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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.

Bhupen Khakar

Friday, May 29th, 2009 | Author:

Bhupen Khakhar was born in Mumbai in the year 1934 in a middle-class Gujrati family. He was academically trained as a chartered accountant. In 1963, he moved to Baroda to join the Art Criticism Course at the Faculty of Fine Arts at the M.S. University. He started painting there and he joined the Seminal Narrative Figurative movement.

His early works of art portray his interest in the descriptions of the Indian popular culture. Bhupen Khakhar observes, draws, paints and illustrates his every day surroundings. This interest is now less evident in the artwork of Khakhar.

In his early works, Khakhar made use of ready-made images of idols which he then pieced together and painted over, at times with graffiti. Khakhar has been able to develop his own style of painting that binds his lack of formal training to offer an edge to his expressions.

His paintings portray uncomfortable sexual instances practiced secretly but usually set directly against a criticizing society. In 1982 his work “Two Men in Banaras” centers nude men embracing against a backdrop of a typical village. The lovers emerged to go unexposed by their neighbors, but they are expressively prominent to the painting’s viewers. Another work, “My Dear Friend” (1993), displays two men sharing an instance of closeness while being observed by a host of probable intimidating spectators. The men are trapped and bared in an instance of delight and hope, a moment of ultimate helplessness.

He exhibited his art work for the first time in Mumbai in 1965, and has had fourteen solo shows since then in different cities throughout the world. Khakhar made a free route for younger painters who pursued his path. In the sixties and seventies his work was mainly esteemed in Europe.

Bhupen Khakhar has become an established artist and one of India’s leading contemporary artists.

Jamini Roy

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009 | Author:

Jamini Roy is one of the most renowned artists of modern India. He was was born in Bengal in 1887. His father Ramataran Roy was an amateur artist who, after resignation from government service, spent the rest of his life in his village.

Jamini Roy came to Calcutta in 1903 where he studied at the Government School of Art. In 1908 he achieved his Diploma in Fine Art. However, soon he established a special painting technique motivated chiefly by traditional Indian folk and village arts, predominantly those of Bengal. Through his oil paintings, he gave expression to the views of every-day livelihood of the people in rural Bengal.

Jamini Roy went back to his native place to reach the very foundation of the folk-tradition where he studied with the patuas, their approach and technique. Jamini Roy earned recognition by developing his own language of painting which he termed as ‘Flat Technique’. Jamini Roy used inexpensive native colours and dyes for his art so that even the rich as well as the poor could reach them without much difficulty. He also proposed his own paintings from home-grown materials like lampblack, chalk-powder, leaves and creepers.

Some of his most popular paintings include St. Ann and the Blessed Virgin, Makara, Cats Plus, Seated Woman in Sari, Krishna and Radha Dancing, Kitten, Virgin and Child, Crucifixion with Attendant Angels, Ravana, Sita and Jatayu, Warrior King, Krishna with Gopis in Boat, Krishna and Balarama.

Jamini Roy’s works were first exhibited in Calcutta at the British India Street in 1938. Jamini Roy’s images become popular during the 1940s and customer list incorporated both the Bengali middle class and European community. His work was exhibited internationally in 1946, in London and in 1953, in New York.

Jamini Roy’s paintings flourish in exceptional vivacity. Jamini Roy plays a major role in providing a broader base to the art of contemporary India by elevating it with cultural essence. Jamini Roy was honored with the Padma Bhushan in 1955. He died in 1972 in Calcutta.

Amrita Shergill

Sunday, May 24th, 2009 | Author:

Amrita Shergill is the daughter of Umrao Singh Shergill Majithia, a Sikh aristocrat and also a scholar in Sanskrit and Persian, and Marie Antoinette Gottesmann, a Jewish Opera singer from Hungary. She was born on 30 January 1913 in Budapest, Hungary.


She has been one of the most renowned Indian artists of the pre-colonial era. She has been the youngest and the only Asian to be honoured as the Associate of the Grand Salon in Paris.


Amrita Shergill was an alluring and enthralling Indian artist of the pre-colonial era. Her artworks portray her immense love for the country and her perception of the life of its people.


Amrita Shergill began painting at an early age and her mother supported and encouraged this intrinsic talent in her. She studied the Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris, which is one of the best schools for art. She learnt to speak and write French. It was in France that she took up painting seriously. She visited various art galleries, museums, etc in Paris, which had a huge impact on her artwork. Amrita came to India in 1934 and was awestruck by the fascinating images in India.


She stayed in Shimla in 1935 and started off by painting regular men and women who she came across in her day to day life. She made a trip to the Ajanta caves in 1936 and the murals there completely mesmerized her. They had an eternal impact on her style of painting.


In 1938, she shifted focus from the natural environment to imaginary opinions. Amrita Shergill managed to synchronize Indian style with the Western techniques of painting.


Amrita Shergill’s works have been acknowledged as National Art Treasures by the Government of India. A large number of her paintings beautify the ‘National Gallery of Modern Art’ in New Delhi.

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Jiaur Rahman

Monday, May 18th, 2009 | Author:

Jiaur Rahman is one the most renowned artists of contemporary times in India. He was born in 1979 in West Bengal and graduated with the degree of Bachelors of Visual Arts from Government College of Art and Craft in Kolkata in 2003.


Jiaur Rahman instills his works with an impulsive attitude. He perceives everything as an image of nature. He shows relationships in a vibrant way with vivacious colours. Rahman is extremely fond of using water colours. One of his recent paintings titled friendship is a perfect example of his skill and talent.


The Telegraph stated, “His paintings are enveloped in a misty film, creating a strange magical effect and the grimy familiar everyday world is suddenly elevated to a beautiful, romantic plane. Rahman’s youthful exuberance and his wide-eyed optimism reflect in his paintings”


The main aspects of Rahman’s paintings which distinguish it from others, is the fact that his paintings have the capability to grasp the feel of the place depicted. Another interesting fact is that Rahman uses just a single colour as the base and several tints and shades of the same colour to complete the artwork.


One factor that amazes every art admirer is his portrayal of red flowers which look real and unreal at the same time which Rahman admits that he first created them accidentally but their lifelike look inclined him to use them in his other paintings also.


Rahman has an excellent sense of art compositions. His paintings depict his love for the rains and monsoons and portray how human activities become extremely beautiful in the presence of the rains.


Jiaur Rahman has won some prestigious awards like the Nokia Asia Pacific International Arts Award (National), New Delhi, 2001, the Camlin Art Foundation Award, Kolkata, 2002, College Award ( Govt. College of Art & Craft, Kolkata), 2002, the UN 50 (United Nation) Award, 1995, NDC Awards (National Drawing Competition), New Delhi, 1996-97. At such a young age, Jiaur Rahman has received recognition and appreciation for excellence in art and creativity, and has achieved respect and pride for our country on an international level.