Indian contemporary artists looking to sell online need to upload high quality images of their work. Simply because on an online platform your artwork is the only thing doing the talking. 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.
A poor quality image is unable to create a fundamental connection with its original counterpart. As a contemporary Indian artist selling online, know that since the customer cannot physically see the artwork, having a clear vision of the original artwork is a must!
Here are a few tips to photograph and upload your original artwork online:
• Make sure the image is taken with a good quality, high resolution camera. Always upload an image of 2000pixels and 200 dpi resolution in .jpg format.
• Lighting should be of prime importance. If taken in a poor lighting, the photograph might not be as clear
• Color Correction should be done post taking the photograph, in case needed
• Proper cropping and alignment of the final photograph is imminent
Poor quality of images can be a big barrier for artists looking to sell paintings online but can be easily solved at a ground level. So, unleash the photographer in you and take high resolution pictures of every single one of your unique artworks and tap into an endless pool of willing buyers.
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:
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.
Describe the ambience of your artwork through words and the mood it may carry. There's a plethora of grammatical expressions available that can be used to explain the mood of your artwork to a collector or someone who appreciates art. It’s pertinent to think beyond defining your art with the usual lines, shapes and colors. Use descriptive adjectives instead to enchant your collectors.
• Colour coding
Don't skip talking about the colors used in your artwork. Be specific in describing them on the lines of soft, muted, fiery or bold. Mention the time of the day that is depicted in the painting.
Instead of saying
The sky and sea are blue.
The glistening beauty of the blue-green sea intermingles with the incandescent light of the azure sky to create a mystic evening on canvas.
• Use relevant keywords
Specify the important keywords as often as possible as it creates ease of search for the buyer. If you are creating an Indian themed oil painting, make sure the same is evident for a collector at first glance. The most commonly used terms for searches include mediums, style, colour and category. Ensure your paintings list these details correcting. This simple step will also aid to increase the buyer's understanding towards your artwork. Check out the filter on the IndianArtCollector’s website to get a better perspective of important keywords.
Specify the dimensions and size of your unique artwork. Online shopping gets a lot less cumbersome if we describe the small visual with maximum detail. Give your buyers all the information they need to make a choice and subsequent purchase of the artwork.
Help your buyers connect and build an interest in your artwork, describe it well!
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. 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.
Titles aid in differentiating your art. It facilitates in referring your unique artwork and creates familiarity among people. It is suggested that you have separate and innovative names for all your art as it generates a sense of exhilaration in the onlooker. Captivating titles also create a sense of deliberation in the mind as one is always keen to be associated with intrigue. Check out IndianArtCollector’s artist Sumit Sarkar’s titled works for better understanding.
Untitled or casually tilted art gives a viewer just a broad and generic platform of thought, when most people are looking for a definite reflection of what a piece of art is trying to say. Know this, many a times an appealing title is sometimes enough for a viewer to stop, connect and immediately choose to own the artwork.
If you’re not a fan of titling and use ‘Untitled’ as a name for your artwork, then a better alternative is to explain not titling your artwork. If you consider two untitled artworks, one just saying ‘untitled’ and the other with a description for not having a title, undoubtedly, the piece with the description will surely have a higher appeal value.
Your art is like your nurtured child, so give your child a name and let the viewer dive deeper into the meaning of your artwork.
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.
• Educational Background
Scholastic awareness and educational background in the artist biography divulges to the buyer that an artist is an expert and knows what he’s creating. Art education and knowledge about Indian contemporary paintings is taking a strong root in our society and collectors are keen to learn about artist's credentials to gauge their qualifications.
When an artist writes about his participation in past exhibitions it creates a sense of recognition among peers and collectors who visit his works online. A list of physical exhibitions done by the artist also reveals his familiarity with art to the nouveau buyer. Check out IndianArtCollector's artist Animesh Roy whose profile extensively talks about the plethora of exhibitions he’s participated in.
• Awards & recognition
Why not boast a little about your achievements to prospective buyers? A strong biography that includes recognitions and accolades not only highlight’s an artist's standing in the competitive art market but also creates a feel good factor for collectors. A great example is IAC’s artist Anil Gaikwad whose detailed award list on his profile sheds light on his ability, struggle, hard work and excellence in the art world.
Lastly, an artist profile can be a good source of inspiration to budding artists looking to come online. Supplement your profiles with testimonials and experiences about websites and galleries you are associated with. These not only help sites make artist experience smoother, but also helps convince hesitating artists to try the online market for their works.
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.
Here are a few pointers to get the best profile picture:
• It's best to have your profile picture that features you alone, with you working on your easel or sculpture, be caught mid-action. Such a candid photograph will give the buyers a face that they can relate to.
• Posture can speak volumes. Go for pictures that show your confidence through your smile and the way you carry yourself. You can also have one of your best artworks as the backdrop to your image. Here's an example of Vallery Puri
• Keep your image up-to-date. It’s important that collectors or buyers recognize you if you happen to cross paths. Also, people get easily bored of looking at the same photograph so it's a good idea to change it every now and then.
• Get your pictures clicked from someone who puts you at ease, that way you will emanate comfort and be more natural, without any hesitation.
• Keep it simple. No need to use heavy filters or odd camera angles and avoid a blurry or over-exposed photograph. Keep it closely cropped and the end product should be well-lit.
Check out some artists from the IndianArtCollectors who have done a great job with their profile pictures. Remember, unique artwork surely sets an artist aside but an appealing profile picture is also imperative.
IndianArtCollectors team's favorite artist profile shots are of - Shanta Samant & Bhaskar Mandolu - their photographs look natural and their faces are filled with delight. You can sense their personage and feel a certain charm.
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.
Art gives character to its surrounding space. A piece of art can change the feeling of a space significantly. It can stir emotion, encourage thought and evoke belief into whatever it has been created to convey. It is of paramount importance that a space reflects its occupier. Consequently the art displayed must be a reflection of the dweller’s personality and individuality. It can be a statement or can blend sympathetically with a room’s design and colour scheme. But art doesn’t always need to match its surroundings – contemporary pieces are often more striking in traditional settings and vice versa.
The importance of artwork as a positive distraction is well documented. Art is a healer. In the presence of an art work, we gravitate to the positivity it reflects. Art elevates the space around it, lending it a character that is best defined as ‘Cathartic’. A painting on your wall ceases to be a canvas framed in wood, but becomes a window to let in light, life and freshness. A work of art can give any space a monumental dimension. Imagine a colossal canvas rich in colour, on palpable white walls of a moderately spacious living room. The contrast unsurprisingly evokes wonder. A work of art irrespective of its size has an innate ability to give newer dimensions to the space around it.
A piece of art can survive through the ages. Every piece has a history, a present and will endure through the years. Its sheen permeates through generations, bejewelling each with a new character.
To simply put it, Art is that influence in décor which can make a haven, a heaven.
“From joy springs all creation, with joy they are sustained
Towards joy they proceed,
To joy they return”
Art embodies this joy...this bliss which has been described as the perennial source of all creations in Mundaka Upanishad. This bliss is beyond the sensuous and the intellectual. It is a joy not confined to the frontiers of the creator but flows to all those who behold it, imparting both with the sublime level of consciousness.
Art elevates the space around it, lending it a character that is best defined as ‘Cathartic’. A painting on your wall ceases to be a canvas framed in wood, but becomes a window to let in light, life and freshness.
Our lives today are steeped in the humdrum of tedium. All too often we find ourselves combating darkness. Darkness of despair, disappointment, loss, suffering, inaction, betrayal etc. Art comes to our rescue here. It does not dispense the darkness but helps one to use it profitably. Art augments the resolve to face darkness and go beyond it. So when you come back home to a work of art on your walls, you come to possess the world more imaginatively, more enduringly.
Art is as much an anchor in times of chaos as it is in the moments of celebration. It restores to us a sense of wonder in an otherwise palpable world. Today the domains of art and space are no more exclusive. They are in a constant state of flux- melting and diffusing together. Spaces are embracing art and art is opening up to spaces. It is only thus a natural instinct to engage oneself in the making of this amalgamation.
A picture, they say is worth a thousand words. A work of art then, I say, is worth a million songs. . .
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Contemporary and abstract art have allowed the Indian artists to freely express all they wish; this unrestricted style is appealing to most people. The artists today depict real life situations like poverty, corruption, politics and other social conditions prevalent in the society. The strokes of the brush are not constrained and there is no set rule for the usage of colours, mediums and hues. This liberation in art shows that situations are voiced through various mediums and intelligent artists always earn themselves a fine position. We are extremely cautious regarding space and ensure that there are no imitations. Artists these days are ready to put forth customized pieces; you can specify the shades to be employed as well as the exact size for a specific wall. The canvases are then shipped to your doorstep in perfect condition.
Nowadays, art has found a place in the homes of the middle class whereas at one time it was only the royalty or the elite which harbored this taste. The reason being that art is available today in a range of prices and the internet has made it accessible to everyone interested. Budding Indian artists have found a platform at our gallery where they can showcase their work; a person sitting in New York may love what someone has created in Chennai and the canvas is shipped across the seas. From big names to novices, all artists understand the benefits of the net; it is impossible to find such a large audience elsewhere. The prices here are affordable due to immense competition and minimalist overheads.
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.
IndianArtCollectors is a fabulous platform for artists, collectors and art lovers; earlier the artists carried their works from one gallery to another requesting space. The lucky few made it while several tremendous artists went unnoticed. This is not the case anymore and budding artists also manage an audience via our gallery. The advantage of this space was appreciated by the famous artists of India as well because in the past it was only the rich and elite who could view and buy their works but now any person sitting in India or abroad can purchase their artwork online. These days, everyone can access good paintings and adorn their drawing rooms; though the rates can be steep at times, especially of paintings done by illustrious names yet there are other wonderful works which deserve attention and can fit your budget.
The famous artists of India represent the various states in our country that they come from; they use a range of mediums for their paintings. We showcase their work but always check for imitations; the creditable galleries never falter thus buying here is a great idea. Often, budding artists seek opinions and advice on their works from other renowned artists and this is possible only via the online art galleries. There was a time that getting through to famous artists in order to buy their artworks was a Herculean task but today anyone from a huge country like ours, can contact them because of the facility provided by us.
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.
We are intermediaries between the buyer/collector and the artists. Here is how the process works: once you are sure about the artwork you want to buy, you transfer the money into our account and we have the artist ship the work to you. In case of any damage to the picture in transit, we take full responsibility and you are free to return the work; also, if the artwork you receive is different from the one you ordered, you can send it back instantly. Our Indian art gallery has artists listed from all parts of the country as well as overseas but we are incredibly selective about offering space. Only genuine talent is appreciated and accepted here. You are sure to get the cheapest and the best possible price at our gallery as we charge the lowest commissions thus negotiations of any sort are not encouraged.
Our portal is user friendly and easy to access; there are various ways to browse here. You can search for artworks according to your budget and if you there is a particular artist that you are looking for, then you can search for him by name. Gone are the days of going from one gallery to another in search of appealing art; also, it's impossible for any art gallery to host as wide a collection as ours. So just sit back and enjoy your round around our Indian art gallery.
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.
Contemporary art online is a very attractive option. When you are a true art lover or a collector, you could spend hours browsing the net and coming across the most spectacular pieces. The contemporary art gallery online hosts a wide selection of paintings in fine art, abstract and other forms of free and modern art. The Indian contemporary artists of fame as well as those finding their feet, show case their work here. Contemporary artwork is a mix of fervor, emotions, feelings and observations. The usage of colour and depiction of figures is unique here.
The experience of purchasing paintings from contemporary fine art gallery online is overwhelming and exciting. The only hitch here is the authenticity of the contemporary artwork but if you deal with a company of repute, you are sure to be grateful for your investment. The genuineness can also be verified by cross checking the copyright of the contemporary art gallery online and you could ask for their certificate of the same. These portals want repeat clientele and know for a fact that they could be blacklisted if they kept any fakes.
The Indian contemporary artists have earned themselves a name across the borders too and are respected for their creations. Investing in contemporary artworks is a wise move as their value is escalating at a fast pace. The art collectors are becoming sellers too and often ask the companies to put forth pieces from their collection since the rates attached to these works are on a constant high. However, buying paintings from contemporary fine art gallery online can be a cheaper option as the websites have fewer overheads. These days contemporary artwork can be customized as per your requirements, aesthetics, desires and spaces. Communication channels between the collectors and the Indian contemporary artists are crystal clear and transparent, thus you could ask for what appeals to you and can also define your budgets.
It is true to say that contemporary artwork has reached novel heights and the creations of the Indian contemporary artists is worthy of appreciation and love.
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.
Landscape art paintings from India too are immensely sought after by a large number of nature lovers. The diverse topography and different climatic conditions of India have given birth to a wide array of these. The artists in India have been inspired by the desert sands of the Thar, the snow crest Himalayas, the Ganga valley river plains, the dense foliage of the Sunderbans, the gorgeous views of Kerala, the dry plateaus and the beauteous Ghats to the lashing waves of the Arabian seas. The medium to illustrate these is usually water colour on paper, charcoal on paper, oil paintings, canvas with acrylic, the gold/ acrylic foil upon canvas etc. They are available in all sorts of sizes and dimensions. Some of the landscape art paintings portray unusual depth and character; not only well known names but the new genre of artists too is creating some gorgeous pieces today.
The online landscape art gallery is a fabulous platform for the artists and the art lovers to interact with each other. From the really costly landscape art paintings to the pretty affordable ones; the landscape art gallery keeps a vast range. They host an extensive collection of paintings which are authentic and appealing to the eye. If you are a true appreciator of the landscape art painting, then you can simply browse in the online landscape art galleries to see which appeals to you. The shipping of these India paintings is usually free which saves you extra expenses. Landscape art paintings look stunning in homes and offices and in this day and age of modern technology; they are only a click away.
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.
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.
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.
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.
An artist is really nothing but the representative of society. They come from the same environment as you and me and depict what is around them. The enthusiasm and the demolition of an artist’s thoughts, creativity and style are influenced by the society. Modern age fosters modern art and experiments are an ongoing process with the development of modern Indian art. Modern art online is not only a great way to shop but also to view some spectacular works of varied artists. Some maybe well acclaimed and others which are still finding their feet; yet what appeals to you is your personal calling. Investing in art too has gained impetus over the past few years and the internet gives you an exact idea of the prices as well as the growing value of modern Indian art.
To buy modern art online saves you the hassles of visiting galleries and searching for the canvas to suit your taste; their costs at these arcades are sky rocketing due to the many overheads that have to be borne by the gallery owners. Also the task of carting the painting is another ordeal you encounter. Modern art online is the answer to your prayers since here you can gather complete information on the canvases which appeal to you. The pieces are delivered at your doorstep and the dimensions of the portraits are clearly stated. The icing on the cake is the wide array of styles that you get to choose from and of course the prices too are relatively cheaper as maintaining portals is not as expensive an option.
Modern art paintings are pretty much instead with the latest trends in fashion. However, your style and identity is intrinsic to you and you are the one who can take a call on what befits your personality and home. Modern Indian art cannot be categorized in a particular block and is actually the artist’s conception and perception of life in general. It is original in form and stands out when show cased on your walls.
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.
In the year 1954, Akbar was slapped with a lawsuit on charges of obscenity, when one of his paintings The Lovers; caught the attention of the Indian Government. The painting depicted the Indian Gods, Shiva and Parvati, locked in a tender lover’s embrace, with the male God cupping the breast of his lover. The 50’s was also a phase when Akbar painted heads, a collection that was displayed under the title Prophets. The paintings, though executed in the style of portraits, were not of any known person. The only time Akbar executed portraits of any recognizable person was when he did a series on Christ (1992-93) and another on Gandhi (1997) executed in watercolours and charcoal.
By the end of the decade the artist gave up the use of bright colours, choosing to paint in Grey. After his move back to India, Akbar made a short foray into film making. He made two animated films of his geometrical drawings SYZYGY and Events in a Cloud Chamber. He is also credited with starting the Inter Art Vision Exchange Workshop (VIEW). His enduring interest in Sanskrit led him to take it up as a subject of study. A meticulous and introspective painter, his Metascape series are a metaphysical representation of landscapes. They find their inspiration in the Sanskrit verses, based on the two controllers of time, the sun and the moon. The metascapes which have been done in grays and tertiary colours are a reflection of all the elements of life - sun, moon, earth, water, fire, sky and wind.
Since the 1970’s he has moved between metascapes and figures. The 80’s saw him taking up sculpture wherein he produced over 200 heads in a span of a year. He then took up painting figures leaving behind the Grey; phase and moving onto using more dramatic and vibrant colours such as browns, reds and oranges. In the mid- 90’s Akbar’s obsession with the duality of life was transformed into the Mirror Images series, on canvas.
Akbar is a recipient of the Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian award in 2010. He has had a number of exhibitions to his credit. He has exhibited his work in numerous solo expositions in Mumbai, Paris and New York; he has also been a part of many group exhibitions. Akbar does not market his paintings aggressively, though his work today is amongst the most valued. His painting Reclining Nude was sold at Sothe’s, New York in March, 2011 for 1,426,500 US dollars.
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.
In 1960, Anjolie went to Paris and studied at the Atelier Fresque at the Ecole des beaux Arts. It was here that she learnt to draw fresco painting which required that the fresh, wet lime- plaster be applied along the line of the drawing since it dried quickly, leaving no room for over-painting or corrections. During her stay in Paris she also learnt the art of layering paint, to create textures. Her work with regard to the subjects of her paintings was also influenced by the Church. She painted prophets, priests and Madonnas that bear a striking resemblance to medieval icons. On her trip back to India, she travelled through Greece, Turkey, Syria and Iran, and tried her hand at water-colours.
She is best known for her portraits of women, many times painting them in the nude, showing them seated or lying down. She often reveals the pain of her subjects by exposing them beyond what is decent; ripping open a chest to reveal a beating heart or other internal organs, showing their injuries and scars. Anjolie’s figures with empty eyes are hazy and are painted in light muted colours. The Broken Column (1994) depicts a wounded woman in agony, tied up with nails piercing her body. A nostalgic journey through the past is seen in many of the portraits that she has painted of her friends and family. The portraits are interspersed with motifs from the past, of a childhood gone by- kites, toys, empty chairs, charpoys and balloons. Paintings like Mariam (1983), Kalpana (1985) and Devyani (1986) are definitely from a walk down memory lane. Breaking shatters and always doing the unexpected, she retrieved old chairs, trunks and other furniture from markets dealing with second hand furniture and painted these discarded objects with re-interpretations of her favourite images. Mutations (1996), was an exhibition of computer manipulated images of her best known artwork which Anjolie over painted with oil, paints or enhanced with collages.
Anjolie lives in New Delhi and has painted on glass, hardboard, wood, amazonite, wooden furniture, cupboards, actual windows and panelled doors, which provide her with a natural grid. Within these frames she captures her subjects, all alone in their solitude. Anjolie has experimented with sculptures and is a muralist of repute. She has been awarded the Padma Shree by the Indian Government in 2000. Her work is displayed in numerous collections. A major work of hers Yatra (2006) was acquired by the Museum of San Francisco, California.
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.
Atul Dodiya did trials with watercolour and oils, frequently merging both with mineral powder, acrylic and charcoal. He started to paint upon economical laminates too to keep in line with the increasing attraction towards brashness. With each original exit, such fusions give evidence to deftness. His work in the 90s was full of references of the art of other painters like Joseph Beuys and Benode Behari Mukherjee and also with quotes from spiritual oleographs, film placards, promotional ads and comic book strips.
His pictures became profound and disjointed by the mid 90s. They state knowledge and sentiment via allegory instead of information. His own portrait as James Bond including both his preferred artists, Bhupen Khakhar and David Hockney- echoed in the shades he adorns, a picture of a vacant hospital couch on which is placed jagged and slashing instruments, as a funeral song to his sister who endured a prolonged sickness and a representation of his father overlaid on a letter are some of his famous works.
Tearscape (2001), an exposition of a big layout of watercolours was enthused by the grisly bloodshed in Gujarat and the disgraceful elation over the Kargil War. The crucial character in this sequence is a fiendish woman which is Atul’s apparition of Mother India. These paintings are intensely distressing as the drawings of India seem like water stains; insinuating possibly at a plummeting society. The turtle and the whale refer to living things linked with Indian mythology as well as ocean voyages, while new born babies and heads imply early stages and conclusions.
Bapu at Rene Block Gallery, New York, 1974 (1998), depicts the Mahatma on foot, going through the gate of a New York gallery; he sheds a fleeting look at Joseph Beuys, who is in one place sheltered in a coverlet, with a coyote besides him. Dodiya in 1999 dedicated a whole exhibition to MK Gandhi. He preferred to construe Gandhi’s being in manner of the theoretical art lobby group and labelled his work as an Artist of Non Violence. The Dandi March and his policy of non-cooperation is represented as an undertaking of a genuine artist. The pictures of Gandhi in this series are established upon renowned snaps and are typically in brownish tints of watercolors.
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.
Not one to be satisfied, the thirst for knowledge took Benode to China and Japan. He returned to India in 1937 and started honing his skills. He developed a distinctive style which was a harmonious blend of the calligraphic and the wash techniques associated with the art of the orient, as well as a style that was suggestive of Impressionistic watercolours. Benode also learnt from the Indian miniature paintings and the frescoes of the Mughal and Rajput periods also had a bearing on his technique. Initially Benode expressed his life on the campus through drawings and sketches. He painted on silk, paper, silver and gold boards using mediums such as ink and water colors. He started off by painting pieces of nature- trees, leaves, flowers before he graduated to full landscapes.
Benode’s creativity was not limited to painting alone; he was equally comfortable doing murals and sculptures. In fact, he was one of the earliest modern artists in India to have used mural painting as a medium to express his imagination. His mastery over the brush and his visual interpretation of the area around him can be seen in the mural he painted in 1940. The ceiling of his hostel in Kala Bhavan was painted with scenes from the village of Birhum. His mural takes the viewer form a central pond to constantly shifting images depicting the life in a village. In 1942, he painted another mural on the stairwell of Shanti Niketan which showcased life on the campus. The city of Benaras was the focus of his next major creation in 1947. The composition is 80 feet long and covers three walls in Shanti Niketan’s Hindi Bhavan.
Benode traveled extensively; in 1948 he took over an assignment from the Nepalese Government as curator of the Nepal Government Museum in Katmandu. The art and craft of the Nepalese kingdom added a new focus to his style. From 1951-52 he moved onto Banasthali Vidyapith, in Rajasthan. Thereafter he settled down in the Doon Valley and went back to painting landscapes. In 1958, he returned to Kala Bhavan, this time as its Principal. Benode’s eyesight had been failing all these years, his vision was completely lost by the time he turned 50, but he was undeterred. He continued producing work relying on his memory and imagination, making drawings and sculptures depending on touch.
After he lost his sight, Benode turned to writing as a form of expressing his personal views. In 1979, a collection of his Bengali writings, Chitrakar was published. It describes his experiences, his blindness and how he came to terms with it. A collection of his work on history of art education was published posthumously. In 1972, Satyajit Ray, a former student of Benode at Shanti Niketan, made a documentary on him titled The Inner Eye. In it he documents Benode’s life, his creativity and how he copes with his blindness, being a visual artist.
Benode inspired a generations of artists, sharing his knowledge and passion with his students. Loss of vision was not an impediment for him; he overcame it and continued influencing the Indian Art scene with his creativity and literary skills.
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.
His art work was also inspired by his new surroundings, when he took a teaching assignment at the Bath Academy of Art in Corsham, England in 1979. Paintings like The Weatherman, was a comment on the British and their fetish with weather. Khakhar at this time also declared and came to terms with his sexual preference. He explored his homosexuality and gender identity through the medium of painting. Many of his works at this time express homosexual themes openly. Images of homosexual love, life and sexual encounters are seen in many of his works set against an Indian backdrop, although a topic like this was not discussed openly in India at that time. Among his more famous and blatantly self- confessional paintings are You Can’t Please all (1981), where in all probability, the artist portrays himself in the nude, looking at two men and a donkey. Rushdie's book, The Moor's Last Sigh, contains a description of the same painting. In 1995 Khakhar was invited by the BBC to paint a portrait of Rushdie. This was aptly titled Salman Rushdie: The Moor.
Khakhar’s paintings also contained references to Indian mythology and mythological themes drawn from Hindu erotic art. Yayati (1987) most definitely is based upon a story from the Mahabharata, where a son gives up his life so that his ageing father could enjoy carnal pleasures. His paintings also blended the sexual with the spiritual as seen in his works of satsangs, jatras, and darshans set against the backdrop of temples and mosques. Two Men in Benaras (1982) is another famous painting where he explores homoerotic themes. The explicit scenes depicted in these paintings landed Khakhar in a lot of controversies. The Yayati was never exhibited in India. Even today many of his paintings are not included in the collections of many galleries.
In the 1990’s Khakhar began experimenting with other mediums watercolors and ceramics. His work showed more self-assurance in his handling as far as technique and eloquence were concerned. With his new found self-confidence, Khakhar moved back to what he did best; depicting everyday themes of life in India like the landscapes of Kerala, roadside cafes in Tamil Nadu, images of life around a mosque. By this time he was living in Baroda, Gujarat and was touched by the communal violence in his home state. He made a large number of oils and watercolours depicting the communal tension between the Muslims and the Hindus. This saw the more somber side of him, which was a departure from his usual humorous depiction of life around him. Bhupen Khakhar, by far one of the more famous contemporary artists, was awarded the prestigious Padmashree award by the Government of India in 1984.
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.
The She; series of the 80s done by Bhattacharjee was an ode to womanhood and saw various images like an old and forlorn woman getting herself a drink, nervousness filling up the mind of a young adorned bride, thickly made up prostitutes in anticipation of customers and well-to-do girls in transparent blouses. These paintings are delicately done to portray lampoon, mockery, tenderness, empathy and eroticism. His most basic experiments with the womanly form were via his imagery of traditional statuettes. Positioned in common interiors, the Chola bronze statues and the stone sculptures of extraterrestrial girls at Konark convey a sophisticated eroticism. The rapport amid a Deity and a woman pervade Bhattacharjee’s compositions. He started with pictures of a woman concealed inside the Goddess and then advanced to the paintings of regular women haunted with celestial control.
The vital figures of Bhattacharjee’s works were frequently encapsulated in passage and the spectators look grasps an overt feeling of a discriminating alive presence. Roundabout techniques of insinuation and vague sentiments are expressed by means of the eyes highlighted repeatedly devoid of pupils, the hair or a minor bend of the mouth- these small displacements raise the work from being meager representations.
His various portrayals include In His Office (1982), where a manager is seated at his writing table motionless like a figurine. The man maybe a prop or a model but it is nevertheless in command at each commercial and government workplace. Political spoof is depicted in his Inauguration of a Tube Well (1987), which brings to light the self adoration of politicians at inconsequential occasions. The big business magnates too come under this inspection.
The artist’s portraits also comprise a bulk of descriptions like the Man on a Swing (1970). This particular picture shows a naked, frenzied man covered with hair swinging on top of a marble floor with checks. He appears brutal, evil and hideous. Works which portray the day after day lives of ordinary people like the rag pickers or the coconut vendors are concurrent with strange images like a typically fashioned stone figure on the deathbed being grieved by an assembly of relations. Often outstanding combinations and mild proposals relent to troublesome and austere approach.
In Montu the Bottle Seller (1982), Bhattacharjee tackles public righteousness in pictures of impoverished children in intimidating city situations. Here he represents a boy standing outside the Calcutta Medical College; submissive inactivity is depicted with a stationary array of bottles in the forefront reflections. Thakur Mathura Das (1982) is a straighter observation where an aged man is sitting adjoining a young girl decorated as a bride. She gazes blankly at the onlooker and is excessively small in comparison. In both these paintings, Bikash produces an ambiance of apprehension by employing magnitude and work of art to remove the audience’s smugness.
He moved to Shantiniketan in the 90s where he focused on rustic themes. His work became gloomy and his figures appeared indistinct and shady. His best works helped him to attain multifaceted mysteries in his paintings from the mimetically illustrated to the ambiguously anticipated; however a protracted sickness has made it a test for him to carry on functioning.
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.
A large part of his early years were spent at his family home in East Bengal and this is evident from his many paintings where he has brought to mind woven Bengali kantha work. Spending time amidst the rice fields and commuting by the boat from one place to another evoked his interest in nature. In his series of paintings called Reminiscences of a Dream (1968-76), plants, fish and snakes drift about against a dim background and these are emblematic of a fantasy world.
It was in the 70s that divas and goddesses made an advent into his art. He shifted to Delhi in 1972 and worked as a guardian of the portraits at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, which is the president’s authorized residence. Once a courtesan, the Bengali theatre performer of the nineteenth century Nati Binodini (1975) is an unforgettable painting done by Jogen. She is shown facing the viewer and her huge breasts are clearly noticeable through her transparent blouse. The pragmatism of these female forms done by Chowdhury are in sharp disparity from his male images from a somewhat later era and they appear compassionately depicted.
The concealed fear of the Emergency is expressed in his Tiger in Moonlit Night (1978), where the large cat, his unfortunate sufferer and a curved moon are enigmatically hanging against a gloomy sky; this is his most obvious opinionated interpretation. As a curator at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Jogen had approach to a wide array of public figures.
His paintings of the nationalists and the bureaucrats with their mesmerizing gaze and fleshy bodies are unambiguous comic strips.
Chowdhury’s gusto for fabric was cultivated in Chennai at the Weaver’s Service Centre where he was employed in 1968. Patterns have an important role to play on portraits; counterpanes, table cloths and saris all assume detailed motifs. His facet of fantasy coexists with tangible fine points. In Love in the Moonlit Night (1973), the Bengali utterance for affection is embellished on a cushion case.
Ganapati (1976) has the elephant god reciting the Bhagvad Gita, making the situation seem hilarious which else an ugly version was. A sequence on Ganesha is a repetition on the well-liked Hindu idol. The artist expresses his naked compassion; the soft skin and stout figure linked with the deity becomes sagging and crumpled. The grooves sequentially augment a hostile trunk and huge breasts.
The optimistic feelings articulated in his art of the 70s were substituted in the 80s by his unsure outlook to features of matrimony and family. His paintings now progressed from mere countenances to full size forms. Chowdhury threw a decisive eye on the uncontrolled deception of his personal social environment just the way the Kalighat artists illustrated the insincere dual life of the Westernized middle classes.
In the 90s, Jogen regressed to line sketches due to his stressful job as Dean of Kala Bhavan, Santiniketan with heavy duty managerial tasks and constant teaching work. This toil combined inexperienced straightforwardness with tolerant play. Post retirement with enough time on hands, he has been able to get back to his original style of cross devising with which he was so closely recognized.
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.
His original experiments were based upon Semi-Cubist prototypes which gained immense fame in the 50s. These art works, frequently articulated broadly as cityscapes, represent his keenness towards drawing and the power of the Progressives in his life. The candid sexual themes and the indistinct countenances are typical of Souza while the waving hands and the mouths ajar in his shapes remind you of Husain.
Uninhibited incidents of sex were witnessed in Goud’s works and his drawings turn out to be extremely passionate in the 70s. Human shapes were entangled with colossal birds and antiquated monsters. Their distinctiveness was swapped and cross beasts were fashioned. Rudiments of imagination merged liberally with the description attribute which had crept into his artwork. Goud was inspired by the amalgamation of young anguish and erotic enjoyment and this guided him to work out an expressionist language flanking on bizarre thoughts.
In due course, Goud’s world of dreams was substituted by pictures from his surveillance of daily occurrences. People started to undertake distinct traits and animals turned into recognizable creatures. It was somewhere in the mid 70s that he drew a sequence of paintings of bits and pieces; nails, tins, furniture, scraps, tools and other stuff. These things started to become visible on an individual’s body in 1977 and the flesh and skin were seized in concert by big suture, metal plates and spikes.
Goud went back to lustful topics in a succession of anon imitations but this he conducts with a bit more sophistication. Blossoming sceneries are given way by the couples making love and dormant sexuality is evident in all appearances of natural evolution. The vaginal outlines are mingled with the foliage, in the region about and the trees conclude into gigantic male organs. The male form is portrayed with untamed animals springing from the haunches while the female figures are obviously individual.
In the last leg of 70s, the painter started to research with etched print like watercolor, a modus operandi ensuing in pictures which are additionally suggestive and understated. The forms, represented in the routine of their every day responsibilities are gathering and chatting, unwinding and latent and the plants with delicate complex flora are fragile. All these individuals, which are the rural people, fit into a particular era and situation.
The 80s has seen Goud go back to his preliminary intuitions like several other painters and for him it was adornment and patterns. He tried various mediums like oil on canvas, watercolour and upturned acrylic. Geometry excited him and this pursuit can be observed in his forms and paintings which over years has turned progressively more tasteful. His initial, dull flat mixing of colours too is replaced by vibrantly tinted artwork.
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.
Hebbar was reminded of the canvases of the South Sea Island’s by Gauguin when he observed dark laborers, both women and men, dressed in white and working under the light and clear sky in the rice fields of Kerala. He was completely overwhelmed by this scene and thus created big pictures employing trivial sculpting and tempera, like Sunny South and To Maidenhoodin 1946.
In 1949 Hebbar went to Paris to get functional guidance at the Academie Julian. Upon his homecoming to India, enthused both by Europe as well as his own Kathak coaching, he created a sequence of paintings on musicians and dancers. He endeavored at instilling the tempo of classical and folk dance as well as the calming grain of music into this artwork. In his painting Veena (1973), he symbolized resonance as colour, where lively hues dictate the painting, reverberating sound effects and the musician as well as his tools fragment to pieces.
The reinforcement work done in the temples at Hampi motivated his series called Saga in Stone (1961-63). He was mystified by the harmony created by technical and scientific accomplishments over such chronological and spiritual subject matter. The current phenomenon of that time like the take-off of the foremost rocket led him to making canvases titled Rocket (1962), Bridge to the Moon (1971) and Search (1972). His novel themes gave way to the emergence of conceptual rudiments and molded forms.
Hebbar was not compelled by his lessons in viewpoint or typical composition and with the removal of minutiae, he fashioned portraits articulating the pattern of line. He said his goal was to achieve the utmost with the least amount of lines. Mulk Raj Anand in 1964 printed. The Singing Line which brought forward Hebbar’s pictures of musicians and dancers.
KK Hebbar’s compassion for the poverty stricken was personified in portraits such as Paisa (1960), Drywood (1968), Refugees (1971 and Shelter (1976). Refugees emphasizes the coming to blows of a political situation caused due to the creation of Bangladesh; the persons in exile are observed as escaping the bombed city which is further shown as separated into two parts by the Padma River. The brush strokes have a furious element in them. Hebbar’s rising spatial and arithmetical penchant is indicated by the partitions in the paintings. Settings of happiness galore are witnessed in Hebbar’s artworks but these are concurrent with the dreadfulness of combat. In the painting titled Holocaust (1980), the painter’s preliminary wonder at technical breakthrough is gloomily moderated by an alertness of its devastating possibility.
It was in the 80s that his topics had extended to comprise poetic prospects from every day life. Bandra Beach (1983) illustrates the fishermen throwing their meshes, or metaphors of impenetrable customs. A primitive but nonetheless observed productiveness tradition, where youthful women squeeze the trunk of a tree is depicted in his canvas called Spring (1990). With their feet they stroke the tree discharging its juice and finally bringing it about to bloom. Coloured brightly and in glittering shades, these burgeoning trees demonstrate Hebbar as an accomplished colorist.
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.
Khanna experimented with the abstract form but found his forte in the figurative style, bordering on the narrative. He painted the human form surrounded by his environment, trying to capture moments, much like a photographer would. His masterful use of paint on canvas is unmatched. The thick impasto surface gives his creations a depth. It seems like a prism through which figures can be perceived in the background. Khanna’s repertoire of work changed with the influences round him. After a stint at the Imperial Services College in Windsor, Khanna was inspired to paint biblical scenes and a portrait of St. Francis. He drew upon life, and was encouraged to do so by Sheikh Ahmed, under whom he apprenticed in Lahore. By the 50’s Khanna had moved to Chennai and tried to translate his attraction of Carnatic music onto the canvas. His compositions were dominated by black, brown and white images.
By the year 1961, Khanna gave up the comfort of his bank job and immersed himself completely in art. He headed off to Japan with the help of a Rockfeller Fellowship. Here he experimented with and produced art work inspired by Chinese calligraphy and Japanese Zen paintings. The paintings of Khanna from the 70’s reflected the political turbulence around him. He produced a series on paintings on subjects ranging from Che Guevara to the Bangladesh War. The Game and The End are some of the more famous paintings of this time.
Living in Delhi, a lot of his work was based on the people he saw around him. A subject that recurred in Khanna’s paintings is the Bandwallahs. They formed a recurring theme through the 80’s; the faceless people in bright red gaudy dresses, accompanying a wedding procession, loudly belting out popular Hindi movie tunes on their instruments. The suffering of the migrant laborers who poured into Delhi in search for work was also a prevalent topic. The Great Procession was commissioned for the dome of the ITC hotel in New Delhi. Through this work of art he tried to leave behind a documentation of the life of the ordinary man on the street, and is by far one of his most ambitious projects to date.
Khanna’s themes in the 70’s and 80’s were inspired from the Bible and the Mahabharat; He focused on suffering, the weak and the helpless surrounded by greed, cruelty, violence, fear and uncertainty. Recently, however, Khanna has gone back to reflecting on his past. His newer paintings are based on his memories from his childhood in Lahore. From brutality he has moved back to the more peaceful times of the days gone by.
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.
Bawa emphasizes his rational and opinionated apprehensions too through the fable of Krishna. The revered icon is additionally undermined and is shown as encircled by wild dogs as against cows. In his experiments Krishna is shown both as himself as well as Ranjha, a fated dreamy hero. Bawa thus has become branded with the image of Krishna; who symbolizes manifold double meanings like heavenly and human and mischievous and romantic at the same time. Manjit Bawa’s first painting of Krishna is known as Purple Piper in 1978 and it is in deep yellows and purples. It is in this that Manjit first thought about the human form. His previous soft palettes are substituted by daring contrasts of color and anatomical configurations challenge tenderly replicated human figures.
It was in the 70s that Bawa became deeply keen on the subject of hunting. His art of this period showed man as a beast. He is portrayed slaughtering a large, white bird or traversing a tiger. In the course of time Manjit Bawa painted the two in synchronization, the concentration on the intertwining of their bodies, as if in a spell. Hindu imagery establishes openings to discover the premise of the interface between man and animal which persists in Bawa’s works. Durga and the lion, Vishnu and the serpent and Shiva and the bull are some themes which have united Manjit’s works over the years.
Manjit Bawa has also worked upon drawings in the preliminary form, miniatures designs apart from large oil paintings. A painting of a young boy getting his hair combed, show cased at a recent exhibition of his collection has an emotional quotient to it unlike some of his other work which is soaked in color. His recent display of paintings is genuinely brutish to the core. Bawa’s work of animals rearranged on canvas with color on them, emerge illusory as can be. Over the years, his delicately shaded pictures of solitary animals have grown into multifaceted arrangements, merging creatures of opposing characters in the same framework like a goat with an assembly of crows or a tiger and a squirrel. The artist was excited about warriors and acrobats for their gymnastic nimbleness. Circus entertainers painted in bright colored palette or the street performers slithering up a pole were evocative of Company School Paintings.
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.
Malani at the beginning of her career experimented with a fusion of mediums like water colour, photocopies and monoprints. Her subjects ranged from male dominance and violence to the female in search of her individuality. Her earlier works are expressionist, which slowly take on a more narrative form. Her work gradually became more diverse, she painted on paper, walls, canvas and glass.
Malani was the first Indian artist to break away from painting. Her work became more complex using a variety of mediums. She has collaborated with international artists, directors, actors, designers and musicians. She has amalgamated her painting with the sound and imagery associated with cinema, multi projection works, shadow play, theatre, installation and wall drawing. Her work includes huge video installations and projectors with images being beamed onto large screens and monitors. The Sacred and the Profane (1998) was a pro-cinematic painted installment using revolving Mylar cylinders. Remembering Toba Tek Singh (1998) was her first video installation. It was drawn from a story which was known by the same name, written by Sadat Hasan Mahto. It is based on Bishen Singh, a mentally ill person, who refuses to go to India during the partition. He dies between Pakistan and India, in no-man’s-land. The 20 minute video presentation comprises 16 DVD’s and one CD. It reflects on the futility of partition and the emotional and psychological effect it has on the individual. The second theme that runs through it is the nuclear bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima.
Malani has also made artist and accordion books. The Degas Suite (1991) is a re-representation of the drawings by Edgar Degas, a French artist. Images from the streets of Mumbai are superimposed over the drawings of Degas. Galaxy of Musicians, originally a painting of Raja Ravi Verma was also customized with her own figures of women. Hamletmachine (2000), written originally by Mueller in 1977 also got a makeover. The Mueller version which depicted the divide between neighbours during the partition of Germany was adapted by Malani. Rather than limiting it to a political-religious scenario of the partition of India, Malani focused on a wider subject of the conflicts in South Asia between the Hindus and the Muslims. City of Desire (1992) addresses the importance of preserving the traditional paintings.
Since 2002, Malani has been working on a continuous series called Stories Retold. Narrations of stories, an oral tradition through which stories are retold and reinterpreted form an integral part of Indian society. Malani reinterprets stories from epics to identify them with present day conflicts. Today Malani is an established multimedia artist and is always trying to modify conventional styles to modern technology.
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.
Bendre gained extensive spotlight and popularity as his lone stature studies of the social order and racial type made the top page of the Illustrated Weekly of India. The headgear clad farmers of Rajasthan and bearded aged men from Kashmir were painted in the method of Company School pictures with no effort to place them inside their unique backdrop. Through the 1950s, the artist focused on somewhat lengthened and easy figures. Bendre’s Thorn takes its motivation from traditional statuette. The representation of a youthful lady whirling back and taking out a thorn from her foot is established upon a famous sculpture from Khajurao. Cubism is evident here because of the angular form her body takes with its twists and turns. Many still life works too were done by Bendre like his analysis of sunflowers done in the 50s gained name for its explosion of charming colors and unique assembly of forms.
In 1959 Narayan Shridhar Bendre went onto become the dean and professor of the Faculty of Fine Arts at the MS University in Baroda. Extensive areas of color can be found in his work of this time and cubism traces lingered on till the 70s. Bendre depended upon well-known forms and steered clear of viewpoint and shadow to a large extent. He thus managed to attain profundity through a steady exclusion of detail. He came back to his solitary figures and painted them without any particular representation or stylization.
Bendre moved to Bombay in 1966 and lived there till the end of his life. Painting images of women in different forms gave him immense joy. Women plaiting each other’s hair, caring for their young, reading, playing music or painting, charmed him endlessly and these found manifestation in Bendre’s many works. Weaving had an extraordinary consequence for Bendre and he taught it in Baroda; there are numerous of his images showing women on the spinning wheel or a loom.
It was in the 70s that Bendre started to cover his art with tiny dots and this was his personal adaptation of pointillism. He reverted to his initial pursuit in landscapes, finding this novel practice perfect to portray the poignant quotient of a specific panorama. His pointillist experiments proved tremendously admired and he said that his main goal was to capture the creative impression of the whole picture covered.
Bendre was of the opinion that there was plenty of sadness in this world and he said that he in no way wanted to enhance it. His logic he said was to paint for his personal pleasures as well as to extend it to others. Huge black and white paintings were fashioned by him in the 80s using coarse paper, finely laden brushes and black color. He endeavored at encapsulating form with hardly any strokes and was certain that there was no such object as line in the natural world but it existed only in art.
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.
In the 70s Barwe started to use artificial shiny enamel paint, a brand belonging to a house painter and when this was thinned with turpentine and kerosene, it produced an effect parallel to watercolour. His usage of the brush was virtually imperceptible and loud colours gained impetus over the subdued shades. Exceptional radiance was found in his images of this time regardless of the novel severity. Barwe’s style and state-of-the-art mania underwent a change too. He regarded space as a metaphysical notion and was determined for transparency of colour and form. He developed a meta-level trepidation for the flowing rapport amongst an entity, idea and then its conversion into an image. His works like Orange Prayer or Cloud Fish echoed mild lyricism.
Barwe’s works are mature to the hilt and they match his temperament as they are modest, calm and virtually frugal. His usage of matchsticks in order to fashion uncomplicated designs against monotonous colours received accolades. The colour black hogged his backgrounds like so many others of his time. A flying white bird is depicted against black in his painting called Hovering Truth and a red heart is propelled in contrast to black again in Outburst. He sustained to polish his works through the 80s and 90s. Barwe brought into play a wide spectrum of elements on a solitary canvas in elegant harmony. Color finally sapped out of his works and forms condensed to meager shadows, sketches and imprints. Staircases, one-off heads and pendulum clocks persisted in his work. A unique visual world surfaced with his paintings.
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.
Kumar slowly moved away from the figurative to the abstracts. His paintings are filled with a certain energy and intensity, even though they negate any form of humanity. The Greek Landscape which he painted in 1961, after his visit to Greece uses a lot of blues and whites. In the late 50’s Kumar took a journey to Varanasi with MF Hussain. His works in 60’s portray the city of Varanasi, with its dilapidated, overcrowded houses and narrow streets. The immense Ganges with ashes of the dead and the dead bodies lying on its banks waiting to be cremated and the plight of the widows left an indelible visual and psychological impression on him. He was affected by the cosmic cycle of life, death and re- birth. The mystery, that is life, intrigued him and his paintings seemed to have an almost meditative quality about them. He used lighter shades with a lot of white which represented the river.
Since the 80’s; his paintings straddle abstraction and naturalism and have become more inward looking. Using the art of reminiscence, Ram Kumar leaves the cityscape and returns to landscapes done in oils and acrylic. The mountains, forests and rivers of the Himalayan region, the austere landscapes of Ladakh with its formidable deserts and glaciers fill entire canvases. The bleakness and the silence of his paintings seem to scream out to the onlooker. Landscapes presented in various angles are perhaps the true subjects of Ram Kumar’s paintings.
A revisit to the city of Varanasi resulted in numerous paintings of the city as he had seen it from the banks of the Ganges. The paintings dominated by pale blue and white tones, bring together his interest in architecture and landscapes. More recently the artist has started experimenting with bolder colors like red. The city of Delhi, where he has lived since he began his career, has been immortalized in his paintings of the tombs dotting the landscape of Delhi.
Kumar also received the JD Rockefeller Fellowship fund in 1972. The Indian government awarded him the Padmashree in 1972 and the Padma Bhushan in 2010. Ram Kumar is also an author and is well known for his short stories in Hindi. With the growing interest in art in India, the paintings of Ram Kumar are gaining a lot of recognition.
Rameshwar Broota works and lives in New Delhi. He studied at the Delhi College of Art and graduated in 1964. He was highly motivated by nomadic manual workers, who gathered in the city to earn their livelihood and thus started with making desolate pictures of withered men who appear beleaguered with misery and they cling to one another for reassurance. His works are daringly austere and instantly a manifestation as well as an artistic retort to perpetual anguish. In the 70s he changed his style and started to make paintings of stuffed gorillas in homely situations substituting the previously sickly men in a sequence of mocking portraits as the artist was revolted by the bribery and insatiability which he witnessed. A monkey like figure succumbing to greed with the artist watching is illustrated in the Anatomy of That Old Story (1970). Rameshwar Broota’s Man has over time articulated valor, lampoon, existing apprehension and lately, decomposition. The naked man has silhouetted the artist, from the initial formative years all the way through ingenious wisdom and adulthood.
As the decade drew to an end, Broota’s uncovered a novel way of painting due to his yearning to salvage his many disastrous canvases. He plastered the blemished paintings with brown colour and grazed it with the rim of a knife. Soon after he started to employ blades and knives to hollow out figures via the coatings of paint; an x-ray or a negative is what the final effect looked like. His reliance upon elementary drawings was a thing of the past. Broota’s big portraits operate as enormously significant sketches.
The gorillas in Rameshwar Broota’s pictures were converted into miniatures with the Emergency intimidating during this period and they were seen as hovering in vacant room. The canvas’s called The Trial (1978) and Spectator’s (1978) expose the artist’s opinion of the public rejoinder to proceedings prior to the attack on the democratic system and the apes here seem as thrown away in an ocean of indifference.
The 80s saw the appearance of a powerfully fit man regularly sporting only a vest with his private parts completely bare. This figure is revealed as determined and thrusting his body in varied ways. With sharp disparity to his previous works the Man of this sequence, with his rock-hard strength is depicted as virile and muscular. Broota brings into play sexual implications to symbolize sensualist and authority. In the 90s, Broota oscillated between painting Man and his large intangible countryside. He also painted dream sceneries with huge penile shapes which he utilized to portray eroticism and strength.
A set of steps, an allegory of ambitions and imaginings emerge adjacent to the Silent Structures; (1992-93) - a make-believe landscape of uneven structures and enlarged roots portray profundity. Ultimately, a multitude of diverse symbols like cracked lines; dots collaborate to propose the figure of man. In the succession appropriately titled Traces of Man there is a likeness of an Impressionist picture where the former cautiously distinct man combines delicately with the substance from which he is fashioned.
It was at the same time that Man was ripped of all identifications, and stood for a primitive person fastened in no precise position or instance. With an unclear countenance, he exists tall like a column, more often than not bounded by scripted patterns akin to a primeval writing and fortifying legendary connections. Broota’s work depends upon briefness of declaration, a faultless understanding of facts and bleak ease. These are the factors which make it as authoritative as can be instead of any artistic dogma or deep rooted philosophy.
It was in his 2001 unaccompanied display that Broota first time utilized the computer to search a variety of agreement potentials and he also resumed his previous piercingly distinct method, portraying a clear picture of the naked man in argument with enormous structural design concepts. Blockaded by chilly, solid material, his body is at the present portly and sagging, made softer on growing old and is prepared for the excruciating but predictable involvement. The character of the danger was sharpened by rare inclines.
Energy and exuberance are typical of Ramkinkar’s paintings and monumental sculptures. He has gained immense popularity in modern Indian art for ignoring convention and developing an unusual expression; he is also amongst the earliest artists of Shantiniketan to start using oil paint. He always said that he didn’t know whether what he was doing was modern or not but it was based upon his experiences. Baij was responsible in making sculpture modern by giving to it coarse grain, a rhythmic quality and intense realism.
Baij’s father was a village barber and his journey into the world of art began with making drop curtains for the local theatre and painting pictures of his family and friends. Ramananda Chatterjee, the editor of Modern Review and Prabasi was impressed with the posters that Baij had painted of the nationalist leaders during the Non-cooperation movement and he advised Baij to study art under Nandalal Bose and Abanindranath Tagore at Shantiniketan in 1925.
Baij started out by producing gorgeously completed wash paintings illustrating mythological and romantic themes. European influence is apparent in his initial Mithuna sculptures since he had also taken classes from visiting sculptors like Marguerite Milward, disciple of Emile Antoine Bourdelle, a famous French scholar. It did not take him long to develop his personal style which he drew from his deep rooted local paintings as well as from Western Modernism.
The sculpture of Sujata which he created in 1935 was of a woman who appeared to be moving and still at the same time. She stands firmly on the ground, her upper and lower limbs like the trunk and roots of a banyan tree. Cement and concrete have been used thus her poised and tall body has a bumpy and rough texture. Baij created his best work in 1938 of the monumental Santhal family using gravel and cement, thereby lending it sensuality and strength. The placement and size of the sculpture meant to be emanating from the reeds on the side of a mud road, makes it one with nature.
His creations were daring like the Santhal lady in yellow which was completely in contrast to his wash paintings due to its out and out size as well as its pragmatism. The beginning of his individual and new vision in sculpture is marked by Shyamali a life size relief sculpture of the mud building in Shantiniketan. He was motivated by Santhals and for him the tribal people were the closest to nature as they depicted a prototype; that’s why the basis of both his works were tribal models.
As the decade drew to the end, Baij created abstract sculptures like the Lamp Stand in 1940. His post-Cubist paintings in black and white depicting trees, houses or flying birds were all short term experiments since the Bengal famine of 1943 and the World War II awoke the sense of social accountability within Baij; he tried to harmonize his specialist interests in post-Cubist abstractions with description and allegory.
Burman’s rearing has a glaring impact on his art work and legends and myths added value to it like in most Bengali family circles. It is no happenstance that the affluently festooned Noah’s Ark in his Dreamers on the Ark (1998) reminds you of the fabled Mayurpankhi of the Indian folk story. Reverberations of the memoirs of devastation due to floods in Bengal too can be conjectured in the biblical tale. Sakti Burman’s paintings merge European artistic customs with subjects from Indian folklore and are eminent by elegant curves, calming colours and rich quality. His work has a sensation of fantasy with bizarre creatures, aesthetic nudes and remains of daily life.
His work of the 50s illustrates the effect of Pablo Picasso and Henry Matisse since he reached Paris then. Massive travelling also greatly impacted his creative imagination as can be seen in the 60s thus a more modified flair came forward; legendary birds, feminine nudes and beasts emerge as small players on the picture, thereby permitting him superior testing with the canvas surface. Sakti Burman strived to mimic the patterned result on the outside and this was enthused by the Italian frescoes which he noticed on his stay at Pisa.
Burman’s brand was the streaked, blotchy texture of the work of art; an outcome of combining oil with acrylic mix. His images have a striking edge due to the borrowed ornamental niceties from miniatures and Persian rugs; artists like Botticelli are remembered in his sensuously and delicately replicated nudes. His pictures became sophisticated in the 70s; the tinted surface is arranged in an improved fashion, the shapes attain superior prescribed lucidity and the palette is shimmering.
The artist extracts from conventional legends and biblical accounts in images of the Three graces, Noah’s Ark and Adam and Eve. Gods and Goddesses from the Indian mythology are at their compassionate best in Burman’s canvases. Krishna is acknowledged with his blue skin, whilst his companion Radha, is illustrated as swinging. Clad in Western wear, Ganesha dances for a youthful girl sitting upon a lion and she could possibly be the deity Jagaddhatri. The goddess Kali is portrayed as Medusa. His paintings of the 80s are festive with pictures of musicians, dancers and circus comedians enacting in a captivating garden. A joyous throng of young girls swinging, dancing, playing the flute or singing with masked pantomime characters of flora and fauna emergent from their heads continue living in an eternal allegory.
Initially his fantasy world had no indication to pragmatic reality but gradually he moved to depicting real people as well. Burman paints himself representing the Fall of Man in The Artist Painting Adam and Eve (1966). In another picture, Sakti Burman is observed painting a model; the clear vision of the scenery further than the studio is visible through an open casement. In yet another canvas, he pays reverence to the traditions of his embraced country by portraying an artist at the easel which is a deep-rooted field in European art.
The mirror is a frequent design in his compositions of the 90s, with all the interaction that takes place amid reflection and veracity. Definite backgrounds too are permitted to make an emergence. Burman paints men and women in contemporary clothes, as existing parallel with historical shapes and figures from his previous works. The dissimilar realism is repeatedly displayed as pictures inside paintings. He also painted memorials like the Taj Mahal.
Satish was born in Jhelum, Punjab in 1925. He resides and works now in New Delhi. Gujral went to the Mayo School of Art in Lahore and he is deaf since the time he was a child. It was here that he trained in wood and stone carving, clay shaping and metal working. He is a multifaceted artist as he is a muralist, interior designer, an architect and sculptor rolled into one. Oil and acrylic are his mediums for painting; he employs bronze and wood for sculpture, and creates collages of paper and murals with ceramic. Gujral has drawn up building plans in stone and brick. He learned applied art early in life, and has had a deep dedication towards artisan principles; these are what directed Satish during his consecutive phases of passionate trialing.
From Mayo, Satish Gujral enrolled to study at the JJ School of Art in Mumbai but his studies here were disturbed as his health could not cope with the pressures of college life. Political disorder too impacted his stay at JJ. Actually, Punjab’s separation had a straight bearing on Gujral's life and this is reflected in his artworks. Persons in exile, their countenances and gesticulations distorted with sorrow, are painted in an authoritative and set phrase.
Gujral succeeded in getting himself a scholarship to learn the art of mural making in Mexico in 1952. Here he studied under the expertise of David Siqueiros. He soon grew to be disillusioned with dogmas and was progressively more concerned with arrangement and patterns; ironically to some extent, his self-assurance in art, as a power for communal alteration was rock-hard in this period. Jose Orozco impressed him hugely amid all other Mexican muralists, particularly with his management of human composition and employment of big shapes, which Gujral too integrated in his individual artworks, like The Condemned (1957).
On arrival back in India, Gujral started to work on murals which he thought was the ideal way to acquaint the ordinary individual with art and for local as well as across the border establishments. He started a trial with ceramics and various metals with which he could fashion three- dimensional special effects, as his goal was for the murals to artistically toughen the architecture of a structure. Folk rudiments were employed in his art as he investigated diverse craft modus operandi.
Satish expounded a skill that imitates the coarse grain of mire parapets, as he was forever fascinated by the exterior quality, which he started employing on his paintings in the 1960s. A little and despondent form, bounded by vacant area substituted the colossal man who was used in his earlier paintings. Spaceship (1963) is his famous artwork and it deals with technical unearthing and the machine’s mystery in a devious array of perpendiculars and parallels, providing the picture an architectural sense.
Huge beast and human figures with large feet and hands were comprised in his works of the 60s and these were occupied in sexual acts. Concurrently, he initiated his trials with grained and coloured paper of various thicknesses; creating patchworks and the basis for these were his illustrations. Gujral was one of the first collage artists of India. His exceptional skill in developing the ingredient of possibility, intrinsic in the mode, is echoed is his sequence called Playmates (1967-68).
Relief sculpture was an innate outcome of his murals. Gujral's statues have constantly advanced in their utilization of materials from wood, leather and metal, to stone, and lately, bronze. The wood figurines of the 70s are rudimentary and ancient. Scorched wood formations from the end 70s and 80s look extraordinary; they mingle Tantric effects with his keenness in the engine. At the outset, he toiled with automated industrial substances in glass, steel, enamel and copper.
An exhaustive comprehension of architecture was implicated in the mural system developed by Gujral. He had by now gained experience in bringing together different materials. He commenced drawing and building private houses in 1977 and then went on to constructing The Belgian embassy in New Delhi, from 1980-83. This is his most coveted public creation and it was erected in an Internationalist style, employing Indian raw materials. This embassy is a milestone in modern Indian architecture.
Gujral went back to canvas in 1986 following a gap of almost a decade. His artwork of the 90s is poetic, elegant, and capricious. The focus is laid on Man and animal, girl and bird, clowns and musicians. The concentration is on the human form, with its huge body and tiny head. The magnitudes and gesticulations are hilarious. Tinted in acrylic, they brighten up with the pure renaissance of tempo and color. Satish Gujral has come a long way from his initial articulation of apprehension and misery to an expression of abandoned bliss.
Somnath Hore was born in Chittagong, East Bengal in 1921 and currently works and lives in Santiniketan. Hore started his profession as a painter of political placards when he was a constituent of the communist party. His works depict an early fascination in shapes and since he was actively occupied in reinforcement works, he was enthused to make pictures of emaciated sufferers. Their empty eyes, flaccid skins and floppy bodies marked the acute poverty faced by the lower strata of people. He had massive control over paintings and drawings; this is exhibited in his images of rural manual workers. The central theme of his artwork was always injury. The mayhem of the 40s like the Chittagong violence by the Japanese in 1942, the Bengal deprivation of 1943 and the communal disturbance of 1946 had a huge impact on Somnath Hore, who forever covered topics related to human anguish.
Hore began carrying out tests with linocuts, wood engravings and woodcuts sometime in the mid 50s. He wanted to amalgamate the uneven cleaved grain of wood into illustration by captivating topics of daily life like the sight of a tea booth. Investigations for better tonality showed the way to trials with engraving. In comparison to the woodcuts, Hore’s indistinct etchings and deadpan tips permit for lines which are toned down, arced and freer and forms which are identifiable without difficulty. It was in 1958 that he was summoned at the Delhi Polytechnic to put together the foremost department in the country for printmaking. It was in this duration that he researched with complex works of art, employing bright etchings printed off a solitary medium. His compositions are fragile in spite of the fact that they have an opulent feel, and the artist for the first time brings colour into play, in an animated way.
Hore’s subjects stayed constant during the 60s though his works were definitely simplified; description was substituted with allegory and representations. The shapes turned out to be plane, like shadows and are virtually deprived of any indicators of individuality; Leaves and fruits depict the limbs and bodies. The figures are enclosed within vacant space as the appropriate particulars of the former prints get dissipated. Novel procedures frequently bring to light new connotations, and Hore realized that creasing metal plates was in itself an action of aggression. The outcome of this straightforward thought was the significant quantity of prints in the 70s, labeled Wounds. Paper mash prepared from layers of wax and clay, slashed with a blade or scorched with fire, was compressed against cement moulds. These prints of white comprise of an unrefined form in low respite alongside a gently grained setting, and Hore calls for the connection amid human hide and handmade paper.
As a distraction from printmaking, Hore started to test with sculptures in bronze. This interest developed while he amused himself with left over wax. All the statues created by him were on a small level save one of a Mother and Child (1975), which was pinched and never gotten back. His cherished formations factually bore his impression, and since they had no compound capacity, load or bulk, they are mostly scalded, damaged and textured portions. They have managed their balance, in the absence of framework, by their own rational arrangement. Since they are cast unswervingly, devoid of part moulds, every masterpiece reflects its specific exceptionality. Post his retirement in 1983, he time and again worked on sculpture and his themes centered on adversity, defenselessness and starvation. Cry is a form with lifted up arms reaching the heavens, Brother and Sister is a pair curled up together and Family is a statue of a ravenous she-dog with her puppies.
Hore illustrates the human outward appearance to the point of concept in his sculptures of the 90s. Two upright tubes represent a woman and the head placed upon it is flat. The head is fashioned more meaningfully than the body which is coarse to feel. The spine is shown as an uncut conduit which is vital for bronze casting. As against his previous works, most sculptures portray women especially Draupadi. Hore’s hallmark has forever been the empathy that he has felt for his subjects as there is immense poignancy and passion in his works.
Sudhir Patwardhan, a radiologist by profession, lives and works in Thane, Mumbai. He was born in Pune, Maharashtra in the year 1949 and obtained his medical degree in the year 1972 from the Armed Forces Medical College, Pune. An important part of the Indian contemporary art scene, he held his first solo exhibition in 1979 at Art Heritage, New Delhi. This was followed by over 15 solo expositions in cities like Bangalore, Kolkata, New Delhi, Mumbai and Thane. He has also been a part of many group displays in India and his work has been a part of several shows in London, New York, Geneva and Paris among other cities. Patwardhan describes himself as a painter of people.
Patwardhan’s paintings on the one hand are figurative, done in the expressionist style. His subjects are urban, the laborers working on construction sites, the workers going about their daily chores in a dignified silence. These wordless individuals, who are enclosed in a mysterious world of their own, seem to be waiting for someone to reach out to them. His expansive oils on towns and cityscapes on the other hand are a documentation of life passing us by on the streets. Most of his cityscapes are vignettes of Mumbai, visible from his modest studio in Thane.
A self-taught artist, Patwardhan’s work of the 70’s centered around the people he saw milling around the city. His obsession with the human figure was first expressed through drawings. It was only in the mid-seventies, after Patwardhan moved to Mumbai, that he began to take up painting seriously. The famous Irani Restaurant (1977) shows the solitary man surrounded by the challenges of the city; the Running Woman (1977) seems to hit you with its raw physicality and energy.
Over time Patwardhan’s work became more narrative. He seemed to look at life with a radiologist’s eye, going beyond the individual. His paintings acquired a depth and were imbued with a multi-faceted dimension. The Town (1984) incorporates scenes from different vantage points onto one canvas. Sudhir Patwardhan painted landscapes in Pokharan, Thane, capturing the stark urban life of the individual as he goes about performing mundane chores with self-respect. He presented his works in five exhibitions around this area- in a factory shed, schools and even on the roadside. From these smaller images evolved a larger canvas entitled Pokharan which was painted in 1992.
His fascination for human figures remains undiminished; he keeps going back to making sensitive images of people around him. Some of Patwardhan’s famous paintings of the 90’s were The Construction Worker Washing Her Face (1998), the painting of an independent and supremely confident woman cleaning up. The Balcony (1999) showcases a man with his face in shadow, although one can’t see the expression in his eyes; a certain longing seems to emanate from the canvas. In The City (1998), a man seated at a roadside shop sips a cup of tea nonchalantly, while another looks at a bus passing by.
Drawing for Patwardhan has retained an equal importance as painting. The 2002 exhibition at the Sakshi Gallery centers around the lives of the working class people on the streets. The mainly charcoal drawings are essentially pictorial details of the urban and natural environment around him. With the birth of his grandson, the artist came out with a collection of paintings. They are images of people within their homes and have been aptly titled Family. In a series called Nostalgia, inspired by his wife and mother, the artist unites three elements into one cohesive whole. The canvas shows a man sitting in a room, with a picture of his wife and mother on the balcony, and beyond them is visible the cityscape. Rapes, murders, frustration and the guilt of the perpetrators of these heinous crimes in an urban scenario are depicted in The Grey Chamber. Patwardhan’s paintings are a part of many public and private collections. He has exhibited his work at The National Museum of Modern Art, New Delhi; The Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi, Punjab University Museum, Chandigarh, Gallery of Contemporary Art, Kochi, Peabody Essex Museum, Massachusetts, USA and the Herwitz Family Collection, USA among others.
Tyeb Mehta is a renowned artist who spent most of his life in Mumbai. He commenced his career as a film editor in a cinema laboratory. His fascination with art took him to the JJ School of Art in Mumbai from where he graduated at the age of 27 in 1952. Tyeb was also a member of the Progressive Artists Group, which included other great artists like Raze, Souza and M.F.Hussain. Tyeb was honored by the Indian Government with the Padma Bhushan in 2007.
Tyeb had his first solo exhibition of drawings, paintings and sculptures at the Jehangir Art Gallery in Mumbai, in 1959. However, his desire to learn further took him first to London, where he spent five years from 1959 to 1964. In 1968, he went to the USA on a Rockefeller Fellowship. Tyeb was also an artist in residence at Shantiniketan from 1984-85. He was keen to give vent to his creativeness and tried his hand at film making. He won the Film fare critic’s award for his first film “Koodal”, shot in a slaughterhouse, in 1970. A multifaceted person, Tyeb has been one of the most influential artists. His paintings have fetched the maximum price for any living Indian artist. Celebration sold at Christie’s, New York for 1.5 crore. His painting Mahisasura, an image of the Hindu buffalo-demon defeated by goddess Durga, was the first modern Indian painting to have crossed the million dollar mark. In 2005, his painting Gesture was sold for 31 million Indian rupees. He can be credited for starting the interest in Indian painters leading to a boom in Indian art.
Tyeb’s style of painting was considerably influenced by each of his spells in London, USA and Shantiniketan. In the 50’s and 60’s Tyeb adopted the pictorial language of European art. Red Shawl (1961), and other works of this phase were influenced by expressionism. The paintings are heavily textured and paint applied with a palette knife. After his visit to the USA, Tyeb came up with the famous Diagonal Series. More formalist in his expression, his work has matt surfaces and the canvas is split into two by a broken diagonal. This symbolizes the violence and anguish that his generation passed through during the partition of India. Tyeb witnessed the carnage of partition first hand; he saw the lynching of a young man by a mob. The sight of animals being slain at an abattoir in Mumbai also had an enormous effect on him. Falling human figures, the rickshaw-puller, bulls trussed for slaughter and the buffalo demon being defeated by all powerful divine figures, were some of the motifs that were an expression of what his mind refused to forget. These subjects recurred in his paintings, over and over again.
Through the decades of the 70’s and the 80’s Tyeb returned to his roots. His paintings are based on Indian themes. The Santiniketan series, considered as one of his most famous works, is a dramatic interpretation of the Santhal tribes celebrating the spring festival. Tyeb was also attracted to mythological figures. In many of his works, figures of Kali and Natraj are expressed dramatically.
Tyeb has contributed immensely to art; he was not the kind of artist to churn out painting after painting. He liked his solitude and lived frugally. An artist committed to his art, he refused to compromise with the quality of his work. He worked with meticulousness, destroying paintings that he did not want to be seen. Tyeb died of a heart attack at the age of 84 in June 2009, in Mumbai.
Vasudeo Gaitonde was born in Nagpur and his work was downright conceptual. He studied at the JJ School of Art in Bombay. He created symbolic art in the Jain miniature and Basholi fashion. At this phase of his life, he interacted with the Bombay Group and exhibited his works with high profile artists like Shankar Palsikar and KK Hebbar. Earlier his association with the Progressive Artists’ Group was only marginal but gradually he became intimately connected with it.
A sparkling flawlessness was added to his paintings and he attained this effect due to the coats of paint which he used in his works. His art appears established and portrays a delicate harmony amid the thickness and glow of color and clarity of line. Figures appear from the heaps of paint and they seem to be afloat on the face of the canvas.
He said that there was no such thing as intangible art and did not ever regard himself as an abstract artist. Nonetheless, it was at the Young Artists’ Exhibition at Tokyo, in 1957 that he displayed “The bird and an Egg” where the breach with figurative art was absolute. It was at the start of the 50s that he uncovered Georges Rouault’s and Paul Klee’s art. The latter’s use of slender line as well as his poetic playing with color thrilled Gaitonde no end; while Rouault’s style, employed by him in his own works, gave them the facade of stained glass casements due to Rouault’s expertise with illumination. With his depictions of birds, he started a trial in this course.
He said that there was no such thing as intangible art and did not ever regard himself as an abstract artist. Nonetheless, it was at the Young Artists’ Exhibition at Tokyo, in 1957 that he displayed “The bird and an Egg” where the breach with figurative art was absolute. It was at the start of the 50s that he uncovered Georges Rouault’s and Paul Klee’s art. The latter’s use of slender line as well as his poetic playing with color thrilled Gaitonde no end; while Rouault’s style, employed by him in his own works, gave them the facade of stained glass casements due to Rouault’s expertise with illumination. With his depictions of birds, he started a trial in this course.
Gaitonde felt an urgency to carve a connection amid color and line hence in certain portraits, color rules and his art appears tremendously aesthetic. While in other works, line assumes its personal life as it is depicted in chiseled patterns. As a consequence of the artist stumbling upon Zen Buddhism, the investigation of a picture representing a syllable or a word and illustrated potential of lettering, took precedence over linear concepts.
Vasudeo Gaitonde worked in the late 50s and 60s besides famous painters like MF Husain and Akbar Padamsee, at the Bhulabhai Desai Institute in Bombay. Through this time, he tested with color and shaped the feel by bringing into play chunky, doleful tincture. A sequence of his initial art called “Abstract” have a powerful architectural grain with their geometric arrangements. He later altered this tag and preferred to call it “Non Objective”.
There are flat marks across some pictures giving the effect of a barbed wire fence. The horizontal operates as a spine on an official plane, clutching the picture in concert. Interactions of jail and maltreatment are suggested intuitively. Gaitonde gradually started to do away with headings for his portraits. He dispensed away with linear patterns and started to employ triangular and parabolic shapes in his works, producing an exhilarating relationship of figures. Color still had a major role in his work and he sustained to experiment with it. He thus advanced toward a higher transparency and was required to curb mechanisms of prescribed drawings which either presented simple answers or was too palpable.
Vasudeo S Gaitonde went to New York in 1964 on a Rockefeller Fellowship and following his contact with post war American art; he was once again prepared for an all-encompassing transformation. Roller was now used on paintings as against a paintbrush and these portraits were more and more thoughtful, with immense lucent band of color. His art became a test in the interchange of grain, space and illumination. Hesitantly though, the shapes persisted to emerge.
In vast quarters of see through color come into view impulsively visualized hovering figures; Color reemerged in his art in the 90s. It is ironical that today, with a constant rise in the market for the price of art, Gaitonde’s works are incessantly establishing novel records considering that he had secluded himself early on in his professional life from all things which he regarded as unnecessary from his uniqueness as an artist. He lived a life of a loner and only worked intermittently in the period prior to his death.
Arpita Singh’ paintings are vibrant and energetic; her work is dominated by blues and pinks and pulsates with life. Arpita born in Bara Nagar, now a part of Bangladesh, in the year 1937 received her education from the Delhi Polytechnic. She passed out with a Diploma in Fine Arts in 1959. After her graduation, she took on a job with the Cottage Industries Restoration Program, a body of the Government of India. Her job entailed interaction with the traditional weavers and artisans from Indian villages. This exposure to different forms had a major influence on her style. In the 70’, her paintings were black and white abstracts done with pen and ink. In 1972, she had her first solo exhibition at the Chemould Gallery, New Delhi and has exhibited regularly ever since. Soon Arpita started using color in a rather restrained way. By the end of the decade, her paintings blended the abstract with the figurative. Figures and Flowers painted in 1971 depicts a rather chaotic world inhabited with floating figures.
Described as a figurative artist and a modernist, Arpita’s work incorporates traditional Indian art forms and styles such as different types of folk art and miniaturist paintings. Her early paintings were mainly water colors on paper. By the 80’s, the theme of women became a part of many of her paintings which were distinctly based on Bengali folk art. The paintings should be seen from the standpoint of the woman encircled and cocooned within her own home. Her canvas became crowded with images of domestic objects that one is surrounded with every day. Trees, flowers, flower vases, animals, teapots, pillows, festoons and flags make an appearance in her paintings along with women who live charmed domestic lives going about their daily tasks and routines. Child Bride with Swan (1985) and Girl Smoking Cigarette (1985) are examples of her protagonists, leading uncomplicated lives.
In the 90’s, there was a dramatic shift in her style when she started using oil on canvas. Most of Arpita’s paintings remained female-centric and portray the woman’s point of view about her life in India. The gamut of emotions depicted in her oeuvres range from sorrow to joy and suffering to hope. Underlying the images she creates, is a commentary on the problems faced by the contemporary woman and the girl child in today’s society, social injustice and violence. In some of her paintings the women appear nude. Her paintings however, do not have sexual overtones but reflect the woman’s vulnerability. All her paintings have a story to tell but even so, it would be an understatement to call her work narrative.
Violence that reared its head on the national and international scene slowly found its way onto Arpita’s canvas as seen in The White Chair (1983), The series on Ayesha Kidwai, Durga (1993), My Mother (1993) and A Dead Man on the Street: is It You, Krishna (1994). The assassination of Indira Gandhi, the Indian prime Minister, the anti-Sikh riots of 1984, communal riots and the Gulf War struck an echo in the work of Arpita. Images of hostility, aggression and death were reflected in motifs such as guns, knives, cars and planes, soldiers, killers and corpses which permeated her canvases. These symbols of violence intrude into one’s privacy creating a feeling of uncertainty. Women were particularly shown at the receiving end of this brutality. Over the years Arpita’s woman has matured, the young girl has been replaced by an older one. The female form has an aging body with a heightened sexual desire. The latent sexual tension is clearly visible between the two; middle aged women protagonists seen in her work of 1989, Women Watching a Plane.
G Ravinder Reddy is a famous contemporary artist who specializes in sculpture. Born in Suryapet, Andhra Pradesh in the year 1956, Reddy received his education in Fine Arts from Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda, specializing in sculptors. Later he did a diploma from Goldsmiths College of Arts, followed by a diploma in ceramics from The Royal College of Arts, London. His work has been showcased all over India and abroad to acclaimed reviews.
Reddy took over as the Assistant Director at the Kanoria Centre for Arts, Ahmedabad and held the position from 1984-1990. During his tenure, he has inspired and trained many sculptors such as Sudarshan Shetty, and is responsible for making sculpturing the most sought after course in the centre. At present he teaches at the Department of Fine Arts, at Andhra University, Vishakapatanam. Reddy has used various mediums- polyester, resin and fiberglass for his creations coating them with car paint, or gold leaf. His favorite medium remains fiberglass, since according to Reddy, it lends a certain amount of neutrality and the preferred subject has always been the female.
The female form according to Reddy gives an artist more space and a freedom of expression. With the female, one is at more liberty to experiment with different forms, styles colors and textures. According to Reddy, “My life force is women- they are a source of growth and life in my work.” It is because of this attraction and respect for the opposite sex that he elevates the female form to the pedestal of a Goddess by covering it with a gold sheen. Many of his creations have been named after Indian deities.
Reddy’s creations are larger than life forms of mainly nude females and colossal heads. They have a frontal stance, looking forward boldly through accentuated widely spaced eyes and elaborate hair styles. There is no coyness in their attitude; the women take on a confrontational posture, their bearing exuding confidence. Reddy’s work has been inspired by the temple art of South India, wherein the temple precinct and the tall spires are decorated with carved images of Gods and Goddesses. He fuses the traditional Hindu style with a more contemporary one, based on pop and folk art. His works reflects the contemporary woman, one who is traditional at heart, but is also aware of her sensuality and stands proud and tall in the modern world.
In the simplicity of his sculptures with their frontal bearing, Reddy has also integrated styles from ancient civilizations such as the Greek, Egyptian and the Central American. The nude and voluptuous woman in Reddy’s early works, The Woman (1995) and The Woman Holding her Breasts (1998) is suggestive of the Apsaras, Yakshis and divine damsels from Indian folklore. Inspiration from religious images is visible in works such as Under the Tree (1998), Family (1997) and Sitting Woman (1997). His more recent sculptures of female heads leave a lasting impression with their gigantic heads, huge eyes, painted mouths and faces using bright colors reminiscent of kitsch art.
Reddy’s work has found a number of followers and admirers and his art is on display in many private and public collections, such as the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Victoria, the Albert Museum in London and the Queensland Art Gallery in Brisbane. Reddy has had a number of solo and group exhibitions in India and abroad. He received rave reviews in Paris for his recently displayed collection Tara. An exhibition titled Migrants was showcased in Brazil recently and he is scheduled for an exposition in Denmark later this year. At a recent auction at Christie’s, one of his sculptures fetched 1.41 crore. Surprisingly, none of his works have been displayed in his home state, Andhra Pradesh. He has been the recipient of a number of awards- the Lalit Kala Academy Award for sculptures, the National Academy Award, The Sanskriti Award from the Sanskriti Prathisthan, New Delhi, to name a few. He has also received junior and senior fellowships from the Department of Culture, Government of India in the years 1991-93 and 1995-98 respectively Rolex Watches.
Ganesh Pyne was born in Calcutta in the year 1937. Drawing and sketching were his passions from childhood. It was but natural for him to join the Government College of Art and Craft in Calcutta after completing his schooling. He graduated in the year 1959 with a diploma in drawing and painting. His style of painting bears the influence of the artist brothers Abanindra Nath and Gaganendra Nath Tagore. Rembrandt’s shadow and light fusions also had an impact on his paintings.
Pyne made a conscious decision not to work full time after his graduation, so that he could devote time to painting. He joined a studio in the 60’s sketching for animated films, illustrated for children’s books and painted posters for Jatra, a local Bengali form of theatre. His medium at this stage was mainly pen and ink. In 1963 he co-founded the Society for Contemporary Artists, in Calcutta with Sunil Das and Bikash Bhattacharya. He regularly participated in the annual exhibitions of the Society, but since Pyne was not a prolific painter, he did not have many solo expositions to his credit.
The 60’s saw him experiment with water colors, gouache and then tempera. Pyne’s tempera paintings have been his best to date. They are rich in imagery and symbolism. One of his first paintings to be highly appreciated, the Winter’s Morning, shows Pyne and his brother going to school. Raktakarabi in 1957, which was based on a play by Rabindranath Tagore, one of his earliest works also deserves a mention.
Pyne had developed a style of his own by the late 60’s. Drawing upon themes from Bengali mythology, folklore, and Puranic Literature, his paintings are very imaginative and mesmerizing, often with a story to tell, but difficult to comprehend. Pyne has repeatedly painted Goddess Durga in numerous forms. Dark shadows have dominated his paintings and death and demons are a recurring theme in his work. His paintings are multi-layered; one can see down to the bottom most layers from the top most coating. His human figures are skeletal; animals are shown with their fangs and claws. The varied manner in which he has handled the eyes is noteworthy. Distortion and exaggeration according to Pyne are part of his artistic expression. His experience with animation and his exposure to Walt Disney cartoons were the tools that helped him look at his inner self and come up with images of these disturbing figures.
By the 70’s, certain motifs were distinctively present in his paintings. Images of boats, fragments of bones, dark doors and windows, daggers, wood, animals often found a place in his repertoire. His paintings apart from being rooted in Bengali mythology and tales from childhood were also based on a close association between humans and animals. The Monkey Prince and The Ape (1964) are some of his works of art that lean towards distinct images of animals, while Veer Bahadur (1988) is inspired from childhood fairytales. Another subject that appears in Pyne’s paintings is Chaitanya, a leader of the Bhakti movement. The Amphibian (1974) shows Chaitanya surfacing from the sea, while Footprints (1975) shows him in a meditative state.
Pyne has also worked at illustrating many books; the more famous amongst them are the epic Mahabharata and Ardhakathanaka an old Rajasthani biography. Pyne also exhibited pages from his notebooks in the 90’s. They were on the spot notations in a calligraphic script that accompanied his sketches. These illustrations are an insight into the mind of the artist.
He has had many group shows all over the world, throughout his career. It was only in 1988 that he had his first solo exhibition at The Village Gallery, New Delhi. Many private and public galleries stock his work.
Ghulam Mohammed Sheikh, a recipient of the Padma Shri, is not only a painter. He is a poet, a teacher and a historian. He has also had a number of publications on art history and has written critiques on prose and poetry. The impressions from his early life, the stories narrated to him as a child, the myths he heard were first expressed in the form of poetry and later these images of the mind were caught on the canvas. His sensibilities as a writer were as sharply honed as those of a painter. In his view, traditionally, there has always been a close relationship between writing and painting in the Indian sub continent. In our attempt to be purists we have separated the two.
Born in the year 1937, in Surendranagar, Saurashtra, in Gujarat, Ghulam adopted Baroda as his city. He received his Master’s Degree in painting from MS University in Baroda. He taught at the university for about thirty years till 1993, was in London at the Royal College of Art on a Commonwealth Scholarship from 1963-66. He was also a Visiting Artist at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, USA, in 1987 and 2002 and as a Writer and Artist in Residence at the Citivella Ranieri Centre, Umbertide, Italy in 1998, the South Asia Regional Studies, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA, in 2000 and at Montalvo, California in 2005.
It was during his stay in London that Ghulam was exposed to and minutely studied miniatures during his many visits to the Victoria and Albert Museum. He also traveled extensively over Europe and studied paintings of the early Renaissance masters. This exposure to classical forms and traditional art had a great impact on his style. On his return to India, Ghulam started painting landscapes that were inspired greatly by miniatures. Ghulam has also been motivated by the works of other artists, their work has created an urge within him to respond with an image of his own, creating something new altogether.
The decades of the 70’s and the 80’s saw him come up with pieces such as Returning Home after Long Absence and Revolving Routes, based on childhood memories of his mother, his home and surroundings. Baroda, the city of his residence carries a special place in his heart. City for Sale was created after the communal riots in Baroda. The wounds of Baroda are his own, and so are other disturbing subjects. The Babri Masjid demolition inspired the Mirage in 2001. ‘City, Kavaad and other works’, a recent exposition of Ghulam’s paintings was put up at Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi, dealt with the violence witnessed in Baroda and other parts of Gujarat and Ayodhya (Uttar Pradesh) in the past two decades. The inspiration for Alphabet Stories (2000) came from the endeavor of political parties to change and reinterpret history in textbooks to promote their ideology and beliefs.
All the paintings of Ghulam are not disturbing or retrospective; his art also reflects harmony, hope, love, warmth and reverence. One of the main sources of his inspiration has been Kabir (a poet and a saint, venerated by both, the Hindus and the Muslims), who questioned the barriers put up between people in the name of religion. Ghulam’s Kahat Kabir series (1999-2001) was based on his relationship between his images and the words of Kabir. Over the years the artists work has become narrative and he has started making digital painted collages. In one such painting, The Speaking Tree displayed at the Open Eyed Gallery, Kerala, only the background is hand painted. The painting signifies co-existence between different communities. It has a huge chinar tree in the centre, with a light in the centre signifying hope, surrounded by saints, sadhus, musicians and a whole bunch of other people occupying the spaces among the leaves. Also visible is a figure that seems like Kabir. A digital piece of work known as Ark shows a city that has taken over the sky with its many buildings and roads. Here Ghulam questions the future of ‘Earth’ and its survival. Ghulam has also been working on the Mappa Mundi series in which he has placed his favorite figures on a medieval map, creating a personal universe for himself.
In a career that spans almost 40 years Ghulam has brought together history, poetry, stories and diverse traditions into his paintings. He has participated in important exhibitions all over the world. His work is displayed in private and public collections which include the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, national Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi and the Peabody Essex Museum in USA.
Jehangir Sabavala, the ‘gentleman painter’ grew up in a highly intellectual environment of Mumbai’s Parsee aristocracy. He passed away in 2011, at the age of 89. A giant on the scene of Indian art, he had a career that spanned more than 60 years. Jehangir studied at some of the best art colleges in the world. In 1944 he received his Diploma in art from Sir J.J. School of Art Mumbai. He then took off for Europe joining the Heatherley School of Art, London, from 1945-47. From 1948-51 he studied in Paris at the Academie Andre Lhote.
Jehangir Sabavala, the ‘gentleman painter’ grew up in a highly intellectual environment of Mumbai’s Parsee aristocracy. He passed away in 2011, at the age of 89. A giant on the scene of Indian art, he had a career that spanned more than 60 years. Jehangir studied at some of the best art colleges in the world. In 1944 he received his Diploma in art from Sir J.J. School of Art Mumbai. He then took off for Europe joining the Heatherley School of Art, London, from 1945-47. From 1948-51 he studied in Paris at the Academie Andre Lhote.
On his return to India, Jehangir held his first solo exhibition in a room he hired at the Taj Mahal Hotel, Mumbai, helped by his friend and fellow artist M.F.Hussain. With a desire to hone his skills and being monetarily sound, unlike many of his contemporaries, Jehangir left for Paris once again. From 1953-54 he first studied at the Academie Julian and then the Academic de la Grande Chaumiere in the year 1957. His long years in France have had a strong influence on his style. In the artists words “My art, a mixture of academic, impressionist and cubist texture, form and color, acquired a distinct style in the mid 60’s. And with each step I have evolved a new experience. But if I look back, I find I have carried all the elements forward.”
Jehangir started his journey as a painter executing still works. His initial paintings are a hybrid of impressionism and cubism. Finally he settled on cubism and tried to adjust his chosen style to the bright colors and harsh lights of India. His palette had softer tones and muted colors unlike the work of his many contemporaries who believed in the use of bold colors and imagery. Jehangir’s work was not figurative. The human form was a very small part of his canvas; for the most part they seemed to be shrouded in solitude. The Empoli Glass painted in the year1961 is an example of how he brought in linearity into his art work, breaking the visible components around him into geometric parts to create tranquil scenes. The 50’s saw the artist breaking the shackles of European traditionalism and classical training in an endeavor to discover himself.
In the next decade Jehangir’s oeuvre underwent a significant change. He discovered landscapes and his paintings of the sand, sea, rivers, mountains and sky were permeated by a mystic aura. His work attained a depth, an illusion which clearly underlines his mastery over form, light, color and texture. One is carried along on a journey on the sea with paintings of ships with their sails unfurled, filled with the wind.
In the 70’s and 80’s his palette got more sober and muted and by the 90’s skyscrapers dominated his paintings. The receding planes give the viewer an illusion of being able to see the panorama unfolding all around them, lending 360 degree awareness. The figures or the people that inhabit his canvas, in the meantime had gotten more prominent, though they were still distanced from the onlooker. By the year 2000, Jehangir had ventured into painting cityscapes. His paintings are devoid of superfluous details and are hauntingly beautiful and enigmatic.
Some of his more famous works are The Star That Beckons (1968), a painting that merges the sea, sand and sky and reveals his mastery over light and space. Birds as a subject have recurred in a number of his paintings such as The Predator (1987), Under the Shadow Vl (1989) and Riding the Thermals (2000). His predilection for nature and the environment can be seen in Of Cliff and Fall (1978). In 2002 Jehangir’s work, The Casuarina Line sold for Rupees 1.7 crore and since his death the prices of his paintings have been going up appreciably.
Jehangir was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 1977 and the Lalit Kala Ratna by the President of India in 2007. Three monographs on the artist have been published by eminent art publishers including the house of Tata-McGraw-Hill and the Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi. A film based on his life ‘Colors of Absence’, won the National Award in 1994.
Maqbool Fida Husain was born in1915 at Pandharpur, Maharashtra and he died in 2011 London, England. His career has spanned a number of decades. He died, literally with his boots on though he is remembered more as the barefoot painter. His energy, vivacity and eccentric lifestyle ensured that he stayed in the news. Husain, as he was simply called by his admirers, had no formal training in art. Husain today is acknowledged as an icon, he has managed to create a brand-like image for himself. His work is seen on articles beyond the canvas. He was involved in designing books, toys, furniture, furnishings and by default, homes as well.
He began his career as a lowly paid assistant to a billboard painter in the 30’s and lived his youth in a state of penury. This apprenticeship left a lasting impact on the mind of the young artist. Fascination for movies and larger than life paintings dominated his work. Painting movie hoardings was also a good training ground for him to build up his speed, a skill which was used often by the showman that he was, when he painted on stage to huge over- awed audiences. Husain, since the early 50’s began incorporating many local and traditional art forms in his repertoire of work. On the one hand, the paintings of Mewar, lent a palette of earthy colors like browns, yellows and oranges, to his paintings. From the more rustic images of the female, mothers with children and peasants working on their land, which influenced his earlier works, Indian myths, history and sculpture, have also been a source of inspiration to Husain’s paintings. The decades of the 60’s and the 70’s saw Husain drawing upon the Hindu epics. The Ramayana and the Mahabharata were the focus of his subjects. He used his ability of portraying the figures of Bhishma, Ganga, Hanuman and Mahabali symbolically to comment upon current situations. His paintings were a commentary on the role of destiny and might in the contemporary world, subtly hinting at a larger truth. During this time Husain was also becoming fascinated with horses as a subject of his paintings. Strong beasts in full gallop, rearing their heads were some of his more famous works.
In the 80’s Husain’s work was more varied and seemed to be influenced by people and events. His depiction of Mother Teresa in a series of paintings is again figurative- a thin blue line edging a white sari. Another painting suggestive of the Pieta shows a young child lying across the lap of the Mother. Husain, through his paintings also commented on the election campaign of 1984, and through the Portrait of the Umbrella series, used an ordinary every day object like the umbrella to interpret the lives of the common man. The Raj Series was a visual commentary on the interaction of the British and the Indian communities. A man of varied interests, he dabbled in poetry, painting and filmmaking. Husain’s fixation with the movies and movie stars remained instead of painting posters of films, Husain used film making as his canvas. Movies like Gajagamini and Minaxi- A tale of Three Cities are as gigantic as some of his more illustrious pieces of art. A prolific painter though he was, his recent paintings do not have the impact of his earlier works. The ire of the entire nation was turned towards him when he was charged with hurting the sentiments of people because of his nude portraits of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. A onetime member of the Parliament (Rajya Sabha), Husain passed away in June 2011 in a nursing home in London, while in exile.
Sayed Haider Raza born in the year 1922, in central Madhya Pradesh, lives and works in Paris. He had his first solo exhibition in 1946 at Bombay Art Society, where he won the silver medal. The last years of the decade of the 40’s saw him deal with a lot of personal tragedy. He lost his mother in 1947, followed by the migration of most of his family to Pakistan after the partition of India. His father too passed away soon after in 1948. It was around this time that he co-founded the Bombay Progressive Artists’ Group, which had its first group show in 1948. The Progressive Artists’ group tried to break free from European influences in Indian art and bring into focus Indian vision and philosophy through the medium of art.
Raza’s Cityscape (1946) and Baramulla in Ruins (1948) reflect his anger and sorrow over the loss of loved ones and the huge dimension of a National tragedy that left behind ghost towns and homes. In 1950, Raza moved to France and added a new dimension to his work. He painted expressionistic landscapes and cityscapes, influenced primarily by the French countryside. Eglise is part of a series of works done during this phase which captures the charming architecture and picturesque topography of the area. Haut de cagnes (1951) and black sun (1953) are paintings of Paris showing workplaces and homes drawn close together; looking uncomfortable, oppressive and lonesome. Church (1958) shows a geometrically drawn church set against a red sky. In France he learnt new techniques, he moved onto oils from water colors, his paintings more and more leaning towards a heavy impasto style. Although his contemporaries were still dealing with figurative subjects, it was evident through Raza’s paintings that he was moving towards a more abstract style. In 1962 he became a visiting lecturer at the University of California, in Berkeley, USA.
Raza’s work however continues to be markedly Indian. He has taken a number of visits to India and continues to do so, to remain connected to his roots. By the 70’s Raza moved into a more expressive language, painting landscapes of the mind. His numerous visits to Ajanta-Ellora, Benares, Gujarat and Rajasthan brought him closer to Indian culture. His works like La Forge (1971), Rajasthan (1983) are based on Indian landscapes. The bold use of colors like red, black, yellows and the incorporation of thick black borders in the paintings are influenced by early 17th century paintings of the desert regions of Malwa and Mewar.
Raza’s paintings took on a deeper aspect with the introduction of the Bindu. He delved into Indian philosophy and cosmology moving away from painting landscapes of nature to painting the more expressive language of the sceneries of the mind. This was a deliberate move away from what he called ‘plastic art’ towards something more profound. From the Bindu, perceived by Raza as the centre of creation, emanates form, color, light, energy, sound, space and time. The Bindu, by the Hindus is used as an aid for concentration, and in his childhood, Raza’s teacher drew a dot on the blackboard asking him to focus on it when he found him lacking adequate concentration. This apparently had an impact on him and the inclusion of the bindu in his work marked his rebirth as a painter. The dot or bindu makes its appearance in paintings such as Bindu La Terre (1983) and Maa (1981), with Raza often combining his paintings with excerpts of Hindi poems, written in the Devanagri script.
His thematic oeuvre in the following decades incorporated themes like triangles, lines, square and the use of mainly primary colors. His work invokes contemplation, serenity and incorporation of what he sees around him every day. Hindu symbols were not alien to him in spite of being a Muslim. They are a part of being an Indian and the result of being exposed to both Hindu beliefs and Muslim ideas in their daily lives. Raza has therefore been able to work effortlessly with Hindu symbols in his paintings. Incorporating influences from his Indian heritage, he created paintings around subjects from the Mahabharat, Nagas and the Kundalini. Ankuran (1986) Bhoomi (2001), Kundalini (2001) are some of his more famous works of this period.
Raza entered a ‘White’ phase in 2000, and his work took on a deeper spiritual aspect. His paintings take on an almost meditative quality as he leaves behind the use of vibrant colors. On June10, 2010 he became the most expensive Indian modern artist when his work Saurashtra sold for Rs. 16.42 Crore at an auction at Christie’s. Raza has also founded the ‘Raza Foundation’ in India for the promotion of art. The foundation gives away annual Raza Foundation Awards to deserving young and upcoming artists.
Raza has been honored by the Indian Government with the Padma Shri in 1981 and the Padma Bhushan in 2007. He was also a recipient of the Kalidas Samman in 1981, given by the Madhya Pradesh Government and was also awarded the Fellowship of the Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi.
Collectors are increasingly purchasing paintings online.
Interested in buying a brand Husain, Menon, Raza, Arakal, Caur or picking up a watercolor of a brand-new artist? Their works are just a click away and you can strike a deal sitting at home. All you need to do: log on to a cyber art gallery.
Leading art galleries of the country have e-addresses that are being visited by connoisseurs as well as the random art lover. While majority visitors enjoy a virtual walk through the art zones, many are increasingly clicking the e-shop button and purchasing online.
It's a profitable venture for galleries as its least intrusive, no major overhead charges, a huge time-saver and has wide reach. Also, without having to invest in each piece of art, you can collect images from artists for display and sale, says Kolkata-based Myna Kakkar, proprietor, verandahart.com.
Though galleries seek patronage from exclusive elite collectors, who can spend any amount on art, they are also aggressively encouraging the large mid-income group in India and abroad by offering affordable artworks online. Informs Sadhana Jaipuria, managing director, Mahua Art Gallery, Bangalore, Mahuagallery.com has helped market the gallery to the Indian and international audience. The website has interactive services such as artist watch, wish list and art source, to encourage first-time buyers. Many like Mumbai's saffronart.com are popular for their online auctions.
What appeals to buyers visiting a web gallery is the opportunity to browse through works at their convenience. And it's aesthetically-designed e-galleries, that give detailed image description along with sale price, which makes a customer revisit and strike a deal.
While there is definitely a charm in visiting a gallery and viewing artists' works up on the wall, e-galleries are trying to create that ambience. Some sites, like those of Saffronart and Delhi Art Gallery, are visually so stunning, they give you the real feel while letting the eyes feast on original works, say Manisha Lath-Gupta, a Mumbai-based art collector. I have bought a few contemporary artworks of leading painters through cyber galleries. The transactions have been smooth and authenticity is guaranteed, she adds.
Though selling virtually has taken off in a big way, first-time buyers are cautious to spend, particularly on emerging artists, whose work they are not familiar with. But many galleries give them flexibility of returning the work. What appeals to buyers is when prices are declared on the site. Customers, however, are still shy when using their credit cards for e-commerce transactions, adds Sadhana.
To put up a show in a gallery, getting sponsorship is next to impossible for emerging artists. While established names have always managed to sell, it's new artists who are benefiting from cyber galleries. My endeavour is to promote new artists and give them a wider platform to display their art along with senior artists' work. This is the first step to get prospective buyers interested, says Myna Kakkar, of Kolkata's verandahart.com. The USP of my site is that along with works of known painters like Parotish Sen, K Laxma Goud and sculptor Bimal Kundu among others, it also has on offer paintings under Rs 2000, making art affordable to gift as well as giving young artists a market, she adds.
In online purchase, the area that raises doubts is authenticity. In an effort to make that factor foolproof, gallerists take digital images of the work in question and get the artist's signature on the reverse. In some cases a provenance, certifying it is an original artwork is also taken from the artist. This happens at the stage when they get the work on consignment or when buying it from the artist.
So what are you waiting for? Satiate your palette palate. Just log on.
Some popular e-galleries:
It's a Deal
What a buyer looks at:
Clarity of art image
Work labelled with details: Artist's name, Painting title, Medium, Size, Price
Launched in June, indianartcollectors.com is one of the first community portals in the country, for both established and new collectors. The response has been good and already 7750 odd collectors have signed up, 7800 works are posted on the site and 377 artists are represented.
Started by a group of collectors, the site was conceived as a portal where like-minded could meet, share information, admire each other's collections and even sell directly without having to pay hefty gallery commission.
The best works of Indian contemporary artists are lying with collectors and galleries. The portal allow collectors to contact each other, show off their collection and buy or sell the works in the secondary market, directly, offers a group member. One of the main reasons why people still do not invest in art today is because of the high cost of exit - galleries charge upwards of 15 percent commission for selling works, and sometimes that is all the value appreciation your artwork has got anyways. On indianartcollectors, collections can be posted anonymously, and collectors can contact each other discretely. Posting and transacting on the site are free. So there is no cost involved, as opposed to gallery commissions on resales, he adds.
It is a new system of buying & selling art in the secondary market. It makes two collectors meet and transact without intermediaries. It definitely builds liquidity in the secondary art market (resale), which is much-needed, says a collector working with an MNC, whose collection is on display on the site.
Indian Paintings : Soul Enriched Colour Explosions!
Indian Paintings: A Genre Distinct!
Since about 3000 BC until now, Indian art paintings have been produced in the subcontinent. Westerners observe Indian art as erotic and flamboyant though it is widely appreciated and admired for its traditional traits. However, over the passage of time and with exposure and evolution of the Indian painters, Indian art paintings have reached another level.
Indian painters have depicted what is intrinsic to them such as their culture, religion and philosophies. It was Abanindranath Tagore (1871- 1951) who gave Indian art a twist and is rightfully known as the father of modern art. He revised the Asian styles and at the same time urbanized Pan Asianism and Indian nationalism to create a new school of art known as the Bengal school of Art.
It was post the 1990s that the Indian painters started to enhance the forms they employed in their art and evolved novel fundamental trends. Indian art paintings have been ahead of commercial India prior to the globe giving them any significance. The IT industry gained impetus much later and the Indian art paintings created today have the fourth most upbeat market the world over. On closer observation you will perceive that the Indian art paintings have made the most of their history, searched profoundly in signs and moved forward to influence and electrify the international scenario. The abstraction of Indian art is a universal language and the Indian painters are greatly appreciated by art galleries and curators from the west.
The elucidation of the artists is individual and special; the Indian art paintings show an unusual sort of wisdom and refinement. The painters here are not afraid of losing their intrinsic fortes and are bold in using all sorts of mediums; they now refuse to stick only to oil on canvas or watercolors on paper. The energy of the Indian art paintings is vibrant and creative.
The Indian art paintings over time have gained support not only of the government, corporate houses and the royal families, but the middle class too which has made significant progress in the current economy, is greatly enjoying buying and viewing Indian art paintings. You can find Indian art for sale on the internet which is original in form and is signed by renowned Indian painters. Online galleries expose you to a large collection of Indian paintings for sale, which you would otherwise have never got the opportunity to observe. Time is money and both are saved when you decide to buy paintings online. You do not have to make the effort of going from arcade to arcade in search of something ideal for your home.
Indian art for sale is available on many websites online. Make sure you purchase from a reliable company which sifts the Indian art paintings it displays. The renowned and well entrenched companies keep work of seasoned or potential Indian painters. Indian paintings for sale include diverse collected works of abstracts, landscapes to the typical oil on canvases. Sitting in the relaxed ambience of your home or office, you can freely leaf through the online art galleries and decorate your home with pieces from your heart. Your money is well invested and you can derive its pleasure for years ahead.
Indian Painters: The Deep Soul of India!
So far as I am able to judge, nothing has been left undone, either by man or nature, to make India the most extraordinary country that the sun visits on his rounds. Nothing seems to have been forgotten, nothing overlooked; Mark Twain. Was there ever a country like India; a country where life finds its way into the art of the people and Indian life imitates the artistic outpourings of the national soul! A country of intense emotions and fierce passion that have inspired an aesthetic continuum of painting traditions, paintings reflecting the innate wisdom of an ancient diverse culture continually enriching itself by absorbing progressive waves of migrations that came in search of the famed riches of India in the fields of culture, philosophy, religion, education and material wealth. Migrations absorbed into the fabric of the Indian life, influenced by and influencing their host country resulting in a rich fusion of cultures.
Such an enduring tradition of inspiration continues to compel modern artists to imbue a lively exuberance and, permit the colour of their emotions to spill across canvases, whether stone, fabric or leaf; the old and the modern, each a manifestation of the Indian people's unique love affair with art and colour. A love affair that the Indian painters constantly echo in a reproduction of their inward vision, constant soul searching for elusive intangibles, an expression of physical and modern Indian humanity with the individual vision of India's modern artists. Second generation modern artists who having shed the complexities of a subject race no longer draw inspiration from the west or emulate it in a conscious attempt at acceptance by xenophobic art collectors labouring under a colonial attitude and mindset.
Modern artists of present-day India have shaken off complexes deliberately imposed on their country's culture and art by colonial rulers and, paint in the painting traditions of their ancestors in tandem with individually brilliant strokes of personal colour and vision. As modern artists of India evolve their own boldly confident style, the current century is witness to a creative surge in the field of Indian art and painting. Indian artists, painters and paintings have come of age as they let the soul of India shine through each masterful stroke of vibrant colour. Modern artists who finding a perfect medium between old and new, tradition versus modernity have caught the art world by storm and continually enrich the famous artist list with their names. Online auctions carry an impressive list of paintings done by famous artists, modern artists including impressionist artists who embellish the French style painting made famous by the likes of Degas, Manet, Monet, Cézanne, Pissaro et al with their distinctly Indian artistic heritage.
Famous Artists: Doing India Proud!
As Indian modern artists and painters continue to smudge their canvas with vital strokes of colour from different ends of the colour spectrum, colours that jostle for space on the canvas of the Indian painters and Indian artists, vibrant colours that find a reflected shimmer in the luminous silk saris worn by the Indian women, vivid colours resplendent in their jewellery, intense colours that illuminate face and hands from henna paintings to bindis decorating foreheads. Colour that reflects the joyousness with which the Indians view and live their lives, colour that diminishes the harsh realities of life, colour that brightens the barren landscape of nature, nowhere more evident than in the stark barrenness of the Rajasthani landscape. The hot desert sands may shimmer in the heat but it is the colour intense attire of the men and women of Rajasthan that captures the eye. And, this colourful love affair spills across the canvas of each famous artist from India who finds himself in the famous artist list.
Holding true to ancient Indian treatises on the art of painting and aesthetics, these famous artists faithfully follow each laid down rule for quality craftsmanship, bold fluid lines, long sweeping brush strokes, graceful contours, subtle colour gradation, highlighting figures and facial features for a three-dimensional effect, famous artists and impressionist artists remain true to the painting traditions of India. Paintings imbued with character and human emotions showcasing the skill and understanding in canvas renditions of love, indignation, compassion, greed and other passions. Indeed, the inward soul searching, the merging with the universal soul has enabled these famous artists to put emotion on canvas in so skilful a way that the mural painting of The Dying Princess in Ajanta made British painter, John Griffiths exclaim: For pathos and sentiment and the unmistakeable way of telling its story, this picture cannot be surpassed in the history of art. Cave paintings that inspire the modern artists of India to paint with a vivid liveliness of colour, a refined sophistication of lines coupled with bold vigorousness, so distinctly Indian, only an Indian emoting his native sensibilities could render paintings worthy of a millennia of soul searching.
Humble painters of this great moment in the history of Indian art and Indian painting had a tremendous vision of compassionate humanity that overwhelms and enthrals, a blossoming of the Indian tradition of art whereby the ancient artists and painters made colours from the simple materials available in the hills surrounding the caves, ochre for yellows and reds, lamp soot for black, lime for white and the lapis lazuli of Afghanistan for the blues, often blending these simple colours to provide the subtle hues and tints, marvellous compositions of colour, perfection that continues to inspire generations of Indian artists and painters as reflected in their paintings, paintings avid IndianArtCollectors vie for their collections.
As Indian artists and painters enrich famous artists lists and online auctions, impressionist artists, Surya Prakash, Atul Dodiya and Bhupen Khakhar stand out. Prakash, an impressionist artist exhibited extensively within India and abroad is a famous artist who constantly experiments with new forms, colours and themes. His Pool of Life paintings is an unabashed homage to the Water Lilies of Monet, the fiery browns and reds inspired by his backyard as opposed to the cool blue-greens of Monet. Atul Dodiya, another famous artist, an impressionist artist has been influenced by Bhupen Khakhar, an internationally acclaimed famous artist rooted in the Indian tradition of painting jewel tones, a startlingly original combination of sexuality and spirituality much sought after by art collectors.
As Indian artists and painters make the famous artist list of the art world, rich Indians scour online auctions for a connection to the soul of India fuelling a demand for paintings by famous artists from India! These collectors of Indian artists and painters instinctively comprehend the soul outpourings of their countrymen, collectors who revel in themes of Indian mythology, modern Indian humanity, keeping alive the Indian love for fiery, intense, vibrantly joyous spills of rich colour from a colour spectrum uniquely Indian, the essence of India in a brilliant fusion of style, colour and technique!
Art Galleries : An Artful Tryst!
As technology attains new heights, art aficionados now have the option of visiting online art galleries instead of physically legging it to view a favourite art collection at art galleries situated across town. Though, not as much fun as visiting art galleries in person, online art galleries can prove to be rich sources of information on current or past art collection displays and exhibitions while giving details of upcoming events. Art galleries online tours enable you to catch up with a missed art collection and if a digital viewing does not have the power to set the pulses racing, it allows you to decide is appealing and, whether you can acquire it for your own art collection. Online art galleries make it possible to shop or buy tickets for art collection exhibitions and, many well-known art galleries including National Gallery for Art, Washington and Britain's Tate Modern Art Gallery have set up art galleries online to reach a wider segment of enthusiasts. If you have been serious about beginning an art collection as an investment, a serious turn through art galleries online or otherwise will provide in depth information on best selling artists, painters and paintings available here at Indianartcollectors. Here you will find art galleries carry different styles of painting from a modern art gallery exhibiting contemporary, modern and abstract art to original art galleries carrying original paintings, sculptures and other decorative artefacts by talented artists.
Indian Art Gallery: Tradition and Change!
From the traditional to the revolutionary changes that have swept the Indian art world, it has become necessary for any Indian Art Gallery to exhibit the two faces of Indian art, traditional versus the contemporary works of Indian artists and painters. Though an Indian modern art gallery may exhibit only the work of contemporary artists, paintings in a thoroughly modern style, traditional Indian art cannot be ignored requiring a juxtaposition of the two art forms to make any visit to an Indian Art Gallery truly memorable.
Ramananda Bandopadhyay, a foremost exponent of the Bengal School of painting whose works comprise a lyrical grace and simplicity and, an artist who believes, tradition offers a framework of cultural values that provides a common ground on which the artist meets his audience. Satish Gupta whose portrayals of the life and peoples of the Thar Desert in Rajasthan imbues his paintings with the magical qualities of nature; T. Vaikuntam with his vibrant essentially Indian colours or the rich reds and orange of Madhav Satawalekar replete with sensuous figures reminiscent of a Gauguin painting. It is important to feature and display these practising masters of tradition with talented new comers such as Shekhar Roy and his urban themes of poverty and destitution, Chanchal Mukherjee's world of shadows and light, fact and fantasy, the mastery and frequent mixing of different media combined with intense colours and adventurous lines of an Anandamoy Banerjee. Important because any Indian Art Gallery showcasing the mix of subject matter and styles, attempts to question whether contemporary Indian art looks inward at culture and tradition or seeks to change it.
And, it is, indeed, impossible for an Indian Modern Art Gallery to be complete without the abstract works of Laxman Shreshtha, distinguished painter, whose work dispels the belief that abstractionism in India has outlived the moment. Last but not least, Paramjit Singh whose contemporary landscape paintings are esoteric in that they show a world that hides more than can be immediately perceived.
Original Art Galleries: Unique Expressions!
Fashioned by invaders and settlers down the ages, India has absorbed, adopted, and adapted outside cultures and influences. Merging each with the other to form a unique individuality. And a rich, varied heritage. Carrying original works of budding artists, as well as those of renown, Indian Original Art Galleries always have an art collection of miniature paintings, the third phase in the evolution of art in India after the pre-historic rock paintings and the murals of Ajanta and Ellora. Painted on perishable material, these miniatures are available for viewing or buying at specialist Original Art Galleries exhibiting original works of artists. Beginning in Bengal, Bihar and Orissa as illustrations of Buddhist manuscripts with the images of Buddha painted on palm leaves, the Ajanta style in miniature form, the Jains in Gujarat followed, illustrating manuscripts in miniature similar to the Jain cave paintings at Ellora. But, it was the Mughals who made miniature paintings gain an impetus with various different schools of miniature painting emerging. Since, art galleries have begun to carry art collections from a favourite school of miniature painting, i.e. Original Art Galleries offering only Rajasthani or, perhaps, Pahadi miniatures.
As Indian art gains recognition, art galleries whether a modern art gallery carrying contemporary art or the Original Art Galleries exhibiting original pieces of old Indian art, find themselves in a position where Indian art, in spite of the recessionary trends in global markets is selling at record prices. Prices that are sending the art world in a spin as Indian artists gain international recognition and saleability. In New York alone, five art galleries devoted to Indian art are due to come up, art galleries that are increasing in numbers in Britain and Singapore. Art Galleries of contemporary Indian art that has tremendous investment value: I believe that a key sideshow of the evolution of India as an economic power will be that the prices of Indian contemporary art will rise, and rise sharply over the next decade; said investment expert Jamal Mecklai, adding Indian contemporary art could be the country's next Infosys.
There are some parts of the world that, once visited, get into your heart and won't go. For me, India is such a place. When I first visited, I was stunned by the richness of the land, by its lush beauty and exotic architecture, by its ability to overload the senses with the pure, concentrated intensity of its colours, smells, tastes, and sounds. It was as if all my life I had been seeing the world in black and white and, when brought face-to-face with India, experienced everything re-rendered in brilliant techni-colour.
India is a country that has never failed to inspire its natives or hold enthralled visitors who have begun the journey of discovery for the essence of the soul of India. From the pre-historic rock paintings of Bhimbetka and Pachmarhi, simple scenes of hunting, farming and dancing done in black and earth colours, the colour palette of these pre-historic painters gradually enriched itself with red, blue, white, green and yellow. And, the tradition of painting leaping off the cave walls has transferred its colours to palm leaves, wood blocks, cloth, ivory and marble. In India, painting always dependent on religious and royal patronage got into its stride during the reign of the Moghuls. Art flourished, as never before, reaching its zenith till the advent of the British, who sounded the death knell for Indian art. In their greed for the riches of India, they annexed kingdoms and, incapacitated many a royal patron of art. Yet, Indian art is slowly reviving its glorious heritage with the help of art galleries, Indian Art Galleries who have striven long and hard to popularise it.
Internet Art Galleries, Fine Art Online Gallery including an Art Gallery online, every one of these art galleries displaying an art collection of famous artists and their art has managed to reach a wider segment of art enthusiasts, giving much needed exposure to the exotic art of India. And, as Indian art again finds itself in the limelight, art galleries, Indian Arts Gallery exhibiting Indian art collections from New Artists Galleries, Artist Gallery Online, Asian Art Galleries to Contemporary Art Galleries are mushrooming worldwide at an unimaginable pace. As prices for Indian art rocket ever skywards, art galleries like Christie's and Sotheby's do brisk business in selling their Indian art collection.
Indian Art Galleries : Preservers of Traditional Inspirations!
From the earliest cave murals to present day art, painting has flourished as a prevailing art form throughout the Indian Sub-Continent. From walls to animals to people, almost everything in India gets painted, the many forms and styles within this genre falling into both sacred and secular categories. And, the wall paintings progressed to Painted Prayers, prayers decorating courtyards and doorways of traditional Indian homes, the Bengali Alpana, South Indian Kolam, Maharashtrian Rangoli , Orissan Osa, Bihari Aripana, UP Sona Rakhna, Gujarati Sathiya, auspicious, multi-hued, geometric or floral decorations, painted afresh at the start of each new day with sandstone powder, grain flour or petals. Each morning, Indian housewives arising at the first break of dawn, create a divine garden at the entrance of their homes, a morning prayer that welcomes in each new day and each visitor to the house. If art galleries could display these painted prayers as part of an art collection, surely these beautiful designs by Indian wives and daughters of the house would feature in the New Artists Gallery.
As Indian art gains appreciation, not only Indian Art Galleries, even Asian Art Galleries and Contemporary Art Galleries are beginning to exhibit art collections of Indian folk art, the next logical phase in the history of Indian art. Indian Folk Art, pata chitra or folk paintings, pictorial expressions of village painters, belongs to lesser-known traditions dating back to a period of timelessness. Initially, restricted to Bengal, Kalighat painters in a very modern take on art ignored perspective and used colour symbolism or colour for its own sake, freely distorting and modifying the human form abandoning the natural for the geometric, much like African sculpture and Japanese wood cut prints popular with the West. Bengalis, the first to notice changes in the 1900's modern artscene of Europe, began to reappraise Kalighats and, to collect another distinctive form of village painting, the scrolls made by patuas in rural Bengal.
Ajit Ghose, India's pioneer art collector and critic expressing his enthusiasm for the folk art of Kalighat could not help exclaiming: There is an exquisite freshness and spontaneity of conception and execution in these old brush drawings.The similarity of the scroll paintings of rural Bengal with European modern art were noted resulting in many Contemporary Art Galleries exhibiting art collections of famous artists and their art of Kalighat and, the Indian traditional art of Orissa, pata chitra, pictorial story-telling painted on canvas or strips of tussar silk, by chitrakaras, often a whole family of them under the supervision of the family's master painter. A pata chitra depicting mythical scenes from the lives of the Gods and Goddesses of the Hindu Pantheon, folk paintings, living traditions that express the artists visual analysis of regional historical-cultural settings, the source of his / her inspiration.
The tradition of painting and beautifying walls of dwellings in Mithila, Bihar is believed to have survived the epic period of Ramayana, when mythological murals replete with deities of the Hindu pantheon and regional flora and fauna were painted as decorations for the marriage of Sita and Rama. But, the 1988 earthquake that devastated Madhubani and Darbhanga damaged the palace complex that was covered with the 2-century old wall mural paintings. Madhubani, a refreshing form of ceremonial folk painting, passed down generations of mothers and daughters is the exclusive right of women artists, the rural women of Madhubani, Bihar. These three-dimensional imageries that use vegetable dyes and cow dung treated paper make resplendent additions to art collections of art galleries, Fine Art Online Gallerys, Artist Gallery Online, Art Gallerys Asian Art Gallerys or Contemporary Art Galleries. Pata Qalams, a 200-year old art form found in Bihar traces its roots to Humayun's exile to Persia from where he brought artists who imitated the distant lines of Chinese drawing, adding their own individualism. Purchased in large numbers by the departing British after independence, if you wish to purchase Pata Qalams, you will have your work cut out, as the art seems to be on the decline. But, concentrated effort and intense browsing of Fine Art Online Gallery, Artist Gallery Online, Art Gallery Online, Asian Art Gallery, Indian Arts Gallery, Internet Art Galleries or Contemporary Art Galleries, might result in some that have a few for sale.
Among popular forms of folk art, one cannot ignore Kalamkari, a 3000-year old ancient craft from South India, exquisite religious paintings with influences of Persian motifs and designs, painted with bamboo nibs on cloth, using vegetable dyes for colour. The Thanka paintings of Leh and Ladhak, dominated by dragons that revolve around Buddha and ritual worship are brilliantly coloured cloth paintings that are very popular as wall hangings. Along the lines of Kalighats, Pata Chitras and Madhubanis, Phad folk paintings from Rajasthan depict and tell stories of local deities or legends of erstwhile local rulers. For centuries, they have served as pictorial backdrops for Bhopas or the Bards of Rajasthan who travel from village to village singing the exploits of legendary heroes. And, the Rajasthan Pichavi, originally unfolding scenes from Lord Krishna's life has become secular making these folk paintings popular as colourful wall hangings.
Thanjavur, highly ornate miniature paintings from Tamil Nadu flourished during the time of the Marathas who delighted in the real jewel colours and gold leaf that depicted the plump form of Lord Krishna as a baby. And, last but not least the Warli paintings of the tribals of Maharashtra, originally wall decorations painted with rice paste on the mud walls of their homes are now painted on brown paper using white paint for art collections of art galleries, coveted by Fine Art Online Gallery, Artist Gallery Online, New Artists Gallery, Art Gallery Online, Asian Art Gallery, Contemporary Art Galleries; Internet Art Galleries, and Indian Arts Gallery. Folk art from India including the art of the First Peoples of India, Adivasi tribals is art, full of colourful designs tinged with mystic beliefs and aesthetic sensibilities of the Indian village. The raw power found in folk art is derived from the spring of indigenous creativity of a particular tribe or community of a particular region. Folk art is nothing but a treasure house of collective wisdom, spontaneity and simplicity that retains a touch of the primitiveness of folk traditions.
Indian folk art, often painted by village craftsmen in the most exquisite styles reflecting centuries of tradition passed on from generation to generation always makes a welcome addition to any New Artists Gallery. The colours and themes of village painters reflect the cultural diversity of India, each generation of village artists offering a new addition to a New Artist Gallery. Indian folk art has gained in prominence only in the 50-years of India's independence and, making it is no longer inconceivable to plan an exhibition of the traditional paintings of India. Indian folk art that art galleries no longer find too primitive for their art collection, folk art though rural in theme and rough in execution, nonetheless charming in it's fresh nuances, folk art that enhances any New Artist Gallery that exhibits it. And, in conclusion, it is fitting to reiterate: India, perhaps, is the only country in the world that exists in several centuries at once. Where ancient rituals thrive alongside spectacular technological advances. A wonderful tapestry of cultures, languages, and religions. As Indian art begins to drive the art markets and sells at record prices, one can rightly say the golden age of Indian Art unfolds once again!
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.
Gallery for Indian Art: Speaking Brush Strokes!
The moderns determined a new language in art; political and emotional statements of the contemporary art of post-independence artists generated a global excitement in Indian art.
F.N. Souza, founder of PAG studied art in Bombay before expulsion for participating in the Quit India movement. Relocating to London, after an initial struggle he began to make an impact prompting one art critic to comment: straddles many traditions but serves none . Internationally recognised as an outstanding painter, he is renowned for his inventive forms and strong, bold lines.
S.H. Raza studying art in Bombay won a French scholarship to Paris, of his influences he recognises: writers or painters and even musicians such as the Ustad who said, 'See with your ears, hear with your eyes. A strong colourist, Raza's paintings resonate with the hot, passionate colours of India. The bindu, a circular focal point seen in many of his paintings stems from his belief that it is the source of creative energy.
M.F. Hussain, a self-taught artist explored calligraphy and the forms of Kulfic Kat coupled with poetry writing. As an apprentice painter of cinema billboards in Bombay, wining the annual award of Bombay Art Society led to an invitation to join the PAG. His mix of the secular with religion, exclusive with common and his attachment to Hindu icons has made him a painter most representative of the Indian ethos.
K.H. Ara, part of Gandhi's Salt Satyagraha movement is known for his canvas of Indians celebrating an Independence Day procession. Self-taught, his creativity resonates in paintings of still life and nudes. Beginning his work with portraits reminiscent of colonial painters, his later paintings show hints of cute ; zanne and Matisse. His preference for watercolours and gouaches, with thin pigmentation is evocative of his artistic origins.
Lastly, S.K. Bakre, sculptor and a painter along with H.A. Gade was a founding member of PAG, exhibited in many of the European and American art galleries.
The traditions of Indian artwork have withstood invading styles, merging new forms with existing fine arts of India, these art styles stand alongside existing Indian fine art. As the world becomes a global village, Indian art, fine Indian arts create new boundaries with vibrant energy. Contemporary Indian art is comparatively lower priced than European and American counterparts, the Indian Diaspora, especially in the USA, has resulted in an emerging Indian contemporary art market. Their appreciation of Indian art and ever-increasing art collections pushes the prices of fine Indian arts or rather art for Indians, higher. If Indian contemporary arts receive greater exhibition in art galleries and Indian Fine Art Galleries, Indian artwork will garner interest from the international investment arena. Indian artwork has matured and no longer seeks validation from the West. A passion for homeland flavour characterises the purchase of Indian contemporary art for Indians. A longing for Indian artwork turns the works of post-independence artists into positive blue chip stocks.
The best investments are compositions portraying India's struggle for Independence, the work of PAG Greats have put Indian artwork at the forefront. As appreciation resonates for Souza and assemblage, Saffron Art, a Mumbai based Gallery for Indian Art and auctioneers, Sotheby/Christie expand their collection of fine Indian arts, holding multiple auctions annually. Developing as an economic powerhouse, it is only natural that the fine arts of India assume their rightful place, making the 21st century an Indian century, as British Historian, A. Toynbee presages: It is already becoming clearer that a chapter, which has a western beginning will have to have an Indian ending the only way of salvation for mankind is the Indian Way. It is not only India Shining but also India Rising.
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.
Web Gallery of Art: Surfing Net Art!
Till recently contemporary art from India was relatively unknown overseas except for a few art galleries whose art collection consisted of some of India's trail blazing post-independence artists. That no longer holds true as contemporary artworks and artists from the sub-continent continue to electrify the art scene with the colours of modern Indian art. What art galleries could not achieve with their great art collections of Indian artists, the exciting power of the Internet has managed to do. It is the web gallery of art that has created an awareness of Indian artworks, ensuring Indian contemporary artworks and artists a high profile with their art collections of realistic art. Web Gallery of Art that can be viewed from the comfort of home with an opportunity to make a quick purchase over the net for something that refuses to take a back seat in your mind. Setting up a web gallery of art has meant a wider market for art collections and a greater platform for contemporary artworks and artists listed. Online catalogues of established and emerging artists, artist profiles and, online auctions make any web gallery of art a great place to surf for something to add to your art collection. The success of realistic art Web Gallery of Art has led many an owner to set up offline art galleries for Indian contemporary art in the world's art capitals as a continuation of their victory story.
With Indianartcollectors taking centre stage amongst the art collections of famous auction houses such as Sotheby's and Christie, post independence art is extremely popular since it can be easily authenticated. As Indian contemporary artworks and artists prove highly lucrative with an investment value greater than gold or the stock market, Indian artists under-50 are proving their work has selling power. A casual browse through the realistic art Web Gallery of Art and one can see SOLD under most Indian contemporary art paintings. Viewing and purchasing paintings from a web gallery of art with a simple click of the computer mouse makes it’s safe to say while you browse the web gallery of art for Indian artist artworks, art investment is better than investing in blue chip companies. The share market may fluctuate but the painting you bought from a web gallery of art will only appreciate in price over the years.
Like Indianartcollectors, one such realistic art web gallery of art that sells art both online and offline around the world has this to say about Indian contemporary artworks and artists Today is a great time to buy art. All indicators are positive for its market growth. Buying Indian contemporary art never had it so good and, it can only get better! Indian art rules! And, if you are one of those people who cannot understand Indian art whether old, modern, contemporary but would like to invest in a bit of blue chip stock, just remember what Degas said: A painting requires a little mystery, some vagueness, some fantasy. When you always make your meaning perfectly plain you end up boring people; Indian art will never bore you, don't lift the veil of illusion; the mystery will gradually unfold as you begin to feel a stirring of the soul and an echo of the divine nature of the Creator!
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.
Buy Sell Art: Millionaire Dreams!
With Indian contemporary art emerging as the fastest growing category of Asian art, international auction houses have started to increase auction opportunities to buy sell art i.e. buy Indian contemporary art or sell Indian art. As more and more art galleries open worldwide displaying Indian contemporary art, many of them buy and sell art online and, more and more museums hold shows dedicated to Indian art leading to an increased awareness about Indian contemporary art. An awareness that has led international collectors to buy Indian paintings at an accelerated pace impressed with the quality of Indian art, its aesthetics and the reasonable prices that one can buy fine art from India. So the by's has added a whole new category to sell Indian art and it is now possible to buy Indian contemporary art at incredibly reasonable prices. No doubt prompted by Christie's and their claim that when they sell Indian art, their buy sell art pre-sale estimates are continually outstripped by the actual sales of Indian contemporary art.
Wealthy NRI's from USA looking for better returns on their investments have initiated a heat wave in the buy sell art of Indian paintings. When they buy Indian contemporary art or buy Indian paintings they find returns on Indian contemporary art higher than the meagre 1.5% of Greenspan's deflationary regime. The escalating demand for Indian contemporary art in global markets has generated a ripple effect amongst comparatively smaller ones. At any buy sell art auction, 15% are American and British buyers wishing to buy artwork of Indian artists and, their numbers are augmented by French, German, Belgian, Italian, Chinese, Singaporean, Japanese, Australian and Canadian buyers who buy fine art from India at friendly prices. Proliferation of Indian contemporary art in global markets shows Dubai and the Middle East to have the world's largest art collection of M.F. Hussain and Ganesh Pyne paintings. Whereas, German collectors seem to be fond of Sunil Das, Manu Parekh, Jogen Chowdhury, Suvaprasanna, Sunil De, Sanat Kar and Ganesh Haloi. The buy sell art auctions in Netherlands show an upsurge in the Islamic and Oriental artwork by Indian artists.
Buy Indian Art : Money Talk!
When you buy Indian art, you make a worthy investment in your future. But, despite the spectacular rise in prices for a Hussain or a Souza, contemporary Indian art has a long way to go. While, Chinese and Indonesian paintings touch an average of $400,000/-, Indian art continues to hover in the region of $50,000 - $70,000/- barring the Hussains, Mehta's and Souza's. Under-valued like the Indian stock markets in the 1980's, the next decade will see collectors who buy Indian art do so at record prices that will make those who buy sell art or simply sell Indian art very rich. While Indian art is still affordable, investors who wish to increase their art collection with paintings whose value can only appreciate in time should buy Indian paintings, especially buy artwork of artists setting the art auctions on fire, artists such as J Swaminathan, Anjolie Ela Menon, B. Prabha, KK Hebbar, Jamini Roy, N S Bendre, George Keyt, Ram Kumar, Tyeb Mehta, Bikash Bhattacharjee, Akbar Padamsee and, of course, the greats i.e. M.F. Hussain, Ganesh Pyne, F.N. Souza . Looking for an excellent opportunity at prices far cheaper than the going rate, Indianartcollectors recommend searching for art buy canvas of artists such as A. Ramachandran, Somnath Hore, Arpita Singh and Laxma Goud.
In case, auction houses appear daunting, one can buy and sell art online with many online art galleries carrying the work of little know Indian artists trying to break into the upper crust of Progressive artists like Hussain, Souza, Gaitonde, Raza, Padamsee and Tyeb Mehta. While the Hussains, Razas et al command hefty prices; it is a good idea to add new phenomenons to your art collection, as they may no longer sell at affordable prices for very long. Search for reasonably priced art buy canvas by unknown, little known artists from the buy and sell art online galleries, a great opportunity to buy art that will appreciate in time much like Souza's.
Paintings by artists bracketed as the second line are fast catching the fancy of investors and art collectors alike. Second liners like Nikhil Biswas, Rabin Mondal, Sunil Das, Redappa Naidu, Himmat Shah, Devyani Krishna, Gopal Ghose, Ganesh Haloi, Chitto Prasad, Laxmi Goud, Prakash Karmakar, Jitish Kallat, Atul Dodiya, Jayashree Chakrabarty, Laloo Prasad Shaw and Rameshwar Broota.
Global excitement about India's economic growth has increased interest in its art and culture, giving it greater prominence. What sells for Rs. 25,000/- today could well command over Rs. 1,00,000/- in a very short span of time. If you are an art aficionado or wish to invest in art, browse the buy and sell art online galleries as today's cubs grow into the tigers of tomorrow! Advice to be heeded, as you will find when you sell Indian art which you bought for a pittance for a major killing in your buy sell art venture, sometime in the future. The elitist buy sell art pursuit of yester years has turned into a vibrant market with everyone vying to buy Indian contemporary art as an investment piece or, they buy artwork because they like the look of it on their walls.
And so, Indian art comes into its own, no longer denigrated, it constitutes the flavour of the season compelling everyone to buy fine art from India, to buy Indian contemporary art in order to be one up on the Joneses! Indians have in general superior endowments in reading, writing and arithmetic than the common people of any nation in Europe. Warren Hastings, 1813. Now the West can add Indian contemporary art to Indian achievements! The Indian art scene has come full circle to the days of the Ajanta and Ellora mural paintings, once again starting a new trend!
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.
Collectors Art : The International Canvas of a Desi Summer!
As Indian art houses tie up with art galleries overseas to hold Indian art shows, Indianartcollectors will be a new genre for the art collectors, private art collectors, fine art collectors, famous art collectors, abstract art collectors and art collectors, art buyers who as a rule drop by these places to scour for new talent. A new twist to the art collectors stories as they access physically contemporary art from the sub-continent, a confidence building measure for non-Indian collectors unfamiliar with Indian art. The Indian presence at auctions needs to be complemented by a body of shows of collectors fine art oil paintings, collectors artwork of a collectors guide contemporary art artists like Krishen Khanna, Baiju Parthan, Atul and Anju Dodiya, TV.Santosh, Shibu Natesan, Chitravanu Mazumdar, Jagannath Panda and Subodh Gupta. Physical exposure to Indian contemporary art is an absolute for non-Indians if they are to get addicted to Indian modernists led by Tyeb Mehta, FN Souza, SH Raza, MF Husain, Ram Kumar and Akbar Padamsee followed by an Indian summer of exposure to younger contemporary artists like Chitravanu Mazumdar, Atul Dodiya, Shibu Natesan. Baiju Parthan, Sudarshan Shetty, Jagannath Panda, Justin Ponmany, A Balasubramaniam and Manisha Parekh, Vivan Sundaram, Bose Krishnamachari and Sudarshan Shetty. Some of these fledgling artists are featuring for the first time on the anvil block of the auction hammer.
With the Indianartcollectors, contemporary art market dramatically changed, it is a good time to be an artist. For the first time in history, demand is far outstripping supply; the Indian Diaspora dollars are flowing into the artists' wallets. A good time as the first showing is likely to be a success and, the second showing will see price tags that scream money talk. A distinct change from the time when Indian contemporary art had hardly any presence in the west and, even less mental space. Art auctions of Indian art are not enough; exhibitions and showings are necessary to bring this new genre to non-Indians who have never been exposed to it. Although, it is still the Diaspora that is wreaking a hard won change for Indian artists, they have started a revolution of sorts and things are beginning to alter. There is far more of a demand for Hussains than Hussain himself is producing and the buyer of Tyeb Mehta's Celebration was non-Indian. All this augurs well for Indian contemporary art as museum and art gallery exhibitions lead to more and more people being exposed to a genre they had little or no contact with before! The hot passionate colours of Indian canvases combined with the emotionality of the Indian soul of artists and, Colour is my day-long obsession, joy and torment. Claude Monet. More and more non-Indians are captivated with the warm colours and passionate outpourings of the Indian soul still in touch with its primeval beginnings! Hot Soul Curry as opposed to the tame mildness of the west's artistic expression! And, it is this collectors art that is beginning to impact the art collectors private collections with collectors paintings, art collectors who wish to replace the pallid hues of their art collection with intensity of thought and colour, the hallmark of an exotic sub-continental canvas!
The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection. Michelangelo. If one believes the art collectors stories, it seems the shadow of Indian art is only going to get more pronounced!
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.
Famous Artwork : Gaining Momentum!
When I've painted a woman's bottom so that I want to touch it, then the painting is finished. Renoir. Newly rich Indians, the wealthy, young NRI entrepreneurs are increasingly turning to Indian contemporary art. They buy Indian contemporary art because it has an emotional richness combined with brush strokes of hot, passionate colours reminiscent of an ancestral ethos, status symbols that are also an investment in their future. They mainly focus on Indian contemporary art done by Souza, Mehta and, Hussain who fused traditional Indian art with western modernism for their art collection. And, it is not only the Diaspora that is evincing a strong interest in Indian contemporary art, 2-years ago, Masanori Fukuoka, a Japanese paid $317,500 for a triptych by Mehta for his Indian art pictures, museum art collection in Osaka.
The heat for Indian contemporary art shows no signs of abating and it is not the Diaspora alone that continues to fuel it. There are international buyers like Roland Emmerich, Hollywood director and Christopher Davidge, formerly Chief Executive of Christie, now living in India after breaking the scandal about auction price-fixing indulged in by American authorities. And, Guru Srivastava, a Bombay businessman recently commissioned 89-year old Hussain to paint 100-artworks that he will, perhaps, add to his corporate art collections. Paid $22-million by Srivastava, one waits with bated breath to see the outcome of the artist's creative genius.
I have simply wished to assert the reasoned and independent feeling of my own individuality within a total knowledge of tradition. Matisse. India, a constant source for framed art collections from original artwork and reproductions of European grand masters, no longer reproduces copyrighted artworks. Suppliers of framed art collections to art galleries with a side-business in supplying reproductions along with original artwork are now creating original or replications of Mughal and Rajasthan subjects that do not require licensing. These companies are vociferous in their claim that 60% of their output is original artwork.
Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing. Salvador Dali. Often, a company releases 4 or more original artwork designs per month along with framed art collections that are reproductions of French, Italian or Florentine themes. Indian Government's Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts claims that since importation of printed designs from Spain, Canada, Italy, Germany, USA, Taiwan etc. was made duty free for Indian framers, overseas buyers have indicated a preference for sourcing framed art collections from India, a business that is growing rapidly. The framers import Italian frames, sculpted wooden frames, lacquered wood frames, painted frames, metal frames; and embellish them with gold and silver leaf, Swarovski crystals, jewellery in-lay artworks set on a marble, silk (tussar and brocade), paper, suede or canvas base.
Corporate Art Collections : Company Images!
With major changes in attitudes and perceptions, it is an upbeat time for Indian contemporary art in the corporate art sector. As corporate buyers become selective and more knowledgeable about art, corporate art collections are viewed as a part of the company's overall image. Perhaps, no one has realized that some of the most extraordinary corporate art collections are to be found in hotels. The Westin Maui Hotel, Hawaii owns an art collection that originated in India, China, Japan, Thailand, Korea, Burma, Bali, Cambodia, England, France and Italy. As did, Wyndham Anatole Hotel in Texas, USA with one of a kind artworks that once graced royal palaces of monarchs from India, Japan, China, Southeast Asia and Europe.
Host to royalty and high society glitterati, Taj Mumbaisince its' inception has amassed paintings and artworks including a number of M.F. Hussains and Laxman Shresthas. Recently Times of India broke a story about a Hussain found languishing in the storeroom of Taj Mumbai's art collection. A Hussain that none of Taj's higher echelons knew about, a Hussain that might have remained in a state of banishment, relegated to the dark corners of little frequented areas. But, the fact that the demand for a Hussain is higher than the supply; has ensured that this particular Hussain will be brought out into the light for display. Some of the art galleries who bought Hussains when no one wanted them can make their fortunes and retire if the desire overtakes them, just on the strength of a single sale. And, as Creativity takes courage. Matisse, we hope that Mr. Hussain continues to paint in his earlier form attracting the spotlight such as his naked Saraswati : What I am seeking is not the real and not the unreal but rather the unconscious, the mystery of the instinctive in the human race. Modigliani.
As the Indian summer for Indian contemporary art begins, it is an earnest prayer for India's artists to continue infusing their art creations with the quintessence of their primal consciousness as: Where the spirit does not work with the hand there is no art. Da Vinci.
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.
Modern abstract art paintings have always been treated harshly by the orthodox and conventional art lovers. The artist is merely showcasing his inner feelings and sentiments which may have been influenced by various factors such as the environment in which he grew up, the political or economic state of his country or other instances which have had a bearing in his life. The modern abstract artist is a free thinker and just because someone can get it, is no reason to trash it a large. You don’t comprehend so much about medical advancement yet you quickly grab the medicine which will heal you; in the same fashion modern abstract art has its own queues of lovers who appreciate the connotations arising from each piece. To put it simply, the brave and the bold that let their feelings flow via the mediums of texture, colors, grids and forms. To paint by your gut and instinct is a passion honestly executed and whether it is well admired or hugely criticized, your call is personal. The charm of modern abstract art exists in our daily lives. Do you realize that the pebbles on the ground or the trees in front of your home too are a form of abstract art? The only difference of course lies in the fact that a name has been given to it but its growth patterns cannot be controlled by you.
Today, you as an art lover or an art collector have moved your focus to the online art galleries. The artists too realize that this is their tomorrow since it is the perfect platform for them to show case their gorgeous modern art paintings abstract to thousands of people. Where else can they possibly find such a large audience to merely witness or even purchase their artworks. To buy abstract art online is a judicious step as here you can browse through a wide array of modern abstract art paintings or even original modern art. The prices are fairly competitive and with a smart eye, you could clinch upon spectacular and affordable artwork.
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.
The miniatures and murals are the two broad classifications of Indian paintings. While the Indian painters created murals on huge planes like the Ajanta and Ellora caves, the miniatures are accomplished on small and perishable materials. The Indian paintings are created in different styles like Madhubani, Warli, Pahari, Kalamkari, Tanjore, Natural dyes etc. India is a vast country with diverse dialects. The various traditions, customs, rituals and locations have impacted the works of the Indian painter. Indian paintings in your home help you to feel and sense real India. The themes of Indian paintings often centre on the epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata. The characteristics of Mother Nature like the moon, sun, trees, rivers and plants too are depicted in various forms by the Indian painter. They have used bright and vivacious colours to liven their paintings and most of these colours are a resultant of natural materials such as mud pots, earthen walls, cloth, leaves and flowers in order to give a natural and raw look to their artwork.
Internet and the advancement of technology have made it possible for you to source Indian paintings from any corner of the country. The Indian painters have come of age are savvy now; they have displayed their works with the Indian art galleries online. Sitting in New-York, you can adorn your abode with spectacular Tanjore paintings of South India without having to physically make the effort. The Internet has made the world small and accessible and what you order, is shipped free of cost to your doorstep. Affordable art online is an added benefit; there is immense competition with the growing number of established and upcoming artists. Also, the portals have to incur minimalist expenditures for maintaining their sites. These are the reasons that you can purchase affordable paintings which do not pinch your pocket and also add the necessary glamour to your home.
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.
Modern art galleries have matured so that contemporary art can be encouraged. These galleries generate consciousness of art work amid erstwhile and recent art collectors by displaying high class art and making available platforms for communication among painters and art collectors. The Indian art gallery endorses work of artists which is not only of superior metal but is also reasonably priced and has enormous worth for the art collectors. It also offers sufficient incentives for the painters & ingenious flair. The online Indian art gallery features a wide array of famous art works from prints, drawings, paintings and other imaginative exhibits of the artists. The global scene is fast changing and famous art work from art galleries in India is being extremely appreciated in the Western countries too. The artists have evolved over time and what they portray has international appeal. Another distinct advantage of online Indian art gallery is that the art collectors can visit it at all hours of the day and browse away till they are satisfied. This is contrary to the physical modern art galleries where the time for stopover is fixed for only a few hours in the day. Thus e-marketing helps conserve time and money and is becoming tremendously prevalent.
Yet the thought which often crosses the mind is concerning the originality of the art work available online. Ensure that the Indian art gallery you visit is trustworthy and will not let you down. The art galleries of India stock a superb collection which is carefully sifted before being hosted. Inquire about the copyright details of the website to be in the clear regarding the authenticity of the art work you purchase. An online Indian art gallery of repute will tackle your reservations without any hesitation concerning shipping, costs, time period for arrival of the picture, return policies in case the painting is damaged etc. They also have a centre point where the client can contact someone from the company in case of serious issues. Scrutinizing their copyrights too will help to verify the genuineness of their collection. You can inspect the opinions about them which the people would have posted on their website, concerning their dealings. Hence, the advent of online Indian art galleries have lead to the artists and the art lovers being more closely associated and merely by clicking the mouse, you can embark upon gorgeous works of art which bring radiance and life to your home or office decor.
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.
Art arcades are a fabulous place to browse and pick up art; tourists love to visit museums and galleries in Delhi, Mumbai, Shantineketan, Calcutta, Trivandrum, and Chennai. Usually the location of an artist inspires the works he produces for instance a typical type is attached to all the above places. Yet, this concept is changing drastically since the new age artist does not want to be categorized in a specific genre.
Buying contemporary art online is an altogether different ball game. In these days of busy times and hectic lives, the internet has come like a blessing in disguise for art lovers. You do not need to go from one gallery to another in search of your dream works; instead sitting at home or work, you can clinch upon the contemporary or traditional Indian art from your heart and it is delivered right at your door step. The internet also provides a platform for the budding artists to show case their paintings to a vast audience and is known to have made many a painters successful. To buy contemporary art online is also a cheaper proposition since the overheads here are minimalist while the galleries have plenty of expenses to take care of.
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.
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.
Gallery for Indian Art: Speaking Brush Strokes!
The moderns determined a new language in art; political and emotional statements of the contemporary art of post-independence artists generated a global excitement in Indian art.
F.N. Souza, founder of PAG studied art in Bombay before expulsion for participating in the Quit India movement. Relocating to London, after an initial struggle he began to make an impact prompting one art critic to comment: straddles many traditions but serves none. Internationally recognized as an outstanding painter, he is renowned for his inventive forms and strong, bold lines.
S.H. Raza, studying art in Bombay won a French scholarship to Paris, of his influences he recognises: writers or painters and even musicians such as the Ustad who said, 'See with your ears, hear with your eyes. A strong colourist, Raza's paintings resonate with the hot, passionate colors of India. The bindu, a circular focal point seen in many of his paintings stems from his belief that it is the source of creative energy.
M.F. Hussain, a self-taught artist explored calligraphy and the forms of Kulfic Katcoupled with poetry writing. As an apprentice painter of cinema billboards in Bombay, wining the annual award of Bombay Art Society led to an invitation to join the PAG. His mix of the secular with religion, exclusive with common and his attachment to Hindu icons has made him a painter most representative of the Indian ethos.
K.H. Ara, part of Gandhi's Salt Satyagraha movement is known for his canvas of Indians celebrating an Independence Day procession. Self-taught, his creativity resonates in paintings of still life and nudes. Beginning his work with portraits reminiscent of colonial painters, his later paintings show hints of Zanne and Matisse. His preference for watercolours and gouaches, with thin pigmentation is evocative of his artistic origins.
Lastly, S.K. Bakre, sculptor and a painter along with H.A. Gade was a founding member of PAG, exhibited in many of the European and American art galleries.
The traditions of Indian artwork have withstood invading styles, merging new forms with existing fine arts of India, these art styles stand alongside existing Indian fine art. As the world becomes a global village, Indian art, fine Indian arts create new boundaries with vibrant energy. Contemporary Indian art is comparatively lower priced than European and American counterparts, the Indian Diaspora, especially in the USA, has resulted in an emerging Indian contemporary art market. Their appreciation of Indian art and ever-increasing art collections pushes the prices of fine Indian arts or rather art for Indians, higher. If Indian contemporary arts receive greater exhibition in art galleries and Indian Fine Art Galleries, Indian artwork will garner interest from the international investment arena. Indian artwork has matured and no longer seeks validation from the West. A passion for homeland flavour characterises the purchase of Indian contemporary arts or art for Indians. A longing for Indian artwork turns the works of post-independence artists into positive blue chip stocks.
The best investments are compositions portraying India's struggle for Independence, the work of PAG Greats have put Indian artwork at the forefront. As appreciation resonates for Souza and assemblage, Saffron Art, a Mumbai based Gallery for Indian Art and auctioneers, Sotheby/Christie expand their collection of fine Indian arts, holding multiple auctions annually. Developing as an economic powerhouse, it is only natural that the fine arts of India assume their rightful place, making the 21st century an Indian century, as British Historian, A. Toynbee presages: It is already becoming clearer that a chapter, which has a western beginning will have to have an Indian ending the only way of salvation for mankind is the Indian Way. It is not only India Shining but also India Rising.
Art from India is age old and dazzling leaving enthusiasts and art lovers overwhelmed and emotional. Yet, Indian paintings have not got stuck in any particular era but have evolved keeping current scenarios in mind. The Indian paintings initially were traditional in their being, inspired from the rituals, myths and customs of the specific time period. With the passage of time various other themes have crept in and new contemporary art has earned itself a special place in the heart of art collectors.
Contemporary art literally means art which has been around and persists in being shaped during your lifetime. The period from the 60s or 70s up until the present is new contemporary art. This is the most socially conscious form of art so far, as every canvas or piece created, exudes a message or meaning. The depth of new contemporary art is sensed by the art lovers and in their silence, these pictures say it all. Subjects like bio-engineering, environment, AIDS and feminism are covered by the contemporary art artists. Their medium of depiction varies and the encapsulation of their artwork is not bound to drawings and paintings, but sculpture, mural making, photography etc. are other methods by which the contemporary art artists illustrate their work and express themselves. Fearlessness, boldness and liberty are the underlying characteristics of new contemporary art. The contemporary art artists are creating history of the present times for the future generations; just as you have learned and understood the primitive times by the sources such as cave paintings etc., the same way the upcoming youth will be able to comprehend the phenomenon’s of the twentieth and the twenty first centuries.
Photography is revered and appreciated as new contemporary art; the eye of the photographer and what he captures makes the picture special and meaningful. Technology has aided photography in earning a refined stature in new contemporary art. Some of the popular contemporary art artists from India are the likes of Tyeb Mehta, MF Hussain, Abanindra Nath Tagore, Abhijit Mollick, Rameshwar Broota etc. It is people of this standing who have made India popular in the field of art and culture across the borders. The works of these prominent artists have earned them millions at the auction houses abroad. Art from India is commanding respect and admiration across the world and today India is regarded as an ideal location for buying contemporary Asian art which includes works of other countries in the continent like China, Singapore, Korea, Japan etc. The Chinese art employs immense usage of symbols to explain their works and this is typical to the personality of the Chinese, who often express by means of signs. Singapore is developing as an incubator for contemporary Asian art; perfection is their style and like in all other fields, art and culture is being given its due share.
The Internet is your haven for searching for gorgeous art from India since the online contemporary art galleries showcase works of renowned as well as sprouting young artists. You can even request for customized Indian paintings to befit your home; the communication channels between the artists and the collectors are transparent as can be and with some serious surveying, you can purchase spectacular art from India. All that you should keep in mind at this time is the genuineness of the works, as mischievous companies often palm off imitations in place of originals. Ask for certificates of the artists and do a thorough research on the portal before you purchase the piece which has immensely appealed to your sensibilities.
Indian contemporary art is really that which is produced by the new age painters for today’s alive and growing market. The well renowned artists as well as the new genre ones paint on several themes depicting diverse cultures and societies. Indian art paintings have moved away from being plain beautiful and skilled to interesting and unusual. Viewing these leave you pondering over the thoughts and expressions of the artist.
If you were to trace the history of Indian contemporary art through the last century, you would observe a varied range of imaginative rejoinders to veracity. The initial period saw that the painters appeared to involve themselves mainly with the community, and then came along the modernists followed by the contemporary painters. The last were born post 1947 when India’s attitude and viewpoint had altered radically. The evolution of the country was evident in the 80s and the 90s and this hugely impacted the upcoming Indian painters. Clear cut modernism was witnessed over the traditional sort of Indian art paintings. With the absence of borders and the economy getting global, Indian contemporary art scaled new heights.
A pluralist and disjointed disposition reigned supreme in the 90s. Some coarse limits remained in spite of the hazy partitions due to the fast pace advancement of technology and information. Yet, many artists like Jayashree Chakravarty, G. Ravindra Reddy etc. created work which could not have been perceived by their forerunners. Although Indian contemporary art is inspired from several styles and sources, it still has its distinctive dialect. Novel kinds of Indian art paintings are emerging in the artistic scenario; the sort of trends never seen before and which do not belong to any specific field.
You can buy the best modern art online and not only does it enrich your discernment by viewing these dazzling pieces but investing in art is a lucrative business proposition. The value of Indian contemporary art is going up by leaps and bounds and this market has strength to hold up enough transactions. Buy Indian art online since it is as diverse as can be and ranges from abstract to figurative and surreal to contemporary.
In the past few years Indian contemporary art has entered the formal rooms of the middle class from at one time being monopolized by the rich royalty and the elite corporate houses. It has also journeyed oversees to obtain exorbitant costs. Over the passage of time the dissimilarity between grouping, portraits, sculpture, collages and fittings is getting blurred. All sorts of mediums are being employed by the new Indian painters to enhance their work and they are unafraid of experimenting. They do not want to be labelled in a particular category like a water colourist, terracotta artist or as an oil painter.
To buy paintings online is a great advantage as these galleries stock a wide range and you can take your time viewing and figuring if any would be appropriate for your abode. The rates online are cheaper as there is hardly any maintenance of these websites as against the overheads which have to be looked into by owners of physical arcades. Customized paintings are now being created by artists for people who are attracted to their work. You can ask for what you imagine, give the measurements of your walls, clarify the colour scheme and there before you appears the painting of your dreams.
Is art your true love? If so, than you must be a frequent visitor of art galleries around your vicinity or even at a certain distance. In order to pursue your passion, it is a sheer pleasure to take time off from your busy schedule. However, you must be aware of the various online art galleries which have made life simple for so many like you. Internet works literally like magic for enthusiasts of your kind. Sitting in the comfort of your home or office, you can browse away to glory. From abstract modern art, to the original traditional works and much more can be viewed without leaving your abode. 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!
A modern art gallery mostly abstract modern art. Modern really is the period between traditional and contemporary art and through this period the artists still stuck to some rules and regulations. In India, the modern art developed during the British era. Abstract modern art of course has a free sense of strokes and colours and every piece put forth depicts the artist’s feelings, expressions, words and affections. You can sense the artist whose thoughts are free flowing as against those stuck in definite norms. The modern art illustrated by the artist, is influenced by the environment that he grew up in. The society, religion, culture and traditions impacted his artworks which have altered their meaning and relevance over time. The artist today has gained plenty from his exposure and travels. There are plenty of schools across the country and abroad which have helped to hone their skills and styles. This is the reason that abstract modern art from India has achieved much acclaim in the international scenario. The artworks from here are earning millions at the auction houses overseas. The depth of the modern art has touched the chords of collectors across the globe, as Indian art has gained huge respect and appreciation.
The art galleries online keep a spectacular collection of artworks and they are exceptionally careful regarding what they display. Most of these galleries strictly keep original work and ward off duplicity like a plague. The journey through the modern art gallery can simply sweep you off your feet. You are amazed at the creativity that you behold and to possess some artworks is absolutely irresistible. The upcoming artists have found the Internet like a blessing as not only are they able to get their artworks noticed, but getting critical acclaim from their predecessors can help them to improve what is lacking. It is at such art galleries that you can request for customized art to embellish your home. If a certain artist charms you off your feet, you have to give your requirements, settle the amount and get the most bedazzling artworks to decorate the vacant walls around you.
The price of artworks has soared in the past few years and several people treat art collections as investments. They buy and sell on online art galleries and make hordes of cash due to their knowledge and keen eye.
Often it is difficult to give connotation to your actions, sentiments, vocabulary, senses and affections. Canvases speak the language of the unspoken; in their silence they are heard loud and clear by those who are searching for a deeper significance of life. To others these may seem like mere pictures but the art lovers/collectors understand intrinsically, the stillness of the paintings. Art India has been in existence since primitive times and now it has reached an altogether different plateau. Change is only constant in life and same is the case with the paintings from India. They have evolved from the basic traditional sort and modern art as well as contemporary art have crept into the Indian scenario.
In India people reside from assorted cultures and conventions who have displayed to the world their Indian paintings. Religion, language and the topography have influenced art India to a mammoth extent and this is visible in both modern art and contemporary art. Aesthetics, warmth, colour and charm are evident in art India and nature has forever held its predominance in the form of trees, birds, rivers, mountains, sun and the moon. The Indian paintings in their diverse forms and styles have earned a respectable position in the global auction houses. They have moved from the drawing rooms of the royalty and the elite and found a comfortable spot even in the middle class homes. The credit for this can easily be given to the development of the Internet which has made the world such a small place. You could be anywhere in the world and if you love art, you could browse the many websites online and soothe your eyes.
Investing in art is a novel way of ensuring fruitful returns. The value of the paintings from India is escalating at a fast pace and having your hands on some famous names can make you a richer person. Internet is that arena where the artists showcase their works, the collectors send in what they want to resell and the buyers have a whale of a time selecting from the wide array of Indian paintings before them. The online Indian art galleries host a large collection of modern art as well as contemporary art; here the prices of the Indian paintings are rather affordable for the reason that competition is immense amidst the painters and the portals also have limited expenses to undertake. It is advisable that if you are a keen lover of art India, you must visit these websites and survey at length, in order to clinch upon the piece from your heart.
The spectacular Indian paintings are created upon many themes like feminism, racism, AIDS, global warming, the current political situation of the country, poverty as well as commercial growth. Freedom is the underlying propeller in case of contemporary art, which has no fixed systems in terms of lines, strokes, mediums or styles. The contemporary artist flows freely through his artwork, fashioning what appeals to him. The non-rigidity in contemporary art has immense attraction and some of the famous contemporary artists from India are MF Hussain, Anjolie Ela Menon, FN Souza, Jamini Roy etc.
The bare walls of your home liven up with paintings from India and they also make as ideals presents for people you love. Art India has a niche market and if you are an enthusiast, you could embark upon some fabulous artwork from the Internet.
Bengal Artists: Modern Takes on Ancient Traditions!
Indian Art: Visionary Expressions!
This is indeed India! The land of dreams and romance, of fabulous wealth and fabulous poverty, of splendour and rags, of palaces and hovels, of famine and pestilence, of genii and giants and Aladdin lamps, of tigers and elephants, the cobra and the jungle, the country of a hundred nations and a hundred tongues, of a thousand religions and two million gods, cradle of the human race, birthplace of human speech, mother of history, grandmother of legend, great-grandmother of traditions, the one sole country under the sun that is endowed with an imperishable interest for alien prince and alien peasant, for lettered and ignorant, wise and fool, rich and poor, bond and free, the one land that all men desire to see, and having seen once, by even a glimpse, would not give that glimpse for the shows of all the rest of the world combined. Mark Twain.
Erotic India, exotic India, legendary India, an inexhaustible source of myriad inspirations, only India could be the incitement for a comment such as the above and, that too by a foreigner. India with its gift of an unbroken continuum of inspirational art has motivated its Indian artists and painters to produce Indian art that electrifies with its vibrantly colourful appeal. As Indian art gradually evolved from pre-historic rock paintings to the sophisticated murals of Ajanta and Ellora, the richly traditional folk art of rural India, bazaar art meant to appeal to British sensibilities, the Bengal School of Art and, contemporary Indian art, investors and collectors are beginning to show deep interest in Indian art in a strong showing of numbers.
Increasing Indian art aficionados have permitted Indian artists and art painters to establish their presence by presenting their work in the international arena and, unlike the earlier westward rush, Indian artists are opting to remain in their homeland relying on art galleries including online galleries to advertise their work to reach a wider segment of the art world. The interest of private collectors in Indian art and, the work of Indian artists has seen a proliferation of art galleries worldwide while those in New York have more than doubled in recent times. As distances between international galleries exhibiting artists and art painters of Indian origin and Mandi House, Delhi shorten, artist profiles of Indian artists crowd the web space of art galleries, online or otherwise with an Indian presence that displays a lively though aggressive edge. Galleries featuring contemporary Indian artists, the Indian greats find although the Hussains, Razas et al command the tallest bids at art auctions, art markets are waking up to a new trend of modern art artists, the Bengal artists Paritosh Sen, Suhas Roy, Sunil Das, Shyamal Dutta Ray, Prokash Karmarkar, Rabin Mondal, who artist profiles have one thing in common , all of these artists received their art training in Bengal. Around for a long time, the past two or three years have seen these Bengal artists on the fast track to fame and appreciation, art painters who have slowly caught the fancy of collectors and investors in Indian art alike. An expanding art scene ensures the presence of these art painters, Bengal artists such as Paritosh Sen, Suhas Roy, Sunil Das, Shyamal Dutta Ray, Prokash Karmarkar, Rabin Mondal who are scorching up the world of IndianArtCollectors as they join the big league of Indian artists. Since works of renowned Indian artists and painters spiral in prices that are going through the roof, the increasing appetite of domestic and NRI clientele for Indian art sees them making a bee-line for the work of Bengal artists and art painters who may soon find their artist profiles jostling with those of the ultimate big leaguers.
Bengal Artists : Tiger Streaks!
After the pre-historic cave paintings and Ajanta and Ellora murals, miniatures, folk art, bazaar art or Company style ceased to inspire, the next phase in the history of Indian art, the Bengal school soon exhausted itself by the 1920's. The next phase saw a revolution in Indian art as Indian artists broke away from the traditional painting styles of India, looking ever westwards for inspiration. No matter, they soon developed their own individualistic styles, modern art artists whose paintings held a surface resemblance to cubism. They were paintings that tinged with traditional mysticism ignored the conceptual structure of Cubism, paintings better understood in Vedantic terms than spectral analysis.
Paintings that emphasised modern Indian artists never made a total break with the past as seen in the works of modern art artist, Jamini Roy. Attracting great attention in late 1930's and early 1940's, his style of covering large spaces in the same colour was highly reminiscent of the Kalighat pat folk style but in time he developed a complexity of style that no longer fit this simplistic description. As traditional art slowly evolves into an unique individualistic style, old converging with new, this new Indian art continues to echo the dictates of the Upanishads in that sensation and emotion derived out of vision and ecstasy are the most powerful human motive forces in the creation of art. It is this vision and ecstasy that the artist painters of rural and urban India use to preserve cultural traditions through illustrations of love stories, popular ballads, epics and folk tales that are instrumental in spreading religious and philosophical ideas along with social values and ethics. Due to their close contact with the masses, the work of Indian artists is imbued with a warmth and attractive simplicity that more than makes up for any lack of grace or technical brilliance. The culmination of folk art with the courtly traditions of painting has become the outstanding hallmark of Indian art done by Indian artists who give it a highly characteristic flavour.
Artist Profiles : Creaming the Crop!
Among the Bengal painters' artist profiles, it is Paritosh Sen, writer of distinction, a pioneer of modern Indian art and a student of Calcutta's Government College of Art & Craft that stands out. Seeking inspiration in Paris, he joined the prestigious art institution of Ecole Nationale des Beaux Arts, amongst many others. Widely travelled, he is one of the few Indian artists to have met and spent time with the greats of modern art, Pablo Picasso and Brancusi. All these experiences left a lasting influence on him as a painter, influences visible in paintings by Paritosh Sen. A figurative art painter, he is a modern art artist who uses bold lines against 2-dimensional planes while managing to create an illusion of voluptuousness. A style that reflects his exposure to western art, he paints human figures with traces of cubism using his art to express his views on contemporary life. Best known for his socio-political caricatures and nude drawings of the female form, the highly colourful paintings by Paritosh Sen convey a myriad of emotions, the dominant feature of his art.
Suhas Roy, also one of the Bengal artists is known for painting his Radhas in a style reminiscent of the world of pre-Raphaelite painter, Gabriel Rossetti. Voluptuous Radhas with flowing tresses, entwined in highly decorative floral vines, Suhas Roy's paintings are imbued with hidden meaning and sensuality, realism shot through with an electric charge of mystically romantic fantasy. On a visit to Paris in 1960, he spent a month in Italy studying Raphael, Michelangelo and Da Vinci, the high priests of Renaissance art. A brilliant painting of Christ Suhas Roy sent to Goa depicts a pair of eyes that convey a sense of gloom and despair that he has captured in brown, sepia, black and Indian red. The muted poignancy of this painting displayed at an art exhibition caught the interest of a Vatican representative only the death of the Pope has delayed the decision to buy it. It is only a matter of time before the Christ of Suhas Roy reaches the Vatican, an extremely rare honour for any artist or painter of the world. Published last year, A Solitary Quest is a collection of Suhas Roy's renderings of sensual innocence, fantastical reality, albeit minus earlier works bought by collectors from different parts of the globe.
The artist profile of Sunil Das, Bengal artist indicates that he won a French scholarship to the same art institution in Paris beginning his art studies at the same Calcutta College as Paritosh Sen. Well-known for his powerful renderings of bulls, horses and human beings, he works both in oils, water colours and lithographs, Sunil Das is a two-time winner of the National Award whose paintings have also been picked up by collectors in Germany.
The imagery in my paintings comes mostly from my personal experiences. It is the visual world and its influences on me, that I try to reveal on my canvas, so says Shyamal Dutta Ray. From the same Calcutta Arts College as Paritosh Sen and Sunil Das, Shyamal Dutta Ray in his pensively melancholic works marked a turning point in the history of the Bengal school of art. He is credited with adding an intensity and depth to the medium of watercolours as opposed to the traditional light, watery colours, his paintings echoing the contradictions of life. A master water colourist, he mirrored the happiness, struggle and strife, sorrow, poverty and hope of Calcutta life, a hint of surrealism, irony and awareness of a society that is slowly disintegrating. Shyamal Dutta Ray has been widely exhibited at Mumbai, Delhi, Calcutta, Bangalore and, internationally at Poland, Germany, Australia, Algeria, Canada, United Kingdom, Iraq, France, Cuba, HongKong, Japan, the United States. His works also form part of the collections of National Gallery of Modern Art, Delhi, the Victoria and Albert Museum, London and Glenbarra Museum, Japan.
Prokash Karmarkar, like other Bengal Artists studied painting at Government College of Arts and Crafts, Kolkata. Awarded the National Award by Lalit Kala Akademi (LKA) twice in 1965 and 1968, his other awards include those of Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata (1970) and Biria Academy of Art & Culture (1976). He was invited on a scholarship by the French Government in 1968 and, the collections of LKA in Lucknow, Bangalore and Delhi, Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata, Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal and Hyderabad all feature his works.
Rabin Mondal according to Sandip Sarkar is one of least understood and most neglected among distinguished figures of contemporary Indian art. But, Rabin Mondal is an art painter who cherishes a dream that he knows he can never fulfil i.e. an imaginary nude of Aishwarya Rai. Rabin Mondal feels if Hussain were to paint it, it might be accepted in the cause of aesthetics but is afraid that if he paints it, he would land in jail. With a Fine Arts diploma from Vidyasagar Art School, his neighbourhood street battles that resulted in violence, suffering and anguish influenced him greatly and have found their way into his works. Attracted by the folk artsy style of Jamini Roy and Rabindranath Tagores's paintings, as a young painter he was primarily influenced by the Bengal School of Art. But, a chance encounter with avant-garde Western art proved to be a turning point in his artistic career as he began to incorporate elements of it in his work. Mainly figurative, he paints his universal themes with bold strokes of blacks and reds, an occasional moss green and turquoise seeping through. His works were displayed in 1955 as part of a group exhibition of leading artists of the Bengal school, as well as a solo exhibition at the Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata in 1961.
Indian Artists : Globally Vibrant!
Of late, the international trend for Indian artists and art painters has been very positive as exposure to and, the presence of major Indian artists and painters helps the Indian art markets to grow. Indian art is gaining status as an unconventional investment in the domestic market while showing an upswing at the international level where contemporary Indian art is doing well. As awareness of Indian artists, painters and Indian art increases, there is immense potential for growth as a growing breed of international connoisseurs give Indian art a boost.
As contemporary Indian art dabbles in new hues of modernity, its prices have started outstripping those for ancient paintings and sculptures at Sotheby and Christie's. According to Mazumdar of Sotheby's. Indian contemporary art is emerging as the fastest growing category in Asian and, the reason why collectors of global auction houses are stepping up their association with this genre.
What is it about contemporary Indian art that has suddenly captured global admiration? Suneet Chopra, art expert profoundly explains: The contemporary vision of our (Indian artists) artistic expression is the basic reason for it doing so well in the world. It is developed out of the challenge of an enslaved country (referring to the days when India was under the British rule) fighting the most powerful empire (the British) in the world at the time and succeeding in freeing itself.
Art columnist Nitin Bhaiya feels that the NRI's are forcefully driving the Indian art market by virtue of the Greenspan Effect i.e. rock bottom interest rates of US economy reflected globally have resulted in NRI's investing in Indian art to derive better returns for their money. In a ripple effect, buyers from France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Singapore, Hong Kong, Canada, Australia, Japan, U.K. and U.S.A are dominating Indian art auctions. In the global market of contemporary Indian art, the biggest collection of Hussains and Ganesh Pyne are to be found in Dubai, German collectors chase artists like Sunil Das, Manu Parekh, Sanat Kar and, Oriental and Islamic art works from Indian artists are surfacing at auctions in Holland.
From London to Germany, Singapore and Hong Kong, via the Middle East to New York, contemporary Indian art has begun to paint in global hues as Indian art houses foray into international markets. The reason to a large extent is strategic, Indians and international collectors says Mazumdar: have found that Indian art is good in quality, aesthetic, and available at a reasonable price. As in the past, India left the indelible impress of her high culture, not only upon religion, but also upon art, and literature, in a word, all the higher things of spirit. Rene Grousset, she continues to do so in the future!
India is a vast country with diverse climates, topographies, languages, religions and cultures. All the above have made it rich in heritage and these factors have greatly influenced the birth and evolution of Indian art. India was ruled by a number of Indian kings, the Mughals and finally the British. They all left their mark too and the artists belonging to the particular era, portrayed what he observed and imbibed. Murals and miniatures are two broad categories of the paintings of India. While the miniatures are accomplished upon perishable and small materials, murals are created on huge structures like walls etc. The Ajanta caves are an example of the latter.
The westerners often find Indian art as ornate and erotic as against European and American art. But it’s true to say that fine things must be comprehended before being admired; same is the case with paintings of India. The more they are observed, the greater is their appreciation level. However, the Indian art created today is at par with the international market. The artists have grown over time, are well travelled, are studying art from various schools in India and abroad, thus their paintings are a reflection of the present but the Indian soul remains a prominent facet. Themes like AIDS, feminism, globalization, racism, bio-technology and the environment are hogging the online modern art galleries. Indian art is no longer only about beauty and visuals but is way more interesting and has definite meanings.
Across the globe today, Indian art is both highly respected and sought after. The credit for this success to a large extent goes to the Indian art galleries which have worked relentlessly for it to be commemorated in the international scenario. The Indian art showcased here is both traditional as well as contemporary and the development of the Internet has assisted the process greatly. You can freely browse through the wide array of Indian art collection online and select what appeals to your sensibilities. The artwork is shipped free of cost to your doorstep without any headache for you to have it carted. This is really an added benefit in comparison to the physical online modern art galleries, where you have to arrange for the huge canvas to be transported to your residence. These little things help to lower costs, making it possible for you to purchase affordable paintings.If you are a genuine art lover, you are free to give your comments about the Indian paintings on their websites.
The online modern art galleries also provide a stage for the emerging talent; they can display their artwork and look forward to feedback from professionals or critics. Such opportunities help them to improve their personal skills and grow as refined artists. It is true that affordable paintings can be bought from online modern art galleries since the portals have hardly any extra costs to incur when exhibiting the same. Not to say that just because the paintings in India are cheaper, their quality is compromised upon. The ensure that they put forth only worthy and appreciable paintings of India. In these days of hectic schedules, online modern art galleries work like your saviours as you do not waste money, time and effort to search for impressive Indian art. Spending time on the net and searching for ideal pieces will make your home look attractive and enviable.
A very nice post below-
"Are concentric circles worth so much?"
However I cannot make out who the author is. There seems to be no mention of the author on some of the posts or perhaps I haven't looked carefully.
Anyway, I completely share that anonymous gentleman's (or is it a lady?) views. Making concentric circles is no big deal. Just about anyone with some tools can do it. The big deal is -why are so many willing to consider it as 'great art'? Do they really believe it or is it just a pretense, a mask that they wear because everyone else is wearing it too?
Bravo sir, for calling a spade a spade!
However those who are not fooled by this charade, those who can see and perceive clearly must speak out and speak out forcefully with conviction and reason. For evidently, reason lies with those who refuse to consider a canvas painted in a single color, or left completely blank or the mindless bindus, or heaps of dung, paper smeared with sperms and human shit in cans as 'great' art.
I bought last year a ceramic plate hand painted by Badri Narayan. It has the image of a bird in green, blue and black with the sun in the background. On the reverse it has hand written in blue paint-painted for Vitrum studio, by Badri Narayan, 20th December, 1959. It also as Bengal potteries, crest in green and it measures 10 inches in dia. It has some crazing in the glaze on front and back. Have got images if anyone wants to see it. Has anyone got any idea of it's rarity and value?
The Artist of the month for January 2008 is the ceramist and painter at the international township of Auroville in Pondicherry - Adil Writer!
Adil’s recent paintings may be divided into two series. First inspired by the philosopher Sri Aurobindo, is Adil's 'Savitri' series, which also carries forward his red chakras into another dimension. Then there are acrylic canvases, where Adil uses images from his pottery or street photography, prints them canvas and paints on them. The special crackle he so achieves, is bringing him closer to the fusion of aesthetics with which he is trying to bridge the two media. Please view Adil's latest body of work (priced very affordably) As always, you can pay securely by credit card or cheque/demand draft. The works will be dispatched to you directly from the Artist's Studios and come with a personally signed Authenticity Certificate from the artist himself.
India, the oldest civilization in the world, enjoys an art culture that dates back to the Indus Valley civilization. According to Pratima Sheth, artist and author of Dictionary of Indian Art and Artists, Indian contemporary art is a form of painting that had no details, which was natural in its form, one that used tempera style of technique and was radically in contrast to its western counterpart. Tempera technique of painting was mainly used for miniature paintings and cave paintings, for e.g., Ajanta and Ellora paintings. Artists who worked on this technique were such renowned painters as Tagore and Ganesh Pyne. Contemporary art pertained to the present time where art is referred to the art scene, graphic art, painters and sculptors of the past decade. This art form went through cultural conflict which India experienced through the 250 years of British rule and influence in all aspects of political and social life, making a distinctive dividing line between traditional Indian art and sculpture.
The period of Company painting and introduction of the western Isms, during which period the artists began experimenting with art, led to the current phase of personal expression. Cultural ethos and traditional thoughts still maintain their important position in Indian contemporary style of art. Interestingly, people from international art circuit always perceived and related Indian art to its miniature painting tradition. And Sheth has always passionately brought the fact home to the westerners to whom she stated that, Indian civilization was the one that introduced art to the western world which they conveniently labelled as their own. Most of the contemporary artists from the previous generation were from prestigious institutions like the Bengal school of Art, Shantineketan, Bombay school of Art, Madras School of Art, Calcutta School of Art, and Bansthali Vidyapeeth amongst many forms of contemporary art that finds its base firmly rooted in spiritual values.
An artist is always in constant process of discovery of the origins and the roots of the cosmos because art was never considered a profession but a path towards truth and self-realization. Certain neo-tantric artists of the 20th century practising Tantra have taken the geometric configurations of the Yantra as their basic image and have worked around certain specific diagrams. Yet, others have taken the sexual energy from Tantra, using specific objects with sexual undertones as Leitmotifs in their paintings. In the 60s, the Indian painters who worked on colourful compositions symbolic of Tantra were Ghulam Rasooi Santosh, Biren De, Mahirwan Mamtani, Sayed Haider Raza, Sultan Ali J, Prafulla Mohanti, K. V. Haridasan, Om Prakash Sharma, Sohan Qadri, K. C. S. Paniker, and Shankar Palsikar, all stalwarts in their own right.
Tribute to Indian Art & Artists by Pratima Sheth. I have observed, that, normally, people are embarrassed to show love for India, especially in the field of Art. I have therefore prepared a Dictionary with the whole idea of giving meanings and inter-related words with the work of art. That was my aim and that is how I wanted the book to be. It was in 1990, that, I got inspiration to write a book. A book which will give information on Indian Contemporary Art & Artists. I have covered not a few artists but many more artists in the form of the major information received and known of seniors and very seniors, words, meanings and works of art, with history and what India has and always had even in pre-historic period. The only way to prepare such book was to prepare it in a Dictionary form. Courage was required to start such work, said Late C. R. Srinivasan who was my mentor former secretary to the then Prime Minister of India, Late Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru. He also said, you will meet people who will be helpful as also those who will discourage you, who will be hesitant when they first meet you or answering your questions. You will have to be prepared to meet all these types of people. Only courage will help. This Dictionary is the first of its kind in India, which talks about words, meanings and works of art connected to our traditional style and used in the modern period. It covers information of 650 Artists, Institutions & Galleries. Also, it highlights of Indian Art abroad, and facilitates Art collectors / New Art collectors, students etc. It took me 7 years of research work on various aspects.
The reason to prepare this book was that being an art student, we were always taught western art with very little information, practically to work, on Indian art. There is no comprehensive compendium, which we can refer to regarding Indian Art . My experience of travelling abroad since 1979 and seeing only Indian miniatures being talked about as sole subject, and nothing more, not recognizing that, India has progressed in contemporary Indian art form as much as Europe and America though a decade or two later and now developing much faster. Sometimes Indian subjects specially Miniatures, have inspired the foreign artists, to work with Modern Art. This inspiration gave me the idea of preparing this book giving a lot of Indian information either influenced by Western Art, Japanese Art or Indian traditions. It took me 7 years in research and 2 years to correct and adding the history of our contemporary artists progressing in the art, style and working with their own intuitions, from time to time. The words were added as they gave meanings and not only definitions used by the artists in the work of art. These words talk about the technique, style, tradition, culture etc. which is used in the art of today. The techniques which are not understood are highlighted in the Dictionary. Artists and Art lovers who are not able to find the meaning of words of the style, technique and subject of the works will find this Dictionary very useful for their reference and record. This is not only for college students but more so as a reference dictionary about India as we don’t have any book as such.
How artists have worked with their intuition and not just because they have to work. Though British rule did not allow freedom for Indian art to progress, it was the artists right from craftmen, the earlier groups who were known as court painters, landscapes painter, portrait painters, wall muralists, graphic printers, later Raja Ravi Varma from South and Tagore family artists from North, and the seniors whose names are still not known who went to teach art in Indian art style. Many artists picked up western style technique with Indian subjects and as it progressed, it went on with the intuition of the artist’s ideas and feeling. I also see that a lot of styles which is said to be western, were really early Indian styles. The only problem we went through was language, because of the different states, but I appreciate their individual style, technique & medium that exist even today. I still feel if we could translate the very earlier notes on art and history into English, which is the universal language, we will be able to stand ahead with our collection of information, with its style, technique, history, the different art schools that progress in its own way. In conclusion, I would like to say that today, the whole world is recognizing and appreciating Indian Art and Artists. Yet many artists still remain obscure. Through this book, the world of Indian Art and Artists are illuminated for the world at large to appreciate. This is my earnest desire.
Well, I've been a long time member of this site. The question that never seizes to amaze me is that a painting that I am "not willing to part with", gets some 20 queries on the price. I am fine with that frankly. It gives me a great kick that someone wants to buy a painting that I am not even "willing to part with". But the language amuses me - a standard query is "what’s the price", the other one being "what are you selling it for". Now I have never put up my paintings for sale. So I expect any person to be atleast polite about it if (s)he wants to ask for a price.
Initially I thought that these guys were really interested in my paintings. So I will say NFS, sometimes just to test the guy (pardon my sexism), I will quote a price, and guess what, no one ever replies back to me. If I don't reply in a day’s time, I will be sent some (im) polite mails about the time I take to reply. The same person will never reply back once I've quoted a price.
Then I did an Archimedes, "Eureka", all the person wanted was to mark to market his/her own painting. My doubt was why isn't the person asking me about the market price of a painting, as in what do I think he can sell his/her painting for. Maybe I don't , but it’s better to ask me directly. Because I do surf a lot and have a decent idea of the prices of decent artists. The next category is the sellers. I go and ask a price to someone. Now there are two kinds of species of sellers. One is someone who wants 50% higher than the market. Because they are not really serious about selling it. They just want to have fun. The other species is the gallery owners, who want to sell it with their 25% (or is it higher) margin, but then I say, why should I be buying it from a gallery if I am on this site. But all in all its good fun. All the best guys.
The basic meaning of the word by itself suggests a 3-dimensional view, but what I look for in my paintings through my landscapes, I try to project not only the basic 3-dimentional perspective, but also perspective in thinking, perspective in feeling, with the help of different colour studies and different methods of application in relation to the composition of the landscape. I wish to capture the essence of a particular mood which I have experienced.
Experimenting with different styles and methods of application is in itself an expansion of the perspective of mind. Painting is the language of an artist. Just as different words have different meanings; different techniques express different perspectives. I would like the viewer to explore this perspective of feeling and the mood created in each painting. I start off from abstract blobs of colour, slowly developing a semi-realistic composition the colour abstraction being either in the form of a small sketch or at times applied directly on the canvas. I work on it until some of my ideas actually appear on the surface. Style and expression make their appearance through this process, which is sometimes so quick that I finish a work within 3-4 hours.
Mood is important if I get out of this reverie before completing the work, then I know that the painting is lost forever. Every artist has his/her own creative spirit, it is this which compels me to look within in order to paint or compose my own inner vision of life, or what I think is or ought to be happening around the world. You can view works by Pratima Sheth on www.indianartcollectors.com/pratimasheth.
I believe in freedom of expression. Does this means we have to be offensive to the layman's sensitivities. Thousands live in abject poverty and millions live in pretty squalid conditions. Their concern - next meal, family's basic health, daughter's marriage. Their entertainment - hindi cinema/music which beams them to fantasia. Their hope - God will save them.... do they have a right to get offended by a canvas of the naked creator . I think so . ( Of course u do it for political mileage - it sucks completely. ) Chasing him out to another country – overdone. But is freedom of expression overrated ? (Pardon me but I exclude the Mumbai moral police from the ambit of being even considered in the context).
Ok , you might consider it blasphemous. But I cannot understand how a canvas with concentric circles (probably made with the help of a geometric instrument) be sold for crores ? I understand that art is subjective and what might work for you might not for me... but if the art gurus have geometric designs on my money I have the right (angle) to protest. Call me a square but I prefer the free hand feints of any unknown over the 'ruler' of Indian Art. I think people buy the circles only because they can pawn it off to some bigger art lover (hahaha). After some years, Circular logic ? Ok so you repeat, it is subjective and you raise your hand to your heart and hereby do solemnly affirm that you really like the circles. I still cannot fathom the logic of crores! Especially in the context that the artist is super talented and his old stuff is fantastic , unique and put together without my camlin pencil box. I guess I have answered my own question - 'the name' is everything and the status is worth throwing aesthetics out of the window (rectangular). Is the nouveau lucre responsible or am I just an artistic philistine. All cheers Indian concentric art !
The Art world is a very very small world.
Ever since the site "IndianArtCollectors" was launched in 2005, I have personally made a lot of good acquaintances, gained clients, discussed art with few, and also lost money with bad transactions.
I fail to understand on 'how the CHEATS operate the same way all the time and get away with cheating?'
Let me cite few examples:
* I had discussed with one of my very old client a specific amount & specific time limit, but after getting repeated reasons for the delay the client managed to deposit 30% LESS to the promised amount and I was shocked when he started arguing that this was our specified amount.
* The other day I met a fellow artist who confided that he had sold works of art to a buyer on this forum and had agreed for xxx amount and after the artwork was delivered, the amount deposited was found to be less than the agreed amount.
* Also there were several instances where the buyer pressurizes the seller to part with the painting before FULL payment is made.
So let me take this opportunity to the art collectors who are new on this forum to take necessary precautions before they proceed to make a deal and be happy with the transactions.
1) Newer believe your own left hand to right hand!
2) Do not be misled by past transactions - this may be a trick for a bigger kill by offering to buy lesser priced artworks/paying promptly and then cheating with bigger artworks by bigger named artists!
3) Before jumping to transact with a buyer, do consult fellow collectors on this forum to know the buyers credibility - it will save you considerable anguish/money/time/effort!
4) and last but not the least when part payment is accepted, do not send the painting and the authentication together - withhold the authentication so that after full realization of funds the authentication can be sent to the buyer - since they do not honor their words!
5) Insist on payment by DD than with cheques for various reasons!
Cheers and happy collection!
Umesh U V
Can somebody give me tips on preserving my water colour paintings done on canvas? right now I have 4 of them but all in rolled form with butter paper. I am keen to maybe frame the paintings, if I do the same, can someone guide me as to what kind of frame would be ideal? second, should I frame it with a glass in fornt, what kind of material should be used to hold the painting from the back? These are very amatuer questions maybe, but I am keen to know the best way to preserve some nice paintings, done by some very good original, talented artists.
I posted a query on preserving oil paintings. I really am grateful to the respondent for the many tips. Thanx.
Moving on....tribal art is something fascinating, but it seems that there are not many takers for this. I wonder why this is so and what can be done about it.
Then there is another category of artists who though tribals have been trained in contemporary art schools. Somehow, they sink into oblivion even though their works are really great. Can we as a community of art lovers do something about this?We have to think this through.
Finally, can anyone tell me the whereabouts and contact details of Dasa Murmu, a Santal artist (located somewhere in Koraput District in Orissa)? I have collected some of his works since I was fascinated by his treatment of the human form and the realism....Yet very few people know about him. I would be obliged for any information.
Its really great that IAC has started this blog!
Do check out this site, www.kalpavraksha.com
I have a painting of BC SANYAL, a famous painter, but unfortunately no more. How can i sell his painting, i am not sure how much its worth. Can someone help?
In response to a query raised by S regarding what is the best way to preserve oil paintings on canvas. Well here are some tips.
1. Hang and store the painting in a location where it will be out of harm's way. Avoid locations where people touch or lean against the wall, food and beverages may fall, or plants are watered nearby.
2. Try to display the paintings where the relative humidity and temperature levels are fairly constant - avoid being near a window, in the direct airflow of an air conditioner or a heater.
3. Daylight is very high in radiation that is damaging to paintings. Watch that there is never any direct sunlight on paintings at any point during the day. Directing lights at the painting can cause damaging hot or warm spots on the paint surface. Light damage cannot be reversed.
4. A soft cloth or a soft brush should be used to remove surface dirt from paintings and frames. Avoid feather dusters as they may cause scratches. Care should be take to not flex the canvas while cleaning, else paint may get dislodged. The back of the painting should be kept clean by brushing or vacuuming. Serious cleaning and varnishing of paintings should be handled by a trained conservator.
5. Should you get fungus or moulds on your canvas, dust off the mould with a soft brush. Place the canvas with its back facing a warm (not direct) sun for a few hours, for the mould to be killed.
6. When transporting an oil painting, hold the painting on both sides. Avoid grasping a painting from the top of the frame, and don't hold it by the hanging wire. Avoid bumping oil paintings on canvas because even the slightest bump can cause future cracking of the paint surface.
7. In the unfortunate event that your painting is damaged in some way, contact a professional conservator in your area, as often repair and restoration is a viable option.
For those who are reading this and have further suggestions/ tips or disagree with any of the above, please leave your comments!
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With the auction house's concluding its final auctions for the year...how would you rate the year for indian contemporary art and artists. With respect to
The New Breed for Contemporaries.
Kindly throw some views on
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