5 CONTEMPORARY INDIAN ARTISTS

ORIGIN AND DEVELOPMENT OF BENGAL SCHOOL OF PAINTING

The Bengal school of painting came into existence in the beginning of the 20th century A.D. when owing to nationalistic movements, the Indian painters and artists, against the activities of the British Art Academy, not only raised their voice but also started separating themselves following blindly the lifeless style of Western Realism. then, in place of that, the Indian prosperous tradition and values were started re-seen honourably.

In that time of distress, came into light some such famous artists who fearlessly gave the art movement a new direction, together with establishing their efforts by new standards of creative art and glorified the Tradition of Indian Art. the leaders of this tradition were- Raja Ravi Verma, Abanindranth Tagore, Gaganendranath Tagore, Rabindranath Tagore, Nandlal Bose and Jamini Roy.

In this endeavour Prof. E.B. Havell, Principal of Government Art School. Kolkata, co-operated with them. Havell was not in favour of the tradition of copying the European painting. therefore in 1904, he got specimens of European painting and the Western relics removed from the art gallery of the school, replaced them with paintings that represented Indian life and ideal of Ajanta, Bagh, Elora, the Mughal and the Rajput which encouraged Indian art.

M.A.R. CHUGHTAI (1897–1975)

He was a painter and intellectual from Pakistan, who created his own unique, distinctive painting style influenced by Mughal art, miniature painting, Art Nouveau and Islamic Art traditions. he is considered “the first significant modern muslim artist from south Asia”, and the National Artist of Pakistan. his subject matter was drawn from the legends, folklore and history of the Indo-Islamic world, as well as Punjab, Persia and the world of the Mughals.

Artist and gallery owner Salima Hashmi deems Chughtai one of South Asia’s foremost painters. “he was part of the movement that started in the early part of the 20th century to establish an identity indigenous to the subcontinent” she said. “he rejected the hegemony of the British Council aesthetic”

He produced about 2000 water colour painting, about a 1000 pencil colour sketches and about 300 etchings. his work even inspired Pablo Picasso.

NOTABLE WORKS:

Radhika

Holi

Dream

Son of Warrior

NANDLAL BOSE (3 December 1882–16 April 1966)

He was one of the pioneers of modern Indian Art and a key figure of Contextual Modernism. Nandlal Bose was a pupil pf Abanindranth Tagore and was known for his “Indian Style” of painting. he became the principal of Kala Bhavan, Santiniketan in 1922. he was influenced by the Tagore family and the Murals of Ajanta. his classic works include paintings of scenes from Indian mythologies, women and the village life.

Many critics and curators consider his paintings among India”s most important modern paintings. in 1976, the Archaeological Survey of India, Department of Culture, Government of India declared his works among the “nine artists” whose work, “not being antiquities”, were to be henceforth considered “to be art treasures, having regard to their artistic and aesthetic value”.

Nandlal Bose occupies a place in the history of Modern Indian Art that combines those of Raphael and Durer in the history of the Renaissance.

NOTABLE WORKS:

Gandhi March ( Bapuji )

Women Committing Sati

Shiva Drinking Poison

KSHITINDRANATH MAJUMDAR (1891–1975)

Born in West Bengal he studied till middle school in his village there, after which he joined the Government School of Art in Kolkata in 1905, he was an art teacher and then the principal of the Indian Society of Oriental Art in Kolkata, and later from 1942–1964, he held the same position in a Allahabad University.

Most of his paintings and drawings were related to mythological and religious subjects. he was greatly influenced by Sri Chaitanya’s Vaisnavism, as well as Abanindranth Tagore. during his lifetime, Majumdar received several awards and honours including a honorary doctoral degree from Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata, and a Merit Award from the Bengal Congress Committee in 1963. one of his student was Nirode Mazumdar, a renowned Bengali artist and novelist.

NOTABLE WORKS:

Rasa Lila

The Advent of Spring

Gita Govinda

Chaitanya

JAMINI ROY (24 April 1972 — Present)

he was one of the most famous pupils of Abanindranth Tagore, whose artistic originality and contribution to the mergence of modern art in India remains unquestionable. He was honoured with the State award of Padma Bhushan in 1955. he didn’t wanted to drew inspiration from the Western Culture or the Bengal School so he looked into the folk and tribal art. his new style was a reaction against the Bengal School and Western Tradition. his underlying quest was threefold: to capture the essence of simplicity embodied in the life of the folk people; to make art accessible to a wider section of people; and to give Indian Art its own identity.

NOTABLE WORKS

Mother and Child

Cat and The Lobster

Handmaiden

The Black Horse

N.S. BENDRE (21 August 1910–19 February 1992)

Bendre was born at Indore. In 1910, he took admission to the Holkar College, Indore and in 1993, he passed his B.A. examination from Agra University. In 1934, he passed his Diploma in Painting from the State School of Art, Indore. from 1936 to 1939 he worked as a painter and journalist for the government of Kashmir. In 1945 he went to Shantiniketan and worked with Nandlal Bose, Ramkinkar Baij and Binod Bihari. despite such an exceptional career he worked for the underprivileged people whenever possible. In 1955, Bendre received the National Award from the Lalit Kala Akademi for his work, Thorn. in 1969, h received the Padma Shri award and in 1992, he received the Padma Bhushan award.

He is well known as the supreme landscapist, a composer and a master of colours. he was immensely influenced by miniature painting. he visited the United States, England, France and Belgium in 1947–1948. it was during the visit that he studied and imbibed modern art. using this western influence he created a niche for himself in the field of art by innovating a style all his own.

NOTABLE WORKS

Untitled (Woman with Ganesha)

Untitled (Mother and Child)

Untitled Lanscape 1980

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