through her art.
Vivan Sundaram, one of India’s leading artists, was born in the year 1943, in Shimla. He did his schooling from The Doon School, Dehradun. Sundaram graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts, MS University, Baroda, in 1965 and followed it up with a Diploma from the Slade School, London, in 1968 on a Commonwealth Scholarship. In London, Sundaram trained under the well-known British-American painter, R.B. Kitaj.
Sundaram has worked in different media which includes painting, printmaking, sculpture, video art, photography and installation. In fact he was the one of the first Indian artists to work with installation. Sundaram is an intellectual artist who uses his art as a tool for freedom of expression, battling communalism, promoting democratic rights, essentially using creativity to comment on social and environmental problems, pop culture and dilemmas that he sees around him. He has participated in solo and group exhibitions, his first solo exposition was held at New Delhi in 1966, followed by others at places all over the world such as Baroda, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, London, Montreal, Brisbane, Vancouver, Havana and the U.K. Sundaram lives in Delhi and is a Visiting Professor at the Jamia Milia Islamia University.
The decade of the 70’s saw him being involved in political activism and student movements. His series The Heights of Macchu Picchu, The Discrete Charm of the Bourgeosie and The Indian Emergency conveyed his political anxiety. He was a founder member of the Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust (Sahmat) and also initiated the Kasauli Art Centre in 1976. The centre has been the venue of a number of national and international workshops and theatre productions.
Through the 80’s Sundaram’s work dealt with individual perception, history and problems of identity. He has always remained focused on political consciousness; his work is directed on the questions that need to be addressed. The Gulf War of 1991 led to a series of works done in engine oil and charcoal on paper. His work became more conceptually oriented from here on and acquired a multi-dimensional form. His exhibition in 1993 titled Memorial was inspired by the riots in Mumbai. Riverscape (1992-93), one of his first multimedia presentations was followed by Mausoleum and Burial.
Sundaram has always chosen unconventional objects for his creations. Photographs, objects lifted from streets and sourced from second hand shops are used to address social and environmental concerns. The Table is Laid (1995), an installation presented in Germany, consisted of wood, glass bowl, milk, matting, earthenware with curd, leaf plates and rice. House/Boat an installation at Montreal (1994), consisted of handmade paper, steel, glass and video; Gateway from Memorial Exhibition (1993), consisted of a tin trunk, neon light and enamel paint.
Trash, a multi media exhibition of the artist was set up at The Sepia Gallery, Manhattan from September 2008 to January 2009 and at The Walsh Gallery in Chicago from September 11, 2009 to November 2009. It featured 15 large scale photographs based on a constructed city of trash that he built in his studio, an installation 12 Bed Ward and a video. It deals with every day trash, a subject that has been a matter of concern for the artist since the 90’s. Waste like bottle caps, parts of toys, empty soda cans, and plastic form the building blocks with which he creates his beautiful city. The artist wishes to draw our attention to the amount of trash that is generated by the people residing in cities. On the flip side he also draws our attention towards those who live beyond the gated communities. The poor live surrounded by this trash, spending hours sifting through and recycling the trash generated. This according to Sundaram is a huge industry and a part of our landscape, and no matter how hard we try, we just cannot wish them away. Conceptually his art reflects consumerism, recycling, asserting a Third World identity, sympathy for the exploited and the working classes.
Sundaram, the nephew of the famous artist Amrita Sher-Gil and grandson of Umrao Singh Sher-Gil, took it upon himself to archive the history of the Sher-Gil family. Re- take of Amrita (2001) are digital photomontages by Sundaram. Through them he re-interprets the late nineteenth century to the early twentieth century photography of his grandfather, family history, and the intriguing personality of Amrita Sher-Gil.
With a huge surge in the usage of cyberspace, ecommerce has witnessed a tremendous boost. Online purchasing of products is now a regular household phenomenon and why not? Sitting in the comfort of your home or office, you can browse for anything online. Modern Indian art too has stepped into this territory with a bang. You can witness a large variety of modern Indian paintings here; in fact it’s impossible to view such an incredible collection elsewhere. Modern Indian art has seen many transformations and the forms of abstract style have been rehabilitated by many renowned artists like Sailoz Mukherjee, Amrita Shergill and even Hussain. Frankly, the vital characteristic of contemporary or modern Indian art is a fair degree of freedom from contraption. The eclectic methodology is accepted here placing the artist’s expression in an international perspective. There is an assured escalation of modus operandi which has become supreme and the artist has emerged as a distinct person.Read Full Article
Akbar Padamsee born in the year 1928, in Bombay (Mumbai), Maharashtra. He occupies the dais with the likes of Souza, Tyeb, Raza and M F Hussain as the pioneers of Modern Indian Art. His subjects range from landscapes, prophets, heads, couples, still-life, nudes, metascapes, and mirror-images. He has worked with diverse mediums and has adopted various styles in his repertoire of work. He has been equally comfortable with oils as with plastic emulsion, ink and water colours. Whatever his medium, Akbar’s work has mainly been concerned with colour, form, space, time and volume. Best known as a painter, Akbar has also experimented with film making, photography, engraving, computer graphics, sculpture, writing and as an Art Critic. It has therefore been difficult to limit Akbar within boundaries. Akbar graduated from the JJ School of Art with a diploma in painting in 1940. He left for Paris in the year 1951 moving back to India in 1967, after a fellowship at the Rockefeller Foundation, New York. Akbar in his oeuvre has moved from the traditional to the modern, from the figurative to non-figurative. His early work consisted of nudes, mainly females done in charcoals shown holding an object; bird or a flower in keeping with the traditional Indian artworks. The figure, shown with sensuous lips, rounded body and eyes was highlighted by using a bold black outline around it. His paintings are visually beautiful. In his treatment of the human body and in the handling of paint, there is an element of tenderness and sensuality.Read Full Article
Anjolie, one of the leading female Indian contemporary artists, is known as a maverick in the art world. She refuses to conform, and her body of work is testimony to the fact that over the years Anjolie has refused to get categorized as belonging to a certain style of painting. According to her dissatisfaction is the source of growth, she encourages artists to move from the known to the unknown. Anjolie, born in 1940, left school at the age of 16, to join the JJ School of Arts; however she left this too in a few months. Established by the British, the school was conventional in its outlook. The students studied European masters and their styles rather than being encouraged to express them. It was through the museums and exhibitions of other upcoming artists in Mumbai that Anjolie learnt to experiment. The paintings of MF Hussain and Mohan Samant had a great influence on her. Anjolie, in her own words says that the first phase in her life lasted till she was about eighteen. She painted with a lot of energy and a certain brashness that could only be associated with her extreme youth. She expressed herself without any formal knowledge of styles or techniques.Read Full Article
Atul Dodiya was born in 1959 and he works and resides in Mumbai. Dodiya began his profession in 1988 with a sequence of modest canvases of the surroundings of the common people as well as architecture of little cities. He was enthralled by his personal aptitude to reconstruct sights as he saw them and gradually achieved perfection over the field of expressionless practicality. Nevertheless, he felt the need to innovate and create something different as he soon assumed its restrictions and wore-out of its factualness. Atul has incorporated an assortment of mediums with exceptional belief thereby broadening his limits of imagery and is regarded as a recognized head of the new age group as well as a prodigy artist. He has developed an individual expression filled with allusions of literature, art history, trendy movies and poems- rudiments collected by an overwhelming fascination with national chronicles and memoirs.Read Full Article
Benode Behari Mukherjee was born in the year 1904, in West Bengal. A recipient of the Padma Vibhushan award from the Indian Government, he died at the age of 76 in the year 1980. Belonging to a family that believed in the value of education, Benode however was not destined to receive formal schooling. He was affected with visual impairment from childhood and had to give up regular school. His interest in art and literature took him to Shanti Niketan in 1919, a world renowned centre for art and literature. He was first the student of another great artist, Nandalal Bose and later became his assistant when he re-joined Kala Bhavan, Shanti Niketan in 1925 as a teacher. It was here, surrounded by the beautiful landscape that Benode drew inspiration for his earliest work. His art was a blend of Western as well as oriental art forms. This can be seen in some of his famous works like The Bridge and The Tree Lover, where the former leans towards Expressionism and the latter is influenced by the art styles of the Far East.Read Full Article
Born in the year 1934 in Bombay, Khakhar started his career as a painter rather late in life. He qualified as a chartered accountant before moving to Baroda to take up a course in Art Criticism at the Faculty of Fine Arts. The painter is largely self- trained and shows a certain irreverence and lack of inhibition in his work. He mounted solo exhibitions as early as in 1965, when he was in his 30’s, to critical acclaim. By the 1980’s solo displays of Khakhar were being put up all over the world, in places as far away Tokyo, Paris, Den Haag, London and Amsterdam, garnering praise. Khakhar had arrived and made his mark in the world. Khakhar first experimented with collages. Typically, they consisted of readymade images of deities and popular oleographs which were painted over, to which he sometimes added a bit of graffiti. Soon he graduated to depicting the average people around him with deep sympathy, carrying out mundane tasks, barbers, accountants, the watch repairman (Janata Watch Repairing), tailors (De-Luxe Tailors). His paintings at this juncture were narrative. He reproduced the environment of the Indian market place, filling his compositions with loud and garish colors- greens, blues, pinks and reds. Though the complexity of Khakhar’s work increased with time, his work was mainly figurative and autobiographical. He explored the human body and its identity. His work reflected the influence of calendar art, Company School painting and the works of Henri Rousseau and Fernand Leger.Read Full Article
Bikash Bhattacharjee lives and works in Kolkata. His work is the combination of compassion and astounding scientific ability making it appear overstated and alluring with a super-real touch to it. Bikash has a reputation for his amazing prowess to convey the internal meaning of his themes and he says that his work is the compound of outlooks and systems and that he doesn’t always know whether he is an environmentalist, a rational or a bizarre being. His initial sequence of Calcutta called Cityscape; in 1967, divulges zero trace of human images. This series display the artists; dexterous usage of shadow and illumination and further depicts his ensuing obsession with subjects of estrangement and solitude. It was in his pictures of phantoms and substances that human occurrence was originally noticed. An old doll was once given to Bhattacharjee by a young girl and he later created its images. He began by reconstructing her velvety skin and false hair. In no time it became a sign of brutality let loose by the Naxalite lobby group. In a specific picture beaten dolls are redundant and thrown one upon the other like corpses on the street and in another the doll stretches out for a bloody tabloid hurled on the roadway. Bikash’s Cupboard (1971) is exceptional as it depicts his precise imitation of the feel of timber, with its granules and a duo of hands which surface from the door purposely burst its delusion.Read Full Article
Jogen Chowdhury works and resides in Shantiniketan. The majority of his paintings are positioned against a dark setting and the figures are indistinct and sketched without any restraint. The outlines of the arms and legs as well as other parts of the body are so supple that they presume the most difficult and unfeasible poses and stances, the toes and fingers twisting like animal claws. Jogen Chowdury’s forms seem hideous and gauche with their awkward eyes, rotund bodies and somewhat frenzied look. They are the personification of the artist’s preference of bizarre over conservative standards of attractiveness. His portraits illustrate a collection of the societal kinds-the courtesan, the elected official, the local entrepreneur and the bureaucrat in a noticeably unique phrase. Jogen Chowdhury’s paintings are basically in neutral shades and only a placid degree of colour can be witnessed on chance; these are created through arduous mix and match. His art is mostly in gentle, dry hues as well as in ink thus attaining prominent variability. Line is an inherent part of Jogen’s art and in order to present a specific individuality, he occasionally employs strokes. Chowdhury says that his portraits and sketches are not made; in fact they sprout from him just the way plants nurture. His initial work is disconnected from the perspective and calls for a figurative understanding. His paintings are marvelous, classic and are a treat for the eyes. Over time rudiments of the natural world were replaced by substances from our daily lives like flowers in a pot and fruits in a bowl evoking a motionless variety. A cushion perched over the bed sheets in disorder and a bolster on an ornately adorned bed are at the same time sensual and dreamlike.Read Full Article
K Laxma Goud was born in Nizamabad, Andhra- Pradesh and he resides and works in Hyderabad. Early in life, Goud figured that painting was his specialty therefore he started to test with the aesthetic facade of engraving as well as dark line. He is a phenomenal artist and is absolutely outstanding at drawing. Goud’s initial works are grave and toneless, instilled with a strength and solemnity which his established and exceedingly coloured art cannot compete with. He has worked impulsively and zealously since the start. He came back to his village Nizampur after learning mural painting at the MS University, Baroda. He gradually uncovered a comfortable approach towards sexuality which was a revitalizing transformation from the austere restraint that environs the sexual traditions of the middle class Indians. Sex became the central theme of Goud’s novel foresight of the world. He was greatly inspired by the rural life of his state especially its sensuous vivacity, and this has stayed as a permanent subject for him. The men and women come across each other in a jungle and some paintings portray them as occupied in overt sexual performance while in some they are merely seated besides each other. Their innermost needs are echoed amid thick trees and plants which form the backdrop around them.Read Full Article
KK Hebbar was born in 1911 at Kattingeri in Karnataka and he died in 1996 in Mumbai. He reacted with fervor to novel artistic liberties close to the time of India’s independence and also welcomed the subjects and practices of the frescoes of Ajanta as well as the themes from Mughal, Jain and Rajput miniature canvases. KK Hebbar like the other eminent founders, wanted to set up relations amid contemporary western expansions and the traditional Indian paintings. While studying art at the JJ School of art in Bombay, where he painted figures and sceneries in a typical and archetype fashion, he came across a striking canvas by Amrita Sher Gill, of three girls in a group. He was absolutely struck by its modernism and took the call of creating artworks, the basis for which would be understated thoughts in the mind’s eye and reminiscences; thus he decided to relinquish the habit of dedicated replication. His duo artworks Cattle Mart (1942) and Festival dance (1945) disclose his affections for village tranquility. The medium employed by him here was gouache as a replacement for oil and these were emulated miniatures with a double dimensional characteristic; the property and quality of lines and brilliant colours. In this period through the initial 40s, KK Hebbar did trials with the prototypical method of Indian paintings.Read Full Article
Krishen Khanna is one of the more distinguished names in the contemporary Indian art scenario. He was born in the year 1925 in Faisalabad, Pakistan. He grew up in Lahore, before moving to Shimla with his family, after the partition of Pakistan and India in 1947. The events of the partition had a deep impact on Khanna and some of his earliest paintings are reproductions of the proceedings of this period that were indelibly printed on his mind. Khanna started painting during an age when too much glamour was not associated with art. He is mainly a self- educated artist, although he attended art classes in the evenings held at the Mayo School of Art, Lahore, after his graduation. A banker by profession, Khanna joined the Grindlays Bank in Bombay and became associated with the Progressive Artists Group. This Group was the launching pad for the exhibition of his work. He sold his first painting to Dr. Homi Bhabha for the Tata institute of Fundamental Research. In 1955 Khanna had his first solo exhibition in Chennai at the USIS centre. Since then Khanna remained busy and held numerous single expositions.Read Full Article
Manjit Bawa as a youthful artist, like many of his generation, searched for a language which was both deeply entrenched in native folklore as well as was contemporary at the same time. The amalgamation of the impact of pahari miniature paintings and a meticulous guidance in serigraphy was the answer to his hunt. The pahari works depended upon crucial expressions and the use of standard sayings to communicate a point while the second screamed for the usage of flat and glossy shades. The artist is enthused by famous legends and symbols and his works exhibit his penchant for appearance over story. Manjit Bawa’s acrobats, animals and elaborated demigods are perched against glowing, flat colours. The audience is attracted further than the subject of the work of art and into an encounter, straight and instantaneous with colour and shape. Manjit Bawa’s pictures normally take form around a group or a solitary figure. Two rudiments like the mace and the magic mountain determine Bahubali hovering through the sky in an indefinite shape. Lord Krishna too is purely recognized with the colour of his body and his flute. He likes to create images which are so simple, in the cleanest form of aesthetics so that even a little child can react to his art. Bawa strips down the icon to its core.Read Full Article
Nalini Malani is one of the most brilliant contemporary artists of India. Born in 1946, in Karachi, Pakistan, her family moved to India after the Partition of India. She joined the JJ School of Art in Bombay and trained as a painter. As a student she maintained a studio where artists, musicians, theatre artists and dancers worked individually and as a group. This diversity of interests reflected in her work in the later years . Malani’s repertoire of work has been mainly drawn and painted images, commenting on the socio-political issues. She condemns the cynical nationalism that exploits the beliefs of the masses. Conflicting viewpoints, the burden of history and issues that arise due to changing environments are aesthetically addressed in her creations. Hers is an art of excess; she breaks the boundaries of the so called conventional painter and reaches beyond, coercing people to initiate dialogues, in effect to question. Malani has exhibited extensively; her work has been displayed and appreciated in prestigious biennials and triennials all over the world. Malini’s work can be characterized as urban and internationalist, keeping a strong connection to her roots.Read Full Article
Bendre’s paintings customized the altering fashions in European art with his Indian themes and he was one of the initial Indian modernists. Over the many years he painted romantic pictures of the lives of rural people and scenic landscapes as he travelled across the country. He embraced expressionism, impressionism, pointillism as well as cubism. Bendre learnt art in Indore where landscapes were given utmost importance and he gained quick proficiency in pastels. The impressionist style was really his forte and he employed authentic shades to reconstruct moody results in gouache. The 30s and 40s saw Bendre tour expansively from Kashmir to religious sites like Omkareshwar in Madhya Pradesh painting the countryside and the persons he observed. Acknowledgment came Bendre’s way only in 1934 upon winning a silver medal in the Bombay Art Society. In 1941 he won the gold at the same place. Bendre worked as an artist in Shantiniketan and his contemporaries were the likes of people like Ramkinkar Baij and Benode Behari Mukherjee. Bendre discovered the use of line only in the 40s and this changed his style of painting to a large extent; finally cubism crept into his work. Evolving in art is necessary for an artist to grow as a human being. Bendre now began depicting his ethnic forms via a series of projecting and retreating lines. Individual tautness allured him over deformation. He now started to amalgamate cubist methods with principles of miniature paintings for the handling of volume and space. He also brought in jewel tones of Indian miniatures in other representations.Read Full Article
Prabhakar Barwe’s paintings are insightful as they depict dissimilar items hovering in space. Intangible visual effects are created which are isolated and uprooted from their perspective like a half buried leaf, a pendulum clock ticking time, the remains of a postal mark and a snail creeping away at its own slow pace. Barwe was a student of the JJ School of Art in the 50s and his work mirrors the influence of famous artists like Joan Miro and Paul Klee. This artist disregarded total abstraction which was the current trend then and adopted realism. His works like Satellite Observer’s; and a Long Summer; depict an individual style. In the 60s, Barwe discovered the rudiments of Indian folk art and Pop art. Flat and daring colours were embraced in his work and he did some unusual collages with broken glass. In his Queen of Hearts; he experimented with the layout of playing cards. The audience is expected to interpret and make a connection between the signs and assorted motifs floating in space in his many works. He moved to Benaras in the early part of this decade in order to give a design track to the long-established weavers here. He was highly swayed by the Tantric way of life and he integrated its metaphors into this art. Barwe compiled the standard symbols of tantra like small globular entities, an open seed being illustrated in the oval form and the twin triangles, in straightforward but ingenious methods.Read Full Article
Ram Kumar was born in the year 1924, in Shimla, and is one of the most brilliant contemporary Indian artists. He obtained his Masters Degree in economics from the St. Stephen’s College, Delhi. Ram Kumar took painting classes from The Sharda Vakil School of Art, and in 1949, went to Paris to study painting. The energy and vibrancy of the city exhilarated him and he remained there till 1952. In Paris he was guided by Andre Lhote and Fernard Leger. He was influenced and got to observe great painters like Picasso and Matisse who were living in Paris at that time, as well the works of the great masters from around the world which were showcased in the museums. Kumar, on his return from Paris, settled down in Delhi. Inspired by the human conditions around him, his early work is that of a social realist. Living near refugee camps in Karol Bagh, Kumar’s work focuses on the alienated individual. His paintings at this stage of his life were figurative, using a heavy impasto style in hues of browns and grays. He portrayed the urban middle class, young men and women, living alone within the city, reflecting a sense of dejection and hopelessness. One such painting The Vagabonds painted in 1957 intensely showcases the anguish, despair and helplessness of such individuals.Read Full Article
By Sarika Makkar
IAC takes a sneak peak at the life and works of artist Rameshwar BrootaRead Full Article
By Sarika Makkar
IAC takes a sneak peak at the life and works of artist Ramkinkar BaijRead Full Article
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IAC takes a sneak peak at the life and works of artist Sakti Burman
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IAC takes a sneak peak at the life and works of artist Satish Gujral.Read Full Article
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IAC takes a sneak peak at the life and works of artist Somnath Hore.Read Full Article
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IAC takes a sneak peak at the life and works of artist Sudhir Patwardhan.
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IAC takes a sneak peak at the life and works of artist Tyeb Mehta.
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IAC takes a sneak peak at the life and works of artist Vasudeo Gaitonde
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IAC takes a sneak peak at the life and works of artist Arpita Singh
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IAC takes a sneak peak at the life and works of artist G Ravinder Reddy
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IAC takes a sneak peak at the life and works of artist Ganesh Pyne
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IAC takes a sneak peak at the life and works of artist Ghulam Mohammed Sheikh
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IAC takes a sneak peak at the life and works of artist Jehangir Sabavala
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IAC takes a sneak peak at the life and works of artist Maqbool Fida Husain
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IAC takes a sneak peak at the life and works of artist Sayed Haider Raza
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By IAC Team
Art, Caught In The WebRead Full Article
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Indian Paintings : Soul Enriched Colour Explosions!Read Full Article
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Indian Painters: The Deep Soul of India!Read Full Article
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Art Galleries : An Artful Tryst!Read Full Article
By IAC Team
There are some parts of the world that, once visited, get into your heart and won't go.Read Full Article
Art has always claimed a vital part of Indian life, developing stunningly original art forms; fine Indian arts have come to dominate the art world. The combination of traditional Indian art and western art set the tone for modern Indian art. As the traditions of spiritual philosophy permeated back into the fine arts of India, westerners struggled to comprehend the cultural and philosophical systems of Indian art. Perceiving an absence of perspective in Indian artwork, they viewed it as inferior to European forms. Fusing native inspiration with European art, the Bengal school of painters developed unique styles, Abanindranath Tagore, father of modern Indian art merged Rajput and Pahari methods with European training. This distinct genre of modern Indian art maintains pride within the contemporary art collections of contemporary Indian art galleries. Art for Indians : Soul Connections! In 1947, 6-young wannabees, F.N. Souza, M.F. Hussian, S.H.Raza, K.H.Ara, S.K. Bakre and H.A. Gade established the Progressive Group of Artists (PAG). Inspired by western expressionism, they created a new national aesthetic for India, contemporary Indian art within an international framework. They broke from the past cultural constraints, creating contemporary art entirely Indian but also modern. They have emerged as distinguished artists, sought after by contemporary Indian Art Galleries. Their contemporary art abstractionism, contrasts with the restraint of traditional Indian art. Of the founding members only, Hussain remained in his native soil, enriching contemporary Indian art with his Indian artwork.Read Full Article
Contemporary Artworks and Artists: Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright! Contemporary Art: A Culture Rebels! Now it is not good for the Christian's health to hustle the Hindu brown, For the Christian riles and the Hindu smiles and weareth the Christian down; And, the end of the fight is a tombstone while with the name of the late deceased and the epitaph drear,A fool lies here who tried to hustle the east; Rudyard Kipling. And, the West's academic art hustle on the East saw the Hindu brown smile and, begin a rebellion against western art education convinced it had no place in the Indian ethos or Indian psyche. Indian artists artwork as they struggled to give a pagan individuality to their brush strokes evinced more of the swish of a Bengal tiger tail than a Christian tameness. Bengal Renaissance, rejecting the company style of painting i.e. the kitsch, the calendar or bazaar art that had prevailed so far and, modern Indian art was born, of course, consequential to British denigration of Indian art and a political climate wherein, Indians sought to rid themselves of the foreign yoke. The resultant artworks of India's first great moderns Abanindranath Tagore, Nandlal Bose, Amrita Shergill, Jamini Roy have a special place in the great art collections of contemporary art galleries and art galleries that celebrate artist artwork of all genres. A careful study of the art collection of various art galleries containing a body of the Moderns artworks shows a strong resonance of the history of modern India. As Bengal Renaissance with lingering European influences began to find a niche, F.N. Souza, enfant terrible of Indian contemporary art led a group of young rebels to set themselves up as the Progressive Artists Group (PAG) with a manifesto that promised freedom of expression and style. Summarily, they condemned the influences of modern Indian artists, Rabindranath Tagore as a self-obsessed introvert, Amrita Shergill as a hybrid, Jamini Roy as unsophisticatedly crude and, all other distinguished artists and influential teachers as sentimental. On their evolutionary journey as artists, their immense talent began a slow scorching of the art world with its unique fusion of western physicality and eastern spiritualism. Extreme professionalism and dedication to their art impressed Mulk Raj Anand, India's foremost art critic at the time leading him to arrange an exhibition for the contemporary artworks and artists of PAG. Unconcerned about the content of the exhibition, he concentrated on providing a platform for this new, not yet fully formed voice of Indian contemporary art. Justifying his faith, the contemporary artworks and artists of PAG have been gained international recognition on par with some of the best western artists. Art galleries and contemporary art museums worldwide hang their artworks, a very integral part of their great art collections. Contemporary Artworks And Artists: Flaming the Indian Blaze! Regardless of recessionary trends in global markets, the art scene has witnessed a rising demand for Indian contemporary art. The death of F.N. Souza described by a British newspaper as India's most important, and famous modern artist has led his artworks to be sold for unprecedented prices at art auctions e.g. Mystic Repast sold for $153,000/- at Sotheby. While, his fellow PAG M.F. Hussain made a private sale to an NRI for $435,000/- without going through any art galleries or auction houses. As the contemporary artworks and artists of Indian origin become the flavour of the season, art galleries globe wise are suddenly going to extraordinary lengths to procure Indian contemporary art for their art collection. As, Vasudeo Gaitonde, Ram Kumar, Ganesh Pyne, Tyeb Mehta, Akbar Padmasee, to name a few, continue to establish the presence of contemporary artworks and artists from India in the great art collections of art galleries and contemporary art museums world over Gaitonde, a very active member of PAG is one of India's foremost painter of the abstract, large plane surfaces distilled with subtle paint layers give a meditative calm to his work. Abstractionism highlighted with translucent beams of light that suggest nothing but themselves and subliminal depths. A recipient of the Padma Shri, he is well represented in several Indian art collections and the great art collections of international museums. The spotting of Ram Kumar's artworks by S.H. Raza at a group exhibition led to a lifelong friendship between two of PAG's great artists. A training stint in Paris and Ram Kumar returned to India to paint about the human condition i.e. his early works depict the alienation of the individual within the city while latterly he paints the dilapidated and crowded houses of Varanasi, abstracts done in sweeping strokes of color evoking an exultation of natural space and, recently the incipient violence within human habitation. Ganesh Pyne influenced by the Tagore brothers in his early years painted watercolours before turning to gouache and latterly tempera with a change in figuration and colour palette. A skeletal element, a varied but noteworthy treatment of eyes, dark shadows compensated with golden umber tints, his canvases reflect the opposing attractions of death and eternal life. Akbar Padamsee, an inveterate modernist studied art both in Mumbai and Paris, a Sanskrit student as well, he is well versed in the Upanishadic forms of painting bound by lines and created from an positioning of surface strokes both real and transcendent. Experimenting with the Chinese method of Ku Fu his figures have an agile grace and an expression of ineffable sadness, his occasional landscapes expresses the dignity of infinite time.Read Full Article
Indian Art: Moolah Rakers! Indian Paintings: Valuable Assets! Bear in mind that the commerce of India is the commerce of the world and ... he who can exclusively command it is the dictator of Europe. (Peter the Great, Czar of Russia). India, the richest country in the world until the arrival of the British; India, whose wealth Christopher Columbus set sail in search of only to discover USA. India, rich beyond compare, materially, spiritually and, despite unimaginable pillaging and plundering by innumerable invaders, the Ghaznis, the Ghoris et al considered it a drop out of the overflowing ocean of Indian wealth. Ultimately, where others had failed, the imperialists succeeded and, India's enormous riches made a nation of shopkeepers the wealthiest empire in the world. The loot did not stop here as the colonialists set out to complete the cultural and spiritual impoverishment of a country of whom it has been said: If I am asked which nation had been advanced in the ancient world in respect of education and culture then I would say it was India. Max Muller. While, western art, culture and education were held to be the epitome of the civilised world, Indian art was labelled as primitive. The freedom struggle saw many Indian artists; nationalists to the core begin the Bengal Renaissance rebellion, a reflection of the pride in their cultural heritage. Post-independence, the Progressive Artists Group sought inspiration in the west, going on to forge their own uniquely individual styles, in the end revelling in their roots and reflecting it in the brush strokes of their paintings. A de-colonisation of the Indian mind began, it no longer needed western validation, IndianArtCollectors has a collection of Indian contemporary art paintings that were believed second to none, a point ratified as it made its way into the art collection of major museums and connoisseurs of Indian art.Read Full Article
Art Collectors : Canvas Hunters! Art Collection : Art of the Matter! As Indian canvases explode with the color of emotions, a zeal for contemporary art paintings, true collectors art by Indian artists has seen many art collectors on an art collection binge. A rapid increase that warrants an assessment of their art collection to make room for more recent contemporary art and paintings by artists, unknown today, art Colossuses' of tomorrow. With colour drenched Indian contemporary art gaining recognition for its canvases and an increasing presence in the international art arena, the prices for Indian contemporary art scorch a spiral burn skywards. Global heating and a demand for Indian contemporary art has seen a collectors trend underway, a trend that has led private art collectors, fine art collectors, famous art collectors, abstract art collectors and art collectors art buyers to buy Indian canvases they hadn't heard of till recently. Indian contemporary art paintings by F.N. Souza, M.F.Hussain, S.H. Raza, Akbar Padamsee, Tyeb Mehta etc. collectors fine art oil paintings, collectors artwork are being added to art collectors private collections more often than not. As any collectors guide contemporary art list will inform, the contemporary art paintings of India's post-independence artists are going for unheard of prices at international art collectors auctions held by Sotheby and Christie. So much so, personal passions are giving way to successful businesses, a setting up of art galleries both online and offline, a modus operandi that ensures Indian contemporary art and paintings continues to be in the eye of the art collectors. And, collectors on the look out for collectors art fit to be a part of their private art collectors, fine art collectors, famous art collectors and abstract art collectors art collection have more opportunity of finding the painting they have searched for high and low. Contemporary Art Collections: Celebratory Art! Tyeb Mehta's Kali, a small acrylic on canvas depicting a twisted blue body, yellow teeth, protruding red tongue, a tortured expression and, she sold for Rs. 1-crore. A disturbing painting, nonetheless collectors art due to the rarity of the occasional paintings the artist's fragile strength allows him to paint, a heart that functions at 25% of its capacity saps away his creative intensity. Happy to be part of the process that is making Indian contemporary art and paintings acceptable in the international art market, Mehta is modest about his success. His expanse of shrouded figures in triptych, most aptly called Celebration sold for Rs. 1.5-crore at Christie's in 2002. Rs. 1-crore for a small Kali is, indeed, a benchmark for the Indian masters of contemporary art. But, his friend M.F. Hussain exults: The language of painting he has evolved is very powerful. I think even the crore this painting has sold for is less.'' Kali , the third most expensive Indian painting, the second being Raza's Rajputana Bindu, the continuing momentum of the popularity of Indian contemporary art is bound to lead to higher valuations of paintings done by Indian artists.Read Full Article
Art Collections : Aesthetic Investments! Indian Arts and Crafts : Saffron Tints! The colour of the object illuminated partakes of the colour of that which illuminates it. Da Vinci. Indian arts and crafts with traditions immersed in religious beliefs go back thousands of years, withstanding the ravages of time and innumerable foreign invasions. Assimilative in nature, Indian artworks continue to flourish in a happy blending of Indian traditions with foreign ideas, incorporating them in the Indian arts and crafts. From pottery, weaving, wood and stone carving, jewellery making, paintings, Indian arts and crafts have few parallels in the world of art. Based in socio-economic and regional factors, ancient Indian arts and crafts flourish due to their utilitarian nature and easy availability to the common people. But, the loss of royal patronage, post-independence resulted in a scattered and fragmented Indian contemporary art and artworks industry. The intervention of art galleries, museum showings and online art collection auctions selling Indian contemporary art has led to a rising demand for famous artwork and Indian art pictures from the sub-continent. Many collectors of Indian contemporary art, who made canny acquisitions of unfashionable original artwork, find they are a part of framed art collections consisting of famous artwork from India, today. A 1950's Crucifixion contemporary art painting by F.N. Souza bought for £6,000/- by one of London's art galleries has caught the eye of Vatican and, may well become part of its art collection . As an art dealer whose art collection consists of many Souza artworks, said: People used to laugh at the paintings. It was something xenophobic. In the late '80s I couldn't give them away. Things have changed dramatically for Indian contemporary art as 2004 saw a 50's contemporary art painting by Souza sell for $183,000/- in an auction held by one of the online art galleries.Read Full Article
Modern abstract art paintings or sculptures do not portray a specific thing, person or place but its appearance is rather overstated and indistinct. What you see is the vivid strokes of the brush, strange shapes and loudly stated colors. Modern abstract art originated in Russia in about 1911 and the popular artist who put forth his work is known as Wassily Kandinsky. His belief was that hues and shades induced sentiments in people. Green to him was a symbol of internal forte and tranquility while red indicated confidence and the sense of being alive. Blue depicts a sense of depth and the paranormal while white though silent, spoke of the potential. Yellow denoted wildness and an electro active mind which was both warm and disturbed. He felt resonance too in these spates of colors. Modern abstract art really is a device to reveal, resolve or articulate your emotions and perceptions. Its beauty lies in the fact that it is not bound by any rules, limits or styles and to regard it as generically pretty is not possible. Modern abstract art paintings are interpreted by each person differently. What to you may seem like the rays of the sun brightening the fields, may appear to another as ropes to tie you down. The abstract artist too is often bewildered by his own production. As someone has correctly said that modern abstract art depicts the frenzy of the artist and unless you can appreciate such artworks, they may seem Greek to you.Read Full Article
Art, in its diverse styles has been admired by thousands of people across the globe since olden times. At one time, the royalty literally had copyright of possessing paintings and artworks. However, this concept changed gradually when the rich people too started to purchase paintings to decorate their homes. All in all it had a pretty elitist stature; but that concept is now age old and paintings are now occupying place in even the homes of the middle class. Education, evolution and exposure have made the world at large aware of the beauty, expression and meaning of art. Investment too is a prime reason today since paintings have escalated in value and often changed hands from one buyer to another. Indian paintings are gaining impetus on the international level and though the westerners often regard it as overtly sensuous and elaborate, with deeper understanding, several people want to buy the same. Indian art is considered to be acquired taste which is just fine since there is so much depth in the culture, and if you are enthusiastic to learn, you will relish Indian paintings with gusto. These can be categorized into particular eras and each period echoes detailed political, cultural and religious advancements. These are the Ancient, Mughal, Colonial, Independence and the Post Independence phases.Read Full Article
Paintings and portraits are the artist’s perceptions of life which he imbibes from his surroundings or circumstances. Indian contemporary art covers all aspects of being from society, religion, racism, development, environment and commercial ventures. The pictures have their own language and you can sense them with your viewpoint. There are really no hard and fast rules in art and the artist expresses what he feels within him. Art in India has reached an altogether different plane in the last two decades. Technology has a key role to play here since the development of internet has lead to the world becoming a very small place. Famous art work as well as emerging talent is all finding a spot on the net due to the online Indian art galleries , which are both promoting as well as recognizing contemporary Indian art.Read Full Article
Modern homes today are recognizing the value of contemporary art to a great extent and its effects have been immense; a clear indication of this is the growing quantity of art collectors as well as an augmentation in the amount of art galleries around the country. The reason for the growing appeal of Indian contemporary paintings is that they are simple to comprehend and depict interesting themes or meanings. Their accessibility too is boosted due to the online galleries which stock a diverse collection of contemporary Indian art. Art, from time immemorial is the expression of the artist’s views which are influenced by his environment. Indian contemporary paintings portray topics concerning the existing state of affairs for example global warming, racism, spirituality, politics, bio-technology and the commercial angles amongst many others. Such art is not only being appreciated locally but is commanding respect the world over and is being warmly welcomed across the borders. People from all walks of life are showing keenness towards contemporary art and it is getting a position in rich as well as middle class homes. Traditional Indian art has a forte of its own and is a fusion of several cultures and societies. It is characterized as unique, ornate and appealing and is greatly appreciated by art collectors interested in Hindu art. Madhubani and Mithila styles are typical of traditional Indian art and it can be tracked down to the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Hinduism has four goals of life which are dharma or righteousness, arth or profession to earn your livelihood, Kama or sexual/human love and finally moksha or nirvana. The walls of the ancient temples of India are adorned with Hindu art depicting the four essentials of life as well as paintings of their favourite deities and incidents from Hindu mythology. Traditional Indian art has transitioned through many eras and has evolved distinctly as it portrayed each period.Read Full Article
By IAC Team
Art is a reflection of history and we wonder how current artists would create reflections of us for future generations.Read Full Article
By IAC Team
A quick look at the history of Indian Contemporary ArtRead Full Article
By IAC Team
The cyberspace is a hub of all sorts of dealings of an assortment of artworks. Apart from lovers and collectors like you, the artists too have found a platform to showcase their works to the world at large. Where else could they ever have found such an immense and keen audience? Canvases by artists from small villages could appeal to the sensibilities of a business house in Italy. Such is the power of online art galleries!Read Full Article
By IAC Team
For art lovers the evolution of art in India can be an interesting read.Read Full Article
By IAC Team
With Indian Art Collector moving art to the online space, it is interesting to capture the journey art has made from ancient to modern.Read Full Article
By IAC Team
The Artist of the month for January 2008 is the ceramist and painter at the international township of Auroville in Pondicherry - Adil Writer!Read Full Article
By Pratima Sheth
Artist and writer Pratima Sheth is out with her new book, Dictionary of Indian Art & Artists. She shares a few thoughts behind her book with IndianArtCollectors.Read Full Article
By Pratima Sheth
Every artist has a different take on how he\she uses their creativity to depict the world around them. We at IndianArtCollectors love to share our artist's perspective. We have esteemed artist Pratima Sheth who shares her thoughts about her works.Read Full Article