Author Archive

Tanjore Art

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009 | Author:

India is known for its art and culture. Every corner of India is popular for its unusual form of art. Tanjore Painting is one of the most prominent types of traditional South Indian paintings. It is the indigenous art form of Thanjavur (also known as Tanjore) city of Tamil Nadu. The intense composition, exterior richness and vivacious shades of Indian Thanjavur Paintings differentiate them from the other kinds of paintings. Then, there are accompaniments of precious stones, pearls and glass pieces that supplement and add to their charm. The relief work gives them a three dimensional appearance which is more popularly known as the 3D effect. Tanjore Painting of India was derived in the 16th century, in the sovereignty of the Cholas.

A majority of these paintings rotate around the subject of Hindu Gods and Goddesses, along with saints. The chief figure is always painted at the center of the painting. These paintings are also locally called Palagai Padam where palagai means wooden plank and padam means picture as they paintings are mostly done on solid wood boards.

Tanjore paintings involve a couple of intricate steps. The first step includes the sketching of the introduction sketch of the image on the base. This base is prepared from a cloth, which is glued over a wooden stand. The next step involves the mixing of chalk powder or zinc oxide with water-soluble adhesive and applying it on the base. Thereafter, the drawing is made and ornamented with cut glass, pearls as well as semi-precious stones. Besides, colorful and attractive laces or threads are also used to embellish the painting. To further enhance the outcome, wafer thin sheets of gold are glued on a few portions of the painting, whereas the other portions are painted in vivid colors.

There are a huge number of people who still take interest in learning this form of art adding their contemporary touch to it.

Patachitra Art

Sunday, September 06th, 2009 | Author:

The root of the Patachitra paintings was in the 8th century AD and it is regarded as one of the earliest forms of home-grown paintings. This symbolic form of folk significance is exclusive in the history of Indian and European paintings. The unlikely illustrative ideas, the peculiar conventions, the astonishing arrangement of line patterns and vivacious application of colors make this art form stupendous.

The foundation and growth of Patachitra paintings are associated with the Jagannath Cult. The devotional art of Patachitras is limited to the community of painters called the Chitrakars. The chitrakars reside and perform their inherited art in Puri and in villages on its borders, Raghurajpur and Dandshahi. Every Chitrakar family possesses a family sketchbook handed down from their ancestors. Gods and Goddesses, legends and animals, are all portrayed in these sketchbooks. These books are the chitrakars’ most precious belongings.

The process of arranging the canvas (Pata) is time-consuming, generally taking at least five days. It includes the preparation of a tamarind seed paste, which is mixed with water in a mud pot and focused to additional action. It is called the ‘Niryas Kalpa’. The chitrakar then chooses two pieces of cloth and attaches them together with this paste. Clay powder is then added to the combination and two or three coatings of this blend is applied on to the organized canvas on both the surfaces. When the canvas is dry, it is polished, a process that takes quite a few hours. Painting can begin only when it’s dry.

Patachitras are usually painted in a regular series of steps. The present practice is to put a thick coat of varnish with a cloth. Once the varnish dries, the Patachitra is trimmed down to the attractive margin. The standard painting is finished in a week. But there are complex ones that take maybe even a month.

Abstract Art

Monday, August 03rd, 2009 | Author:

Abstract art is one without an identifiable theme, one which doesn’t narrate something peripheral or try to imitate some thing. as a substitute the colour and appearance are the topics of the abstract art. It’s entirely without an aim or objective.
An additional difference is likely to be made between abstract art which is geometric, for example, the art work of Mondrian, and abstract art that is more liquid such as the abstract art work of Kandinsky or Pollock.
Moreover, usually classified with abstract art are symbolic ideas and paintings which stand for things that aren’t visual or illustrative, like emotions, sounds, or divine occurrences. Symbolic ideas are abstractions or generalizations of reality, where detail is eradicated from identifiable objects leaving only the essence or recognizable form to some extent.
In the history of Western art, the myth that every art for had to represent something or the other was broken at the start of the 20th century. This revolution happened with art movements like Impressionism, Fauvism and Cubism. Impressionism referred to painters not finishing their paintings. On the other hand, in Fauvism, colours were used in a non-realistic way. Cubism, as the name states, referred to painting an object from more than one perspective. These ideas gave rise to the thought that anything like the colour or texture can be the subject or the theme of the painting.
Abstract Expressionism come into sight in the 1940s. It applied the laws of Expressionism to abstract painting. Jackson Pollock’s action painting where paint was dripped, dropped, spread, sprinkled and thrown on the canvas, is a fine example.
Abstract painting has given artists a completely new line of ideas. They have the freedom to listen to their gut, without worrying about the limits of art, paint the canvas the way they want to.

Painting Styles in India

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009 | Author:

Dance and music are fields where the most delightful styles and sweetest strains fade away before people can understand them, whereas painting holds the sentiments and expressions and retains the impact for a comparatively elongated time-period. Painting is basically a blend of lines, forms, colors, tones, textures and spaces. It makes an attempt to communicate the verbal and non-verbal terminologies with the strokes of the paint brush.

Painting styles are different from area to area, and from phase to phase. From ancient times to the era of evolution, painting has been the illustrative certification of man’s beliefs, and experiences. It has been demonstrated on the walls of the caves like the elephant caves, the Ajanta caves and the Bhimbetka caves, temples like the Brihadisvari temple and the Mukteshvara temple, and palaces like the very famous Taj Mahal, or dried leaved and cloth in the form of phadas, patachitras and coverlets.
Displayed manuscripts on palm leaf folios in the medieval period were then substituted by paper. The paintings of any given province and era, offers a peek into the intellectual and cultural awareness of the inhabitants who accomplished them. The techniques are influenced by the local customs and cross-cultural relations.
Besides all the other factors, the exceptional geographical positioning of India played a vital part in the blossoming of the diverse provincial techniques. The vivid and vibrant painting traditions, which built up, like the murals and wall paintings, Chaurapanchasika art(CPS Group), miniatures, scroll art, madhubani art, lepakshi art, etc added to the rich and diverse cultural inheritance of India. This also formed the base of succeeding genres. Cultural paintings bring to you the various painting techniques from the wealth trove of India. They have their distinctive painting style, regional and episodic individuality. The art field has brought a lot of international recognition to India and Indian artists from the traditional times to the contemporary times.

Prokash Karmakar

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009 | Author:

Prokash Karmakar is the son of the renowned artist Prahlad Karmakar. He was born in 1933. He missed learning art from his father because as soon as Prokash got acquainted with the basics of artwork, his father expired. Due to this mishap, Prokash had to quit art and join the army in 1949 to earn a living for himself. But he soon realized that art is where he wanted to be.
Prokash Karmakar won the National Award for his artistic skills in 1968. He made the country proud both, nationally and internationally. Prokash was a founder member of the Society of Contemporary Artists. He also was the initiate member of the Calcutta painters. His active participation and association in the promotional activities related to the art in Bengal is commendable.
Prokash Karmakar was the founder member of the Calcutta Art Fair as well. He has displayed his works in a number of solo exhibitions within the country. His exhibitions have been held in Kolkata, Mumbai and New Delhi. He has also taken part in a couple of group exhibitions in the country.
Prokash has primarily excelled in acrylic and oil painting. Karmakar’s artworks illustrate that he uses thick lines to draw human figures and to make the entire work look subtle, he uses simplified backgrounds. The patches in his paintings are highlighted completely in bold shades.
His sketches are noteworthy; especially for their expressive alterations of life and the existence of living beings. He is capable of expressing the sensuality of women worthily. He adds a twist and a weave to the usual linear patterns. Since a decade, Prokash Karmakar has been engaged in painting landscapes. This has been admired by millions of art lovers. He has been inclined to continue painting themes from the contemporary society leaving behind the traditional issues.

Francis Newton Souza

Saturday, July 18th, 2009 | Author:

Francis Newton Souza was born on 12 April 1924, in Saligao, Goa. Francis Newton Souza was a renowned Indian painter of his time. Francis Newton Souza studied at Sir JJ School of Art in the city of Mumbai. However, he was later suspended because he uncompromisingly supported the Quit India movement in 1945.

Francis Newton Souza was the one to set up the Bombay Progressive Artists’ Group. The motto of this group was to inculcate confidence and increase the morale of the follow artists. The main objective was to encourage Indian artists to participate in the international avant-garde. But, after India achieved freedom from the British rule, FN Souza moved base to London, United Kingdom. His work was included by the Institute of Contemporary Art in a 1954 display. Soon after this, many other exhibitions followed.

His talents in the literary field also helped to boost his career. His autobiographical work Nirvana of a Maggot was published in the journal called Encounter. Encounter was then edited by Stephen Spender. Also, another add on to his literary reputation was his book Words and Lines which was published in 1959.

Francis Newton Souza’s career built up progressively. He took part in a number of exhibitions and shows. John Berger also acclaimed him positively. John Berger mentioned that Souza’s style was purposely assorted, essentially Expressionist in character, but also drawing on the post-war Art Brut movement and elements of British Neo-romanticism.

Souza settled in New York in 1967. He returned to India a little time before his death. His funeral took place on March 30 at a graveyard in Sewri, India.
A self styled painting by Souza was displayed in Feb 2009 at the BBC Antiques Road show. Souza was the first Indian artist to gain international recognition and represent India on a global level.

Alex Mathew – Life and Achievements

Monday, July 13th, 2009 | Author:

Alex Mathew, a renowned contemporary artist, was born in Trivandrum in 1957. He studied at the College of Fine Arts in Trivandrum an acquired a national diploma in sculpture in 1981. He continued studying this till a post graduation from M.S. University, Baroda in 1984. He concentrated his work largely on wooden figures, most of them engraved in a style signifying the eternal and primary associations of humans with the earth-world they come from. There are also indications at the divine and the erotic.
Alex Mathew achieved a scholarship to the Hoch Schule fur Bildene Kunset Braunscheig in West Germany. There he received exposure to European artistic trends, both traditional and contemporary. This later reflected in his works of art.
A fairly remarkable attribute of his later work appears to be the need to leave the essence of the original material as much as he can. His carvings of tree trunks, his statements from holding their brooding, almost threatening, anxiety; these come out from the shaded parts of the figures and shapes that engirth them now. The observer must unavoidably notice and experience.
Alex Mathew has had various shows all over India. His exhibitions have been held in the major galleries in India, as well as in Geneva in 1987. Even though he has a preference for wood over other materials, he has experimented with fiberglass. His exhibitions comprise one at Chemould, Bombay 1993, Seven, Young Sculptors, New Delhi 1985, Questions and Dialogues, Baroda 1986, Alekhaya Darshan, Geneva 1987, Timeless Art, Bombay 1989, Venkatappa Art Gallery, Bangalore 1990, Song of the Dark Times, CIC, New Delhi, Jehangir Art Gallery and Chemould, Bombay 1991, Sparrow, Bombay 1992, Deutsche Bank Collection, Bombay 1994, 100 years of Contemporary Indian Art, NGMA, New Delhi 1994, Recent Trends in Contemporary Indian Art Vadehra Gallery, New Delhi 1995.
Alex Mathew has become an established and reputable artist and one of India’s leading contemporary artists.

Jahar Dasgupta

Saturday, July 11th, 2009 | Author:

Jahar Dasgupta is a renowned name in the field of Indian art. He was born in 1942 in Jamshedpur, Bihar. He learnt art at Shantiniketan under legends like Ramkinkar Baiz and Benode Bihari Mukherjee. He got his diploma in painting in 1964. Soon after that he organized his solo workshop at Birla Academy, Kolkata. That was where his career started to boost.

Jahar Dasgupta uses subtle but bright shades in his paintings. He recreates the barriers between traditional and contemporary art. Women and nature are a vital part of his paintings. He gives immense importance to these two subjects. Jahar Dasgupta has displayed his work in many solo as well as group exhibitions. He is one of the founder members of Painters’ Orchestra.

His paintings have been featured in various forms of media, like the Bengali magazine Shatak Ekush and the documentary film Bornomoy Jahar, directed by Sandeep Ray. In the Silver Jubilee Painters’s Orchestra, a book called “Poem on paintings” was released, which had a poem on Jahar Dasgupta’s work, and was written by Shakti Chatterjee.

Jahar Dasgupta is the president of the academy of fine arts, Kolkata and a founder member of Sijuti Art Gallery. His solo shows were displayed at Chitrakoot Art Gallery, Lalit Kala Academy, Academy of Fine Arts, Gallery Honsmania in Norway and Club Bangladesh in Sweden. He also participated in a number of group exhibitions like Nehru Centre in London, Salon Exposition in South Korea, Indian Habitat Centre in New Delhi, Academy of Fine Arts in Kolkata, Jahangir Art Gallery in Mumbai, etc.

Even today, his artworks are exhibited internationally in countries like U.S.A., U.K., Spain, Norway, France, Korea and Muscat. Jahar Dasgupta has received recognition and appreciation for excellence in art, and has achieved admiration and pride for our nation on a global level.

Tyeb Mehta – Achievements

Wednesday, July 08th, 2009 | Author:

Tyeb Mehta was born in Gujarat on 26th July, 1925. He started his career as a film editor. However he was interested in art and painting and therefore he joined Sir JJ School of Art in Mumbai in 1947. He studied painting there for 5 years.

Tyeb Mehta took part in a number of group exhibitions. He structured his first ever solo display exhibition of his paintings and sculptures in 1959 at the Jehangir Art Gallery in Mumbai. He also participated in numerous worldwide shows like Ten Contemporary Indian Painter in the U.S. in 1965, Deuxieme Biennial Internationale de Menton in 1974, Festival Internationale de la Peinture, Cagnes – Sur – Mer, in 1974 in France. Modem Indian Paintings in 1982 at Hirschhom Museum in Washington and Seven Indian Painters at Gallerie Le Monde de U art in 1994 in Paris.
Tyeb Mehta’s works have also been displayed in the Museum of Modern Art at the Oxford, England and the Hirshhorn Museum.

Tyeb Mehta holds the record for the highest price an Indian painting has ever been auctioned for. His works were the first ever to be sold for over a million dollars. This also signified a rapid growing interest by the global market in Indian art.

Tyeb Mehta was felicitated with various awards and honors. He received the Rockefeller Fellowship in 1968, on which he visited the U.S. He also received the Kalidas Samman from the Madhya Pradesh Government in 1988. Recently, he was awarded the Dayawati Modi Foundation Award for Art, Culture and Education in 2005 and the Padma Bhushan in 2007.

Tyeb Mehta’s implausible works of art over more than six decades has instituted him as one of the greatest personality of contemporary Indian art. He lived in Mumbai with his wife Sakina and his two children. He died on 2nd July, 2009 following a heart attack.

Abanindranath Tagore

Thursday, July 02nd, 2009 | Author:

Abanindranath Tagore, son of Gunendranath Tagore was born in Calcutta on 7th August, 1871. He contributed to the revitalization of traditional Indian art and discarded the materialistic practices of the west. He supported the Swadeshi values in Indian art. Besides being a renowned artist, Abanindranath Tagore is also known for his writings, especially for children.

Abanindranath started his training under the supervision of Signor Gillhardi, his tutor and a renowned Italian artist. Soon after that he attended the studio of an English painter, Mr. Charles Palmer and achieved expertise in portrait and oil painting. His interest in watercolors was truly outstanding. E.B.Havell, Principal, Calcutta School of Art, on seeing Abanindranath’s paintings was overwhelmed. He asked Abanindranath to join them as the Vice-principal of the School. Under
the supervision of Havell, Abanindranath learnt the Mughal and Rajput techniques of painting comprehensively. He also assisted Havell in the rekindling of the teaching styles at the school.

Abanindranath was introduced to the Japanese style of art by Okakura, a distinguished artist. He was influenced by their style and traditions and he started incorporating the calligraphic trends into his works. The Indian Society of Oriental Art was set up to promote the Abanindranath-style on the national level. Abanindranath steered the modem art movement in Bengal. He convinced the world that the Indian artists had their own bit to give in to the world of art. Some of his most popular paintings include Nights, Krishnalila, Lovelorn Yaksha and Devadasi. His works have been displayed in exhibitions internationally, at Paris, London and Tokyo.

In 1889, Abanindranath tied the knot with Suhasini Devi. Abanindranath Tagore was the nephew of Rabindranath Tagore. In his later years, Abanindranath took up sculpturing, on branches of trees and other trashes which were given the title of ‘kutam-katam’ by him. Abanindranath Tagore expired on 5th December, 1951.