Between the Lines: Identity, Place, and Power
Between the Lines: Identity, Place, and Power Selections From The Waswo X. Waswo Collection of Indian PrintMaking
Lina Vincent Sunish
S e r i n d i a CONTEM P ORARY, C h i c a g o
Back cover (clockwise): Works by Haren Das (page 57), Kurma Nadham (page 106), Ramendranath Chakravorty (page 27), and Krishna Reddy (frontispiece and page 104). First published in 2012 by Serindia Contemporary, an imprint of Serindia Publications. In conjunction with an exhibition Between the Lines: Identity, Place, and Power in 2012 at the National Gallery of Modern Art, Bangalore. ÂŠ Copyright 2012 Serindia Publications, Waswo X. Waswo, the author, and image holders. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored, placed in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without prior permissions in writing from the publishers. ISBN 978-1932476-64-4 Printed in China Serindia Publications, Inc. PO Box 10335 Chicago, Illinois 60610 www.serindia.com National Gallery of Modern Art 49, Manikyavelu Mansion, Palace Road Bengaluru â€“ 560 052 www.ngmaindia.gov.in
CONTENTS 7 Preface 9 “Well-Come” Jyoti Bhatt 10 Between the Lines 14 Identity 54 Place 102 Power 136 A Small Collection 124 Artist Index
PREFACE As the Director of the National Gallery of Modern Art, I am proud to host Between the Lines: Identity, Place, and Power with loans from the vast and magnificent collection of Mr. Waswo. This collection charts the trajectory of Indian printmaking not only in the history of its time, but also invites viewers to explore the contexts and significance of the works presented in it. Such an approach has always been lauded and supported by the NGMA, and by showcasing these works of printmakers including old masters like Mukul Dey to contemporary artists like Rajan Fulari, we are encouraging our viewers to engage with the art from a more contemplative and conscious perspective—something that we as a national institution have always endeavoured to achieve.
I appreciate the thoroughness and enthusiasm with which this project was conceived and realized, and I wish to congratulate all those who were involved in its progress and completion. In particular, I would like to thank Mr. Waswo and Ms. Lina Vincent Sunish for the painstaking effort and hours that they have put into this project. I congratulate the staff of the National Gallery for their efforts and keenly welcome our viewers to enjoy some of the most seminal works of Indian art our country has to offer. Professor Rajeev Lochan Director National Gallery of Modern Art
Printmaking has always been a trusted medium of the Indian artist, but it has often been marginalized by patrons and the public in favour of more accessible techniques like painting. However, it is this alternative nature of the medium which has enabled its artists to control ex verbatim its inherent thematic dialogue of identity, place and power which finds confluence in all streams of artistic generations. Abandoning the throes of a historical narrative, Lina Vincent Sunish—who is not only the curator of this exhibition and the author of this volume, but also a printmaker herself—gives both the mainstream public and seasoned connoisseurs of art the opportunity to appreciate the variety, candour and sensuality of a medium as ostensibly modest as this. Building upon the novelty and characteristically rhetorical nature of the medium of printmaking, she approaches the diverse collection in an innovative fashion, building relationships and themes that are revealed between the lines. Perhaps, it is with this resolute aim in mind that we can hope printmaking will at last get the due credit that it deserves in the history of modern Indian art.
Mother and Child, Jyoti Bhatt, linocut, 32 x 37 cm, 1961.
“Well-Come” Jyoti Bhatt
I remember an etching print of mine made over the year of 1965 that was composed of several units. One of those units had three small images; one depicted the skull-like face of a Shaivite Brahmin, and another box-like enclosure contained the words “Well-Come” written in English (and also its equivalent in Gujarati). The words “Well-Come” are of course a (mis)spelling of the English word “Welcome” that is seen adorning the entrances to homes, restaurants and guesthouses all over India. The box in the etching below these words depicted a wounded person. I do not know why I had used these words and images. It may sound far-fetched but as I look at this print today these images, nightmare-like, make me wonder if they predicted the struggles to be encountered by printmakers in India. As a potential medium for expression printmaking has been accepted and explored by artists in this country for about one hundred years. But this medium has still not been given the place it rightfully deserves—either in public or in private collections. Forget for a moment the lay persons. There are many art collectors and even artists who do not (or will not) see or understand the difference between an original print and a photo-mechanical reproduction. Due to such frustration many printmakers are now giving preference to painting, and some have even given up on printing. Kabir, the saint poet had sung: I’m the Gardener, I’m the Garden and I’m the one who plucks the buds (Aap hi Maali, Aap Bagicha, Aap hi Kaliyan Todata). By and large, this applies to India’s printmakers also. We could say: we are the printmakers, we are our prints, and we enjoy collecting our prints too!
artist himself and has gone through the actual experience of making prints, serigraphic as well as photographic ones. This gives an edge to his collection. He has been sharing this with art lovers all over the world via his writings and blog. Now he is sharing with us through this book. Viewers get an exclusive opportunity when viewing original prints that are displayed in art galleries. But only a number of people manage to go to these (between certain times and dates) and the viewership is not large. However, a book like this can be seen and read by a very large number of people at anywhere and at any time. This book provides us an opportunity of seeing excellent prints from Mr. Waswo’s collection. It has an essay written by Ms. Lina Vincent Sunish that enlightens its readers about the artists, their sociocultural environments, working conditions and other information related to the artists and the themes or contents these artists have chosen to depict. Both of the writers of this book seem to have followed the teaching of Mahatma Gandhi in one sense. Gandhiji practiced what he also suggested other writers do, that is, to use simple language regardless of the profundity of the subject. I am certain the readers of these texts, written in straight and honest style, will have an enhanced experience and joy in the viewing of not only these prints but also others they will come across in the future.
However, the situation is not so bleak.
Maybe the etching I referred to at the beginning of this introduction represents my own heartfelt connection to that large percentage of Indians trying to take interest in art, but who cannot make out the difference between ‘Well-Come” and “Welcome”. I am sure no matter what the background of the readers of this book they will enjoy reading it as much as viewing the prints.
Other than the printmakers themselves, there are connoisseurs who have been collecting original prints also. Mr. Waswo is one among them. He is an
Jyoti Bhatt, Vadodara, 2012 9
Between the Lines: Identity, Place, and Power
Two prints, two mediums, and a separation in time of nearly one hundred years…
Left: Villagers of Selaidah Visiting Rabindranath Tagore, Mukul Dey, hand-coloured drypoint, 10 x 10 cm, 1916. Right: Desires and Hopes, Jagadeesh Tammineni, woodcut, 198 x 102 cm, 2009. 10 Between the Lines
Villagers of Selaidah visiting Rabindranath Tagore is a dry-point made in 1916 by the Bengali artist Mukul Dey (1895-1989); Desires and Hopes is a woodcut made in 2010 by a young artist from south India named Jagadeesh Tammineni (b. 1988). The two works are symbolic of the wide spectrum of time, of generations, of consciousness and creative endevor that find place in the Waswo X. Waswo Collection of Indian Printmaking. The collection spans a physical calendar of over ninety years; a period considered the general time frame printmaking has existed in India as a fine art and a medium for artistic expression. A century is an extensive amount of time against which to study the history of any subject. In the case of the Indian subcontinent, transformations have been enormous: the fight for liberty and its realisation, partition, wars with neighbouring states, and furthermore, the steady growth of the country as a secular republic with political, social, economic and technological advances. All these changed the collective identity of the nation, and the prospects of each of its citizens. The role of a collection like this is significant—it becomes an umbrella under which to evaluate the plurality of Indian artistic experience while seeking to engage with individual achievements; it creates a framework in which there is freedom to move back and forth within history, reapplying old theories on new work and vice versa; most importantly, it generates connections of thought between artists disparate in time and space, and makes them visible to a viewer in the context of an exhibition. So works that have been created under varied conditions—by men and women of diverse language, skills, beliefs, economic and geographic backgrounds; people who count themselves part of successive episodes in our collective history—stand together and voice both common and dissimilar concerns. While bringing together works of several generations of artists, the collection does not claim to be a comprehensive overview of the history of Indian printmaking. Neither is it a democratic selection representative of the whole. It is a grouping reflective of personal taste and passion for the medium, which lends the collection a certain synchrony of thought and a rhythm of content and visualality—something that may or may not indicate the collector’s own perceptions as an artist. Just as variegated topography viewed from an aerial
viewpoint is easy to assimilate, but at ground level one has to find through it an appropriate trail, similarly in the landscape of Indian printmaking the collection is a specific pathway, with milestones and bridges that connect to the whole, but do not define its every attribute. The wide compass of experience the seventy-nine artists share among them makes the task of building relationships between the works a complex one, particularly when the natural mode of segregation that comes from chronology is rejected. There are certain obvious connections—they are all Indian nationals, and they are all artists—the word ‘artists’ here is used over the term ‘printmakers’ because we are talking about those who have practiced full-time as well as occasional printmaking. What has it meant to be an Indian national and an artist over this century that the collection embraces? The year 1947, one of remarkable importance, divides our collective history into ‘before independence’ and ‘after independence’ scenarios. The period of colonial rule, its discontinuation and aftermath, had a deep impact on the social psyche of the nation; the effects were seen in every aspect of cultural production, including the arts. In the immediate years around independence the struggle to express cultural specificity, to keep it, nurture it, and show it to the world became part of the internal and external structures of visual imagery. The idea of establishing a strong identity was central to the artist’s pursuits, and took shape in various ways and under a range of influences. In the 50s and 60s, when the idea of building a distinctly ‘Indian’ modernism in art became the prominent feature, there was a new wave of exploration that fought the older notions and references of national identity. There was also a diversifying of the regions from which this expression of identity arose. The 70s and 80s were decades that forwarded a new liberalism, urbanism and economic growth that powered internationalism. Notions of individuality and the subjective experience of a transforming India became the language of these times, particularly noticeable in the vocabulary of female artists.
Between the Lines 11
The last two decades of the century heralded an enormous recognition of Indian artists in the global arena. Information technology took a giant leap while distances were minimised in virtual space; new mediums for creating art, and a variety of new platforms to exhibit it, gave artists an impetus to break conventions. However, the moment art is produced for a foreign audience, or is taken out of its local settings and positioned in a global one, the negotiation with the projection of an identity (national, cultural, individual) once again comes to the fore. Art history has tried its best to keep up with the theorising of practices modifying at a rapid pace, and the recent market downturn allowed a much needed space for Indian art to take a long, hard look at itself. Among the many issues that preoccupy the theorising of modern, post-modern and contemporary Indian art is the artists’ perpetual negotiation between past and present, traditional and modern, folk and ‘fine’, rural and urban, local and global, and several other elements that seem like polarities but are a united part of the Indian socio-cultural ethos. India is geographically, culturally and ethnically diverse. This diversity itself prevents a homogenous projection of identity, and yet, it (the heterogeneity) becomes the recognising factor in art that is produced here. Discussions of place and power are directly and intrinsically linked to the concept of identity. Ideas of belonging, ownership, occupation, migration, dislocation, notions of self and the other, contestation for space; integral hierarchies of the dominant and subservient, mainstream and alternative, privileged and deprived; force, violence, and oppression; pride, shame, guilt, longing; race, gender equations, freedom and confinement—the list can be multiplied manifold and each notion overlaps another in a porous way, so it is difficult to disconnect one from the other in a social situation. The thematic distribution of works according to the interconnected concepts of Identity, Place, and Power originates from the desire to take advantage of the time span the collection represents, and the interim histories that directly and indirectly played a part in the creation of the works. These concepts have been used as filters to view certain relationships and trajectories of thought; not strictly in relation to specific events, but as aspects of expression adopted and personalised by artists. The narrative takes a parallel approach, moving between an exploration 12 Between the Lines
of the formal imagery of a selection of the works and the historical contexts surrounding their creation. The initiation and development of printmaking in India is itself an interesting story, and has played a role in the creation and circulation of a nationalist identity; and as one of the mediums used by artists, has kept its place in the overall picture of Indian art practice. The medium, being associated with outdated modes of production, and with the idea of multiple editions, has sometimes faced criticism as well as discrimination—which a book and exhibition like this might serve to dispel. The other operating structures that enter into the dialogue are the history of institutions and the quality of art pedagogy in India that in many ways lays the foundation for future art practices and acts as a system of passing down the inheritance of ideas and legacy of masters; the regular shift of artistic centres to places with newer and more powerful ways of upholding an artistic culture; the art market that has in the last two decades grown into a position to support and also demand from artists and which has changed the dynamics of art production/consumption in India. There are works in the collection that are absolute representations of the artists’ personal styles; there are also works that are incidental and experimental. The artists themselves come with diverse personal histories, some interconnected by a student-teacher relationship, others by the fact of being from the same city or institution, and yet others by working at the same printmaking studio. In the chequered matrix of their combined works, there are countless expressions waiting to be discovered. Visually and conceptually, reading between the lines is important and rewarding because you learn things not apparent at first glance. In a country where the visual culture thrives on symbolism and suggestion, between the lines makes good sense.
Detail: Desires and Hopes, Jagadeesh Tammineni, woodcut, 198 x 102 cm, 2009. IDENTITY 13
IDENTITY PLACE POWER
The experience, construction and visualisation of Identity—of the self and of others.
Untitled, Laxma Goud, etching, 28 x 52 cm, 1974.
14 Between the Lines
There is something compelling about the establishment of an identity through visual means. With artists it seems almost a ritual; in some an obsession. Art becomes a channel through which fragments of identity—elements reflective of internal and external conditioning of the being—are revealed, explored and juxtaposed. Sometimes the concerned identity is not the artist’s own, but that of another—and here the difference and similarity to the self become standards for evaluation. Ideals of beauty and perfection, templates for the representation of the masculine and feminine, race, sexuality, religion, culture and several other social categorisations enter into and thrive in the problematic known as identity.
The feminine body has been much represented in Indian art— classical, folk and popular. The roles bestowed on the woman have mirrored, to a great extent, her role in the larger social context. Anupam Sud’s Guns and Roses (p 18), Kanchan Chander’s The Ephemeral Beauty and Moutushi’s She (p 45), three individualistic depictions of womanhood, when seen together appear consciously different from the prototypes of Indian feminine identity in bygone eras that were produced by men— the ample full-bodied sculpted figures inspired by classical art; the anatomically perfect and schooled realistic depictions of the colonial style adopted by Ravi Varma; the romanticised symbol of womanhood and nationhood of the Bengal school, epitomised in Abanindranath Tagore’s Bharath Mata; and the active, domestic householder of the socially transformative period after independence—each of which had a relevance to the cultural dynamics of the time. The Epehmeral Beauty, Kanchan Chander, etching, 17 x 14 cm, 1979.
Incarnation of Tolerance, Kanchan Chander, etching, 17 x 13 cm, 1976.
Anupam Sud’s strong and contemplative female nude in Guns and Roses, built up in texture, tonality and mass, appears oblivious of the subsidiary clothed figure in the scene and the viewers outside the frame. Her identity is unknown to us, as is the place she sits. The positioning of the two arches, with the strategic placement of a bush of flowers in one and a gun-bearing individual in the other, creates a narrative open to interpretation. During the five decades of her practice Sud has expressed a lasting interest in the human body, particularly the female form. Divested of clothes and ornamentation and placed before ambiguous backdrops, they are bodies isolated from marks of social structuring; yet her work speaks about the relationships of beings... with themselves, with each other and with their surroundings. The female figures become sites of larger social debates about patriarchy and gender politics; expectations and freedoms. The head of the department for Printmaking at the Government College of Art in Delhi from 1978 to 2003, Sud learnt printmaking under stalwarts like Somnath Hore and Jagmohan Chopra. The 60s and 70s, when her practice was growing, was also a time when the Indian polity was consolidating its position: Indira Gandhi, the first woman Prime Minister in India, controlled the office from 1966 to 1977, and later again in the early 80s, perhaps becoming a symbol of the overall empowerment of women. The wars with China (1962) and Pakistan (1965) created a situation of shortage, and items such as printmaking materials were hard to come by. This was also a time when there was no market to determine the standards of art as a commodity. Artists were an impoverished lot, but they had the freedom to experiment at will, and in consequence, it was a time when the expressive qualities of printmaking were explored widely. Sud developed a system of using collagraphy, and after benefiting from a scholarship abroad she began working with etchings. In a scenario where nudity was taboo as a result of a residue of Victorian prudery, she introduced a bold new way of encountering the body and communicating social realities through its depiction, setting a benchmark in printmaking as well as women’s expression. Following a trajectory of feminist expression already becoming popular among women artists in India, Kanchan Chander, also an alumnus of the Government Art College Delhi, began explorations with the female form. At first these
16 Between the Lines
were delicate, spontaneous impressions of figures symbolic of eternal energies associated with the feminine; later she experimented with strong torsos and widened the investigation of the feminine to include heroines she reveres. The Ephemeral Beauty (p 15) and Incarnation of Tolerance (p 16) are from her early period, works that typify a certain inward gaze, a withdrawal from the outer sphere. Flowers make an appearance in both. In the former the woman’s hand loosely clutches two stocks, one dying and the other fresh, seemingly denoting the ephemeral quality of beauty. The woman’s breasts sag and her body appears out of shape. In the latter, the single bloom assumes the essence of purity against the darker tones of the background.
Above: The Blessed, Gogi Saroj Pal, etching, 32 x 24 cm, 1983. Above, Right: Virginal Celebrations, Moutushi, etching, 33 x 55 cm, 2008.
Moutushi, like Sud and Chander before her, uses the female body as a site for the representation of personal and social dialogue, rather than as an investigation of a sexual self. The figure in She represents the artist’s self, comfortable in its stance and yet turned away, disconnecting the viewer’s gaze from her thoughts and from her frontal nudity. Issues of gender bias, marriage, motherhood, and notions of public and private turn Moutushi’s practice into a space for commentary, a visual diary in which to vent her innermost anxieties. Her references come from her contemporary urban situation as well as IDENTITY 17
her roots; she reinforces the femininity of the print space with the use of other motifs communicating female preoccupations, like that of the block print design, or the traditional motifs that surround the plate bearing the girl’s feet in Virginal Celebrations (p 17). Chander’s current practice also involves a similar device, the building up of her surfaces with sequins, beads and silver foil embellishment. The work of these three artists is representative of a particular continuity in the language of female artists; however, this articulation of identity took on varied forms. A contemporary of Anupam Sud, Gogi Saroj Pal’s oeuvre embraced figuration, with a centrality given to the female figure. Her work of
Above: Cards, Bhupen Khakhar, etching, 16 x 16 cm, 2003. Right: Guns and Roses, Anupam Sud, etching, 15 x 15 cm, 2006.
18 Between the Lines
the 80s was mainly autobiographical and presented her personal experiences as a woman. In The Blessed (p 17) made in 1983, Pal creates a scene which combines the real with the imaginary and spiritual. The figure of a woman/ saint/mother lays a slender hand over the head of another, curled at her lap. The image conveys an integral and internal acceptance of the feminine ability to nurture and heal. Formally, the dark tones of aquatint contrast with the pale burin’d areas to produce an element of otherworldliness.
The evolving nature of Indian society and its equally evolving art practices have meant that there is a constant reconstruction of identity, both female and male. There are approximately thirteen female artists among the close to eighty artists in the collection—this is not due to the collector’s overlooking or bias, but is a reality of the ratio of men and women in the Indian art world; this ratio has only been changing in the recent decade. There is the male idea of masculinity and the feminine idea of femininity, and the cross-over of the two pairings, all of which are relevant and visible in this section of works.
Mask, S. Chandramohan, woodcut and etching, 88 x 60 cm, 2006.
In the Indian context men have been used to figuring in dominant roles which are cast in society and reflected in their art. Printmaking is a field that has historically required some physical labour—be it woodcut, etching or lithography —which made it a man’s domain. In the Bengal of the 20s and 30s the idea of approaching printmaking as a professional art, as opposed to industrial and commercial printing, was a novel one. Identifying with printmaking in a visual form gave it relevance, recognition and also dignity. Perhaps this is what induced both Chittaprosad Bhattacharya and Ramendranath Chakravorty to create works that proclaimed their occupation (p 20, 27). Several decades down the line, the young artist Prabhakar Alok creates a similar image (p 26), but an image weighed down with other concerns. The artist, standing facing a printing press, has a stance that is serious, intense, as though at an impasse in his art and life. The image impresses the idea of masculinity on the viewer’s mind, the heavy metallic machine becoming an extension of his maleness.
20 Between the Lines
The extension of masculinity to embrace sexuality, and more specifically, sexual prowess and dominance, can be noticed in male figuration in Indian art from the 50’s onwards. Parallel to the gradual empowerment of women (and possibly because of it ), and with the broadening horizons of visual expression and the acceptability of new artistic creations, male artists began to explore subjects that in the past would have been considered bad taste. Laxma Goud, an artist originally from Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh, who did his Master’s program in the Faculty of Fine Arts in Baroda, burst onto the Indian art scene as a bold printmaker, choosing to present explicitly erotic and sexually charged drawings, manipulating the medium to generate the utmost sharpness of form. He used a language that was connected to traditional visual forms of his native Nizampur, narrating raw experience; the coming of age in a changing society. In an untitled etching (p 14) from 1994 he equates male identity with a rearing, almost horrific libido, which is symbolised by a wild creature with multiple gruesome heads charging at a female form that symbolises nature and all that is harmonious. Yet the women in his works are also powerful: in their luring attractiveness and in their sexual freedom, as seen in other untitled works within the collection. Having taken up a teaching job at the College of Fine Arts at JNTU, Hyderabad, he has trained and taught several generations of artists in the finer aspects of printmaking, particularly a deep variety of etching that he has mastered.
Above: Untitled, Bhupen Khakhar, etching, 28 x 18 cm. Opposite Page: Untitled self portrait, Chittaprosad Bhattacharya, linocut, 21 x 26 cm.
The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda (Vadodara), referred to as M.S. University, has right from its inception been a centre for some of the most experimental modernist practices in India. Originally established in 1881, it became a university in 1949 and was renamed after its patron Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III, the former ruler of Baroda State. The Faculty of Fine Arts at the university was founded in 1950 under the liberal Vice-chancellorship of Hansa Mehta. She was supported by Prof. Markand C. Bhatt who was instrumental in designing and introducing innovative curriculums, and encouraging the involvement of leading persons in the Indian art scenario of the time. These included K.K. Hebbar, V.P. Karmarkar, the eminent Indologist Hermann Goetz, N.S. Bendre, Pradosh Dasgupta, Sankho Chaudhuri and K. G. Subramanyan among others. This generated an environment conducive to creative practice IDENTITY 21
and later gave rise to what is known as the “Baroda school” of Indian art, which has a particular brand of aesthetics and imagery. In the mid 50s, a group of N.S. Bendre’s students got together in an exhibition; dubbed “Baroda Group” by Bendre, the set included Shanti Dave, G.R. Santosh, Triloke Kaul, Jyoti Bhatt, Ratan Parimoo, Himmat Shah, Ghulammohammed Sheikh and others, and they held a few shows between 1956 and 59, never later formally concluding the group’s activities. From then onwards numerous artists contributed to making the university at Baroda a centre of thriving artistic activity; these included Nasreen Mohamedi, Bhupen Khakhar, Jeram Patel and many others. The printmaking department in the art school flourished, with artists of every department involving themselves in printmaking at regular intervals. This really brought to fore printmakers like Jyoti Bhatt, K.G. Subramanyan, Rini Dhumal, Shanti Dave, Laxma Goud and many others who successively studied and also taught at the institution. The atmosphere at the Faculty of Fine Arts was one of open interaction coupled with intellectual discourse. An engagement with European and American art movements as well as folk and popular Indian culture was preferred to the lingering post-colonial academic influences. Narrative figuration, coming out of a humanistic social approach, became one of the mainstays of the Baroda school. Bhupen Khakhar was one of the frontrunners in the making of an Indian modern, whose brutal honesty in art cut through the complex history of choosing between nationalism and internationalism. A self taught artist who took to art late in life, Khakhar moved to Baroda from Bombay to pursue a course in art criticism at MSU. He was the first Indian artist to openly announce his gay identity, using his paintings, drawings and prints to share his experiences—many of them fairly unambiguous as in the collection’s small untitled etching (not reproduced). The rest of Khakhar’s work was largely concerned with everyday life and mundane observations expressively made—a shopkeeper selling his wares (p 21), customers at a jalebi stall (p 81), or happenings at a house party.
22 Between the Lines
The use of nudity by artists often makes them vulnerable to attacks by religious and political fundamentalists. Srilamantula Chandramohan, a young artist from Hyderabad studying at MSU, experienced the brunt of such an attack when his graduating year display was attacked because of references to nudity and religiosity together. The print Mask (p 19) by this artist is a powerful rendition of his self, a large surface worked with the combined techniques of woodcut and etching. Perhaps inspired both by Goud and Khakhar, Chandramohan bares his sexual self to the audience. MSU has by and large remained one of the most sought after faculties of fine arts in India, and along with Santiniketan almost treated as an artistic pilgrimage site by students from big and small towns alike. The Chandramohan controversy (2007) created a serious rift in the system from which it is slowly recovering owing to the continued efforts of a host of artists resident in Baroda. One of the pillars of MSU, Jyoti Bhatt—printmaker, photographer and painter—stands out in Indian art history for his development of a visual language that seamlessly united his understanding of the rural and urban, Western and Indian, the folk and fine, figuration and abstraction. Inspired by the philosophies of K.G. Subramanyan in the early days, Bhatt began documenting disappearing visual culture around Gujarat. His stints in Italy and the USA allowed him to absorb and assimilate elements of contemporary Western movements like Cubism and Fauvism. His Self Portrait (p 25) is a good example of the way geometries, patterns, flora, fauna, textures, lines, scripts and motifs make up his world of expression; the religious demarcation of a Brahmin on the forehead of the prone dog the only direct marker of the artist’s self. Bhatt continues to explore identities through his versatile practice, particularly experimental printmaking. A contemporary of Jyoti Bhatt, Shanti Dave is an artist who combined elements of popular culture and decorative art with motifs and symbols from religious imagery to create a wholly indigenous identity through his multicoloured woodcuts as seen in Woodcut 21 (p 24). His interest in printmaking was also driven by the desire to make his works available to a larger public, something that pushed Bhatt to multiples as well.
Untitled, Shibu Natesan, linocut, 36 x 33 cm. IDENTITY 23
The dynamics of identity change with the sharing of space with another—of including or excluding another being; definitions of the other also define the scope and expectations of the self. Ideas of similarity and difference are present in a host of diversifying notions such as male and female, dominant and subservient, poor and wealthy, fair and dark; and these notions bring about the conceptualisation of otherness. Another dimension of otherness can be seen when imagination, fiction and fantasy become a means to explore the idea of otherness in different contexts, of adding attributes that do not exist in reality, and of visualising situations that are an escape for the self. Vijay Bagodi’s coloured woodcut Adolescence (p 25) pictures a young girl, a deer and a brawny male—the threesome communicating an unclear narrative. The man’s hand rests on his face, as if just slapped. The girl, fair skinned compared to the blue complexion of the male, appears unresponsive to the other characters in the claustrophobic scene. Bagodi portrays each playing a role highlighting the otherness in the next character. In Preeti Agrawal’s untitled work (p 52), a woodcut made in ambitious scale, the apparent difference between the artist’s self and her partner in the image appear dissolved by the happy sharing of the costume. Bagodi has been a teacher at the department of printmaking, MSU, and Agrawal pursued a Master’s course there in the same faculty. The protagonists in T. Sudhakar Reddy’s etchings Moving Forward (p 43) and Look Before You Leap (p 44) embody a kind of feminine otherness envisioned by the artist. They appear in suspended animation: gestures unnatural and bodies hidden under swathes of material. The artist seems to posit a sense of isolation on the figures, and they remain almost frozen within the ambiguous spaces they inhabit. Reddy has taught at the department of Fine Arts, Andhra University, Vishakhapatnam for the last twenty-five years and has been spearheading a strong movement towards printmaking, as visible in the number of his students who are successfully practicing it.
24 Between the Lines
Woodcut 21, Shanti Dave, woodcut on paper pasted on cloth, 49 x 70 cm, 1977-1978.
Ajit Seal explores the complex relationships between animal and human forms in his works (p 42). A master of the lithographic process, Seal teaches at the department of printmaking in Kala Bhavan, Santiniketan. Through his mythical spaces and alien-like representations he transports the viewer to another world, one in which physical possibilities are expanded and time seems inconsequent. Rajan Fulari’s symbolic renderings conclude this discussion of identity. His etching Two Pages of a Book (p 49) is divided into two neat halves, both featuring a section of a human body. The most visible part of the body is an arm that ends in a hand clutching an object. One holds a flag, and the other clutches a dripping knife—two different forms of protest, one triangular form, and a world of difference.
Adolescence, Vijay Bagodi, woodcut, 64 x 42 cm.
Self-Portrait, Jyoti Bhatt, etching and stencil, 50 x 33 cm, 1970.
Left: Untitled, Prabhakar Alok, etching, 33 x 24 cm, 2010. Above: Blossom, Preeti Agrawal, woodcut, 39 x 31 cm.
26 Between the Lines
Taking a Colour Print, Ramendranath Chakravorty, etching, 18 x 14 cm, 1937. IDENTITY 27
An Apprenctice, Haren Das, wood engraving, 32 x 23 cm, 1986. With Her Property, Haren Das, wood engraving, 34 x 24 cm, 1985.
28â€ƒâ€ƒBetween the Lines
Untitled, Sudhir Khastgir, linocut, 17 x 11 cm, 1945. IDENTITY 29
The Curd Seller, B.B. Mukherjee, lithograph, 34 x 25 cm, 1971. 30 Between the Lines
Untitled, Sudhir Khastgir, linocut, 10 x 17 cm, 1943.
Three Act Play, Rekha Rodwittiya, etching, 45 x 49 cm, 1994. 32 Between the Lines
Temptation, Rini Dhumal, etching, 17 x 17 cm, 2009.
Untitled, KG Subramanyan, etching, 23 x 19 cm.
Left: A Santhal Girl “Fulki”, Mukul Dey, drypoint, 22 x 13 cm. Above: Getting Ready for the Meals, Mukul Dey, colour etching and drypoint, 26 x 36 cm.
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Dancing Apsara from Sittanavasal, Mukul Dey, etching, 26 x 26 cm, 1974. IDENTITY 35
Gandhi at the Feet of Gandhi Ji, Vijay Bagodi, etching and aquatint, 49 x 80 cm, 2009.
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Above: Atelier City Park #7, Jyoti Bhatt, etching and stencil, 25 x 25 cm, 1993. Right: Untitled, K.G. Subramanyan, lithograph and chine-collé, 51 x 35 cm, 2010.
Left: The Contestants, Anupam Sud, etching and aquatint, 32 x 23 cm, 1991. Above: Healthy Relationship, Anupam Sud, etching, 17 x 14 cm, 2007. Opposite Page: The Rose, Anupam Sud, screenprint, 38 x 46 cm, 1986.
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Untitled, Shaik Azghar Ali, drypoint, 17 x 12 cm, 2009.
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Untitled, Shaik Azghar Ali, drypoint, 17 x 13 cm, 2009.
Untitled, Laxma Goud, etching, 10 x 9 cm. IDENTITY 41
Left: Untitled, Ajit Seal, lithograph, 50 x 39 cm, 2009. Above: Kurone, Ajit Seal, etching, 24 x 19 cm, 2007.
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Moving Forward, Sudhakar Reddy, aquatint, 24 x 20 cm, 1990. IDENTITY 43
U and I, Sushanta Guha, etching, 22 x 30 cm, 2004.
Look Before You Leap, Sudhakar Reddy, aquatint, 25 x 20 cm, 1990.
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She, Moutushi, etching, 35 x 35 cm, 2001. IDENTITY 45
Untitled, Devraj Dakoji, etching, 50 x 50 cm, 1990. 46 Between the Lines
Dreamers, Sanat Kar, etching, 28 x 50 cm, 1969.
Monument for Peace, Rajan Fulari, etching, 40 x 84 cm, 2005.
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Above: Two Pages of a Book, Rajan Fulari, etching, 17 x 26 cm, 2002. Right: Matter of Being Right Hearted, Rajan Fulari, etching, 30 x 22 cm, 2003. IDENTITY 49
Above: Watchman, Somnath Adamane, woodcut, 121 x 60 cm. Left: My Sister, S. Karuna, woodcut, 100 x 72 cm, 2006.
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Above: Cat, Tanujaa Rane, etching, 37 x 54 cm, 2001. Right: The Signature, Chiman Dangi, woodcut, 43 x 25 cm, 2004.
Left: Untitled, Preeti Agrawal, woodcut, 105 x 55 cm, 2011. Above: Untitled, Laxma Goud, etching, 10 x 10 cm.
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Untitled, Zakkir Hussain, linocut, 50 x 38 cm, 1996. IDENTITY 53
IDENTITY PLACE POWER
The physical and psychological exploration of Place as associated with the ever-expanding notions of belonging—to home, village, city, nation, world, universe, cosmos.
Husking Rice, Ramendranath Chakravorty, woodcut, 15 x 20 cm, 1931. 54 Between the Lines
A place is an anchor, not only a piece of ground to bear one’s footprints but a fulcrum that manoeuvres all human relations connected to it; within and outside of its boundaries—both defined and blurred. Artists mirror their environments, as much as they do their internal worlds. Place can be a marker of individual and collective identity, location and culture; even a metaphor for the body itself. The fine lines between observed reality, imagined reality and fantasy mingle as contextual changes bring about diverse interpretations of place.
Bengal is the place where it all began—the story of Indian printmaking, the inception of modern Indian art. A series of situations contributed to the productivity of that time, situations weighed down with tension and violence. There is one element that binds the artists Nandalal Bose, Benode Behari Mukherjee, Ramendranath Chakaravarty, Ramkinker Baij, Mukul Dey, Haren Das, Chittaprosad, Somnath Hore and others—that of belonging to Bengal, and the fact that they pictorially and conceptually navigated the meaning of this belonging. Calcutta (now Kolkata) was a port city developed by the British as its capital until 1911, after which the centre shifted to Delhi. India’s milieu over the nineteenth century was one of complex paradox and change; on the one hand there was a gradual absorption of British systems into a society already steeped in a strong local culture; on the other hand there was a steady growth of the nationalist movement, dissent towards the colonisers of the land, and the urge to reject everything concerned with them. In these circumstances artists were torn between following Western academic frameworks and indigenous visual languages. The Government College of Art and Craft, begun in 1854 in Calcutta, underwent a change in 1896 under the principalship of E.B. Havell, an Englishman sympathetic to Indian interests and cultural expression. Under the direction of Abanindranath Tagore, and with the encouragement of Havell and the next principal Percy Brown, a new Indian style of art was created, known as the Bengal school. This style was cultivated at Kala Bhavan, the art college established by Rabindranath Tagore (Abanindranath’s brother) in the
Arjun and Chitrangada, Ramendranath Chakravorty, woodcut, 23 x 23 cm, 1941.
idyllic locales of Santiniketan in 1919. As part of the larger Viswa Bharati (later Viswabharati University) and under the liberal and intellectual encouragement of the Tagores, it was the centre for immense exchange with cultural minds of both the east and west. Nandalal Bose was one of Abanindrath’s students, becoming head of Kala Bhavan in 1922. Bose absorbed the ideals of the Bengal School and looked to Indian classical art, folk art, and mythological literature for inspiration. In 1924 he travelled to the Far East and brought back Chinese rubbings and Japanese woodcut prints. It was a time when printmaking (etching, woodcut, engraving, PLACE 55
lithography) was being experimented with and its innate possibilities as a pictorial medium were being explored. Bose was fascinated by the landscape and local dwellers around Kala Bhavan, and naturally progressed from making sketches to reproducing them in spontaneous prints, both sensitive etchings and bold linocuts. He taught and inspired many students at Kala Bhavan where nature study was made part of the curriculum. The students in turn inspired others; it became a place of community learning, following loosely the traditional gurukula system of Indian instruction. Printmaking, a medium that naturally thrives in a collective due to the sharing of technology, was very popular. Students of Nandalal like B.B. Mukherjee and Ramendranath Chakravorty combined the investigation of personal styles with thorough experimentation of printmaking methods. The landscape and its people featured in many of their works. Turning to the land was an act of love, and a way of acknowledging belonging. Picturing local villagers, seemingly untouched by the transformations of colonialism and urbanism, was a way of reinforcing a feeling of nationhood at a time when the swadeshi movement was reaching its peak. It was the artists’ way of participating in the making of a visual ‘Indianness’.
Bathing in the Ganges, Ramendranath Chakravorty, drypoint, 26 x 18 cm, 1933.
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Ramendranath Chakravorty’s Husking Rice (p 54) is an example of how mundane subjects from real life engrossed him. The graphic quality of the image is reminiscent of Nandalal Bose’s linocuts. Chakravorty learnt wood engraving from Madame Andre Karpeles, a French artist and expert engraver who visited Santiniketan between 1921 and 1922. In the following year he had the opportunity to observe the making of colour woodcut prints from the demonstrations of the Mexican connoisseur Fryman. Chakravorty used his skill and intense observation to produce works that evoked the essence of a place—Bathing in Ganges is a dry-point print reflecting a scene where groups of people are taking a ritual dip in the holy waters of the river Ganga. The composition is simplified and yet there is great naturalness in the stances of the people, in the perspective of the architecture in the background and the evocation of light and shadow. Occasionally the artist would create works in the revivalist Bengal style, illustrating mythological subjects like Arjun and Chitrangada (p 55).
The Tagores were a socially and culturally active family, besides being wealthy enough to support public activities. They transformed the porch of their residence in Calcutta (Jorasanko) into a space to hold meetings for an arts group called the ‘Bichitra Club’ of which Mukul Chandra Dey was a close associate. Dey went to America in 1916 to learn etching techniques from James Slone, and in 1920 to England where he worked under Muirhead Bone. He became the first Indian principal of the Government College of Art and Craft in 1928, and remained there until 1943. Dey developed a passionate style of communicating through linear elements; the fluctuating intensities of thick and thin line in his dry-points creating meaning and emotion. As with the other artists of his time, there was a pride in the way he captured people—both folk and literati. There was a progressive notion of women in Bengali society, and Dey featured them in his works as strong personalities. Women in various active roles—working on building sites, sewing, fishing and taking active part in constructive everyday life—were part of Haren Das’s work; he carried forward his teacher Ramendranath Chakravorty’s legacy of using printmaking to explore aesthetic values, and treated it almost as a painterly space. A master of engraving, Das enjoyed capturing evocative pastoral scenes, vast land or seascapes, hardworking peasants and flora and fauna. Yet, he acknowledged the slow metamorphosis of the landscape by introducing building-sites and elements of urbanism such as in The House Top and Happy Pairs (p 58). Some of his compositions, with their sublime balance, their magic of light and shade and their long sweeping horizons, almost seem to have a relationship with the filmic cinematography of Satyajit Ray. Ray is another product of the rich creativity in this period of Bengal’s history, and he also had studied at Santiniketan. In 1955 Ray released Pather Panchali, a path breaking film that raised the story of a simple people to high art, just by the way it was told and presented, much as Das did through his prints. Contemporaries of Haren Das, but at the other end of the spectrum of belonging, were Chittaprosad and his protégé Somnath Hore, both of whom used their art in a socially reflective way. In the early 1940s the famine in parts of Bengal took thousands of lives. Chittaprosad, who had already spent time
The House Top, Haren Das, colour wood engraving, 24 x 20 cm, 1965.
making posters for the national movement, was deeply influenced by Marxist philosophy and joined the Communist party in 1940, travelling during 1943 around the countryside. He volunteered to be present at scenes of ravage and tragedy and recorded them in text and drawing. He was angry, shocked and indignant at the injustice being suffered by fellow humans at the hands of others, and was moved to communicate these feelings through his art. Linocut PLACE 57
Above: Happy Pairs, Haren Das, etching, 19 x 14 cm, 1950. Right: Gone Mad, Chittaprosad Bhattacharya, linocut, 27 x 17 cm, 1952.
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and woodcut for him contained the right degree of stark contrast and spontaneous action to express loss, hunger, abandonment, fear, pain and other emotions associated with the events that marred Bengal—famine, partition, urban poverty, naxalite movements and the Bangladesh war (1971-1972). Gone Mad (p 58) is a moving representation of his oeuvre. Somnath Hore met Chittaprosad during the famine, and in much the same way reacted through drawing. Later he joined the Government School of Art in Calcutta and was influenced by the work of Zainul Abedin, who also painted about the famine. The angst ridden prints of German expressionist Käthe Kollwitz also made an impression on Hore. He began his journey of raw responses to suffering, peeling off the outer layer of figuration to different degrees, revealing symbolic representations of emotion; the body becomes a metaphor for the ravaged land, and vice verse. He pushed printmaking out of its zones of comfort to achieve a radical variety of results on his surfaces, the most spectacular being the Wounds series. Several decades later, Rajesh Deb (p 74, 88), a young artist from Tripura, looks at Bengal in retrospect, picking up the varied contexts of its existence—from colonial occupation, to aspects of cultural and social transformations—and ties them together with contemporary humour and critique. The visual vocabulary of Deb’s large size canvas prints is constructed from a free layering of aesthetic sensibilities derived from historically relevant Bengali art, including Battala prints and the work of artists like Nrityalal Dutta, Nandalal Bose and Chittaprosad. Battala was an area in Calcutta that became known in the nineteenth century for an indigenous system of cheaply printing carved and engraved woodblocks on subjects of religion, myth and satire, mainly aimed to the market of the lower-middle class and uneducated. Deb references these and more as he manipulates his viewers understanding of place through a deft balancing of historical reality with incongruous text, and sections of nonsense verse translated from obscure and well-known Bengali originals.
Place is preserved in the pages of memory, and reappears as and when recalled. Sometimes these recollections are faithful to reality, and at other times elements of desire, hope, fear and nostalgia get projected onto place and modify it, altering factuality. Artists consciously and unconsciously move through these processes in depiction. Arguably all representation is modified through the artist’s creativity, and it is complex to conclusively segregate reality from imagination in art. Ram Kumar’s untitled lithograph (p 85) shows two persons of indeterminate age, gender and expression in a setting that seems urban, with geometric detailing dividing the space visually. Kumar found a dialogue that allowed him to portray identity and place without resorting to culturally specific motifs. Intrinsically aware of the transforming urban landscape of a growing India in cities like Bombay (now Mumbai) and belonging to the period of postindependence experimentation, Kumar blurred details into semi-abstraction, celebrating form by setting a distinctive style. Kumar was contemporary to the ‘Progressives’ a group that formed in Bombay in 1947 with M.F. Husain, F.N. Souza, S.H. Raza, Tyeb Mehta and S.K. Bakre at its lead, and others like Krishen Khanna and Akbar Padamsee later participating in Progressive ideology. The artists worked in diverse styles but developed a common language that rejected the sentimental, revivalist approach to presenting Indianness that the Bengal School adopted. The Progressives opened doors to vibrant expression that borrowed freely from European modernist movements while at the same time deriving inspiration from essences of Indian aesthetics. The group disbanded in 1956, but through the 60s and 70s, these artists continued to build individual idioms, and almost all of them dabbled in printmaking—particularly screenprinting (Husain, p 84) and etching (Padamsee, p 86). Bombay was the new place for art and culture just after independence, with collectors, critics and the film industry making it lively. In the 60s the scene of experimentation shifted to Baroda, but Bombay continues to be one of the foremost capitals for the expanding Indian art market.
episodes from memory. Agrawal condenses personal experiences of places and happenings within compositions such as the etching Ladies Compartment (p 89), sometimes elaborating tiny and seemingly inconsequential details to the scope of broad narratives that generate multiple meanings for a viewer. Karuna combines real observations with lyrical symbolism, using the distinct qualities of woodcut prints to exaggerate space and enhance detail. These works carry through the intense engagement with drawing and figuration that seems to be a singularly important characteristic of Indian expression.
Walk in the Woods II, Paramjit Singh, etching, 49 x 60 cm, 2007.
Students from other parts of India veer towards these places that have ‘bigger’ and ‘better’ institutions and ‘advanced’ galleries and infrastructure for artistic success. Jagadeesh Tammineni is from Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, South India. Having established his talent under the tutelage of Sudhakar Reddy during his Bachelor’s course, he entered the printmaking department in Baroda’s MSU for his masters. Experiencing elements of culture-shock in a place far removed from his home town in terms of language, food, habits and social life, Jagadeesh’s work became a space for him to revisit his roots, his native landscape, his people’s realities and rituals and the differences that separated these from his new environment. Woodcuts like Desires and Hopes and Desire Cycle (p 61), painstakingly built up in several layers of colours, refer to both his personal and community life, with a constant reference to a transforming and urbanising India and its growth as a consumer nation. Preeti Agrawal and S. Karuna, two artists who came to Baroda from Agra and Hyderabad respectively, use the pictorial space of a print to enact and describe 60 Between the Lines
In an untitled aquatint (p 62) Venugopal VG portrays a protective foam mesh, commonly used to safeguard fruits from damage, looming over an urban vista turned upside down. A series of figures at the bottom of the composition appear in varied stages of action, perhaps following a being’s activity from morning to night. Venugopal’s works are self referential, and often pertain to his experiences of urban life. He moved from a small town in Kerala to Mysore, and then to Bangalore in a progressive migration to more urban spaces. Ideas of private and public, interior and exterior, safety and vulnerability become part of his discussion of place, with the artist himself absorbed in the discoveries and investigations. Printmaking came to south Indian universities later than in places like Delhi and Baroda, though the Government College of Art and Craft in Madras (now Chennai) had a fully equipped printmaking department by the early 60s. Printmaking received a great boost by the establishment of the Lalit Kala Regional Centre in Madras in 1978. With the possibility of maintaining personal printing technology being impractical as well as uneconomical, its presence meant that artists could now continue to produce prints outside of campus studios. Rm Palaniappan, associated with the Lalit Kala Regional Centre for several years, developed new and radical ways of treating a plate through successive experimentation. His imagery combines the mapping of physical space with the experience of metaphysical space, creating distortions and illusions that border on abstraction, as in his Alien Planet (p 65) series. Palaniappan uses the innate qualities of print processes, transfer techniques, and hand-drawn annotations to build a visual archive of time and place. For a viewer the work can constitute an extreme of self-awareness and internal landscape, or the widewide aspects of the macrocosmic universe; it all depends on the way you look.
Left: Desire Cycle, Jagadeesh Tammineni, woodcut, 198 x 102 cm, 2009. Right: Desires and Hopes, Jagadeesh Tammineni, woodcut, 198 x 102 cm, 2009.
Untitled, V.G. Venugopal, etching and aqautint, 50 x 35, 2009. 62â€ƒâ€ƒBetween the Lines
Above: The Tree Symphony, Lalitha Lajmi, etching, 26 x 20 cm, 1995. Right: On the Way, Haren Das, wood engraving, 26 x 18 cm, 1974.
Untitled, Devraj Dakoji, etching, 27 x 27 cm, 1978.
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Part from Form Four, A. Balasubramaniam, etching, 10 x 10 cm, 1998.
Alien Planet X4, Rm Palaniappan, viscosity and drawing, 31 x 31 cm, 1988. PLACE 65
Above: Untitled, Haren Das, etching and aquatint, 10 x 20 cm, 1964. Left: Fishing II, Haren Das, 15 x 26 cm, 1949. 66 Between the Lines
Fishing, Haren Das, wood engraving, 22 x 18 cm, 1986. PLACE 67
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Opposite Page: Untitled, Jagadeesh Tammineni, woodcut, 47 x 60 cm, 2009. Left: Untitled, Jagadeesh Tammineni, woodcut, 60 x 46 cm, 2009. PLACE 69
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Opposite Page, Left: Untitled, Koustav Nag, etching, 49 x 33 cm, 2007. Opposite Page, Right: Untitled, Koustav Nag, etching, 49 x 33 cm, 2006. Right: First Letter, S. Karuna, woodcut, 80 x 79 cm, 2008. PLACE 71
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Opposite Page: Birbhum Landscape, B.B. Mukherjee, etching, 16 x 20 cm. Above: Untitled, Nandalal Bose, etching, 15 x 13 cm. Right: Untitled, B.B. Mukherjee, etching, 23 x 15 cm.
Left: Mahajataka Dall Story I, Rajesh Deb, woodcut, 87 x 63 cm, 2006. Above: Mahajataka Dall Story III, Rajesh Deb, woodcut, 64 x 95 cm, 2006. Opposite Page: Untitled, Somnath Horem, etching, 20 x 25 cm, 1978.
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76 Between the Lines
Opposite Page: Untitled, Somnath Hore, etching, 20 x 24 cm, 1965. Below: Untitled, Somnath Hore, etching and aquatint, 27 x 34 cm, 1967. Right: Untitled, Somnath Hore, etching, 24 x 19 cm.
Left: Family, Ramkinkar Baij, etching, 20 x 13 cm. Above: Wounds, Somnath Hore, etching , 26 x 20 cm, 1988.
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At Noon, Haren Das, etching and aquatint, 14 x 20 cm, 1949.
Pataya, Bhupen Khakhar, etching, 26 x 49 cm, 2003.
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Untitled, Bhupen Khakhar, etching, 20 x 15 cm. PLACE 81
Left: Untitled, LNV Srinivas, woodcut, 56 x 46 cm, 2008. Above: Graphic IV, Lalu Prasad Shaw, etching, 46 x 43 cm, 1973. Opposite Page: Untitled, Ramkinkar Baij, lithograph, 22 x 27 cm, 1971.
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Kerala IV, M.F. Husain, serigraph, 89 x 89 cm.
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In the Garden (Cat), Rini Dhumal, linocut, 31 x 31 cm, 2004.
Untitled, Ram Kumar, lithograph, 68 x 50 cm. PLACE 85
Left: Untitled, Akbar Padamsee, etching, 43 x 33 cm, 1958. Opposite Page: Grass Water II, Paramjit Singh, etching, 45 x 59 cm, 2007.
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Inhabit 11, Urmila V.G., woodcut, 60 x 81 cm, 2011.
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Dream Lover, Rajesh Deb, woodcut on canvas, 154 x 124 cm.
Ladies Compartment, Preeti Agrawal, etching, 29 x 70 cm, 2010.
Hope, Preeti Agrawal, etching, 97 x 73 cm, 2008. 90 Between the Lines
Above: Villagers of Selaidah Visiting Rabindranath Tagore, Mukul Dey, hand-coloured drypoint, 10 x 10 cm, 1916. Right: Untitled, Nandalal Bose, drypoint, 5 x 10 cm.
Untitled, R.C. Bagchi, etching, 18 x 30 cm.
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Tantine of Belur Math, Mukul Dey, drypoint, 15 x 20 cm, 1957.
Untitled, Nandalal Bose, lithograph, 22 x 16 cm.
Left: Abanindranath Tagore, Mukul Dey, drypoint, 26 x 20 cm, 1937. Opposite Page: Untitled, Shankar Kumawat, collagraph, 26 x 32 cm, 1985. 94â€ƒâ€ƒBetween the Lines
Untitled, Ramendranath Chakravorty, etching, 17 x 28 cm.
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Above: Untitled, Ramendranath Chakravorty, etching, 14 x 12 cm. Right: A Lane in Benares, Ramendranath Chakravorty, etching and aquatint, 20 x 15 cm.
Above: Untitled, S. Sham Sunder, etching, 19 x 24 cm, 2004. Opposite Page: Italia, Jyoti Bhatt, collograph, 22 x 30 cm, 1961. 98â€ƒâ€ƒBetween the Lines
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Opposite Page: Untitled, Nirmalenda Das, etching, 18 x 24 cm. Below: Untitled, Salil Sahani, etching, 19 x 25 cm, 2007. Right: Untitled, Chittaprosad Bhattacharya, linocut, 33 x 24 cm.
IDENTITY PLACE POWER
Power as an integral part of the creative process; and its worldly connotations as reflected in art objects.
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Power, when spoken of in terms of art practice, produces a layered assemblage of thoughts too large to gather under one discussion. It seems necessary to limit the core dialogue to the immediate contexts of prints gathered under the theme, and leave the rest to the viewer’s perception. Art makers have been spoken of in relation with the godly attribute of being able to ‘create’, representing reality and also transcending it to depict worlds beyond. Whether or not the high honour associated with artistic creation is relevant in a contemporary context, artists are certainly bestowed with power in their capacity to communicate visually—over art materials and mediums, over an audience that engages with the work, over economies, and even over entire societies. Where there is politics, there are relationships of power; and politics exist in every aspect of life. Artworks also become instruments for the exploration of an artist’s personal power—in which identities can be altered, fantasies can be projected, and new realities can be constructed through the act of making.
The medium is the artist’s instrument; it channels the individual’s ability to project multiple or fragmented realities—the artwork becomes a space of illusion, which is at its best, only a reflection of what exists in the artists mind. Sometimes this may be identical to the outside world, at others stripped apart, exaggerated, mutated or morphed to personal context. Soghra Khurasani’s Garland Tribute (p 105) is an emblematic homage to all the unknown people who die in terror attacks and other violence. It is incredible that the soft petals of the flowers, in deep crimson hues, have been created from a hard block of wood. The artist derives intense satisfaction from extracting challenging textures and forms from woodcut, a medium she chose over painting. The legendary Krishna Reddy, attributed with the development of the viscosity method of intaglio etching along with his colleagues at William Hayter’s Atelier 17 in Paris, likened the etching of a plate to the ploughing of a field. He explored the dynamic expansion of energy and space within the often unpredictable patterns formed on a plate, reducing the real world to essences as seen in Demonstrators and Three Figures (p 104) with their strong
Opposite Page: Looking Around, Dhruva Mistry, etching, 29 x 49 cm, 1997. Above: Demonstrators, Krishna Reddy, etching, 35 x 45 cm.
verticality. His work signalled a branching out from the dominant figuration of the 50s and 60s in India. Zarina Hashmi is another artist who powerfully modifies the perception of space. Her work over the decades has refined ideas of mapping—both conceptually and figuratively—using simplicity of line and shape in a distinct black on white mode (p 134). Personal memory, collective history and politics mingle in her work, filtered down to the subtlest core, akin to the way breath is the core of life. Subjects like dislocation and migration recur prominently in her prints; themes that are revived in the work of several artists who lived through the partition of India. Artists are bestowed with the power to see beauty in ugliness, to find solace in trauma and conflict, even to redeem equilibrium through the projection of (un)truths. Self or the other, a place or situation can take on the characteristics desired by the creator; this is often an act of transmuting emotion
Three Figures, Krishna Reddy, etching and viscosity print, 35 x 44 cm, 1967.
and longing, felicitating a catharsis of memory or realisation of an obsession. Somnath Hore’s Wounds (p 113) sheds every bit of romanticism in a stark and naked depiction of human hunger; while in Chittaprosad’s untitled woodcut (p 126) the truth of reality is powerfully heightened and dramatised by the daring perspective and the bold figuration. The supine humanoid figure in Dhruva Mistry’s print Looking Around (p 102) towers over its surroundings, unreachable and untouchable by the little organic creatures far below; Moutushi’s protagonist in On the Victory Stand (p 118) becomes the winner in imagined space, if not in the real; the naked and sensuous woman in Laxma Goud’s etching (p 119) is potent in her attraction of anything male, an uninhibited realisation of the artist’s fantasy; these are all projections by the artists, constructing imaginations and fantasies, locating notions that may or may not have logical existence, in the imagery of their authorship.
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Pratap Modi’s woodcut Too much of Anything Is Good for Nothing (p 130) has the hero-like central character seated in an exotic tableau; the lions bow to his authority, and the figure is crowned as a kind of Jungle King, absurdly dressed in theatrical attire proclaiming his position and shooting a gun into the air. The protagonist is the artist’s self portrait, play-acting in some imaginary sequence of events of which the outcomes are unknown to the viewer. He is making himself the spectacle with which to draw comment and response. The work is made on an ambitious scale in a number of layered colours; like Soghra Khurasani and Jagadeesh Tammineni, Modi comes from the art college in Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh where under the tutelage of several technically sound teachers like Sudhakar Reddy the rudiments of printmaking have become part of a language through which young artists have learnt to articulate contemporary thoughts. Tammineni’s untitled etching (p 124) shows the bizarre blending of a sewing machine with the mouth parts of a human, an apparent moustache rendering it masculine. With the creation of this hybrid corporeal form the artist is passing into the realm of the surreal, where the rules of the natural world no more apply, and powers are beyond reckoning. There is something simultaneously repulsive and attractive about hybridity and mutation. The former is always considered related with the combination of the better part of two or more entities; the latter a radical alteration in the natural system of a biological thing—in both the result is a superior being. Viraj Naik (p 114-117) is an artist who thrives in the surreal; his works teem with hybrid creatures, referring to various mythologies, particularly the Greek. A student of Laxma Goud, Naik learnt the intricacies of etching from him. His etchings are rich in drawing and constitute satirical and sometimes humorous narratives about human life and social inconsistencies. A native of Goa, once a Portuguese colony, it is possible Naik has been influenced by the culture of storytelling and book illustration persistent in that culture. Maripelly Praveen Goud’s Electro Sapiens (p 120) are people seemingly projected within the framework of micro-chips, each of them attached with plugs and sockets and other electronic gadgetry we take for granted. The dominance of technology is immense in the contemporary world, and in mutating human
Garland Tribute, Soghra Khurasani, woodcut, 120 x 120 cm, 2011.
beings to resemble strange electronically powered creatures, he is commenting on the vulnerability of the human race, and simultaneously the power of technology over life itself. In a different vein, Neeraj Singh Khandka portrays the ‘metamorphosis’ of human forms into animal entities, responding to the call of the wild and being seduced into the baser bodily instincts. (p 123)
When the context of a work does not command the creation of a fresh form, or when a historically representative form is better suited to the expression, artists employ existing symbols and images to extend their concerns. Symbols that have social and public relevance, and live in collective consciousness become prominent within such references. Superhuman personalities in Indian religious mythology are particularly interesting when discussing an element like power. The fearless Goddess Durga, with arms raised in action, forges ahead on her tiger. This recognisable imagery in the untitled print by K.G. Subramanyan (p 107) is invested with sensitivity and energy in equal measure—the dominant aspect of the icon is softened by the subtle minimalism and delicate tones of the wash technique the artist has used. Durga symbolises invincibility, and an embodiment of creative feminine force. Subramanyan is an artist, teacher, theoretician and historian who has altered the way traditional idioms are looked at and used in modern and contemporary Indian art. Through his continued dialogue with the subject he has demonstrated the practical and aesthetic relevance of craft and folk art to Indian expression over and above the ideological and nationalistic preference for folk imagery that certain artists before him had advocated. Subramanyan was studying at Santiniketan when the country got its independence, and was intensely involved in the freedom struggle. Originally from Kerala, the artist was active in the establishment of the Department of Fine Arts and its modernist curriculum at M.S. University of Baroda, and his relationship with Santiniketan is long standing. His ability to experiment incessantly and to allow for a confluence of a wide variety of influences, both Oriental and Western, within his work makes for a spectacular 106 Between the Lines
Above: Being and Nothing, Kurma Nadham, woodcut, 121 x 183 cm, 2011. Opposite Page: Untitled, K.G. Subramanyan, lithograph, 28 x 39 cm.
oeuvre—in which different mediums mingle with each other and within which the ancient and the modern, the sacred and the profane, the folk and the fine, the popular and classical are overlapped just the way they are in Indian life. The pantheon of gods and goddesses in Indian religiosity is vast. In essence they are symbols for varied abilities, strengths, forces and conditions, visualised in myriad ways and having gentle as well as fierce forms. Sometimes they have attributes of an animal or bird to add to their superhuman status, at others they ride on creatures that prove their power over nature and all its facets. Their presences as motifs of power are unmistakable in Indian art of all categories. Religious mythology particularly reveres and deifies the feminine in various ways, and positions her in diverse forms as a carrier of immense power, beyond the fundamental ability to procreate. Being and Nothing a woodcut by Kurma Nadham, and the untitled serigraph by G.R. Santosh (p 109) both investigate the concept of feminine energy. Nadham, a young artist from Andhra Pradesh living in Baroda, often uses symbolic entities from mythological and spiritual contexts to extend his philosophical interrogations
Untitled, Santanu Bhattacharya, etching, 25 x 19 cm, 2007. 108 Between the Lines
about the universe and his place in it. In Being and Nothing (p 106) the sensuous female form, with the hind portions of a tiger and bird’s wings, represents Shakti, the essence of universal energy that keeps the world running. The artist depicts her in motion, leaping over a pathway of clocks. Behind her and in front of her these are blackened, denoting past and future. Only the ones below her feet are visible, the present being the time which possesses energy. She holds in one hand the turtle Kurma, namesake of the artist himself and an incarnation of the lord Vishnu; in her other hand is grasped the exposed male organ of the tiger, generating layered meanings on the conjoined properties of male and female aspects in nature. The large woodcut is brilliantly coloured, and displays the technical transformation in the quality and luminescence of printing inks currently available. G.R. Santosh’s work is based on symbiotic construction of geometric forms derived from the mystic cult of Tantric Shaivism prevalent is several parts of India. The artist’s early landscapes exhibited a marked reference to cubist divisions of space, from which the progression to tantric forms seemed an organic shift. Devotion to the feminine principle of Shakti, and the esoteric union of Shakti with Shiva (the male principle) form the basis of Tantra, and it is this that is visually depicted in mathematically perfected diagrams to use in meditation in order to reach metaphysical conditions. Santosh applied these spiritually charged shapes to creative human forms, exploring the power of symbolism. Santanu Bhattacharya’s Shiva (p 108), the god of destruction and the lord of all creatures (among other things), is shown with a quantity of snakes radiating from his self; the overall pattern on the figure, the serpents and the background, creating a sensation of oneness. Tapan Ghosh uses the idea of human superiority over the deadly animal in his depiction of a serpent charmer (p 132)—a mysterious occupation associated with a romanticised and stereotyped image of India; once a reality but long forced into obscurity. Untitled, G.R. Santosh, silkscreen, 55 x 39 cm, 1978.
A. Ramachandran is an artist who, from the 80s on, worked extensively on imagery inspired from Indian mythology and used techniques derived from classical forms of Indian mural painting. In the collection is one of his earlier works, made at a time when his subject matter reflected the angst and turPOWER 109
moil he experienced at observing poverty, social conflict and human misery. In Garden of Gethsemane the picture space is charged with strong emotions; the body-less fists raised in morbid protest are confined to the edges by walls, seemingly creating a pathway for the viewer to be drawn in. The title here evokes sentiments of human betrayal, self-questioning, and faith associated with the biblical place where Christ suffered, becoming a metaphor for reality. The Oracle at Delphi by Surendran Nair centres on symbolism derived from Greek mythology. The work is one of a series of hand-coloured prints titled The Labyrinth of Eternal Delight which recontextualise stories and myths to extend contemporary cultural, social and political truths—something common to a many of the artist’s works. The Oracle of Delphi, or Pythia, was supposedly the priestess at the temple of Apollo in Delphi. Anyone who can foresee events and prophecy the fortunes of an individual naturally assumes immense control. In this work Nair describes a compass which reveals only three directions—North, South and East—and removes the West altogether. The instrument is of an odd oval shape through which the directional needle could not possibly move in full circumference. Here the artist himself seems to take on the role of the oracle: on the one hand raising debate about the dominance of the Western world, and on the other, confounding his viewers—something that art has the power to do. Above: Garden of Gethsemane, A. Ramachandran, etching, 18 x 25 cm, 1968. Right: Oracle at Delphi, Surendran Nair, hand-coloured etching, 13 x 17 cm, 1996. 110 Between the Lines
Above: From the Labyrith of Eternal Delight, Surendran Nair, hand-coloured etching, 13 x 17 cm, 1996. Right: Animal Lover, T. Venkanna, etching, 15 x 10 cm, 2008
Left: Untitled, T. Venkanna, etching, 35 x 22 cm, 2010. Above: Untitled, K.G. Subramanyan, Serigraph, 40 x 50 cm, 1997.
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Wounds, Somnath Hore, etching, 18 x 28 cm, 1972.
Aquia, Viraj Naik, etching, 16 x 16 cm, 2007. 114 Between the Lines
Ratazana, Viraj Naik, etching, 16 x 16 cm, 2007.
Refresh, Viraj Naik, etching, 16 x 16 cm, 2007.
Left: Tranquility, Viraj Naik, etching, 49 x 33 cm, 2012. Above: Observer, Viraj Naik, etching, 20 x 25 cm, 2006.
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Endorsed, Viraj Naik, etching, 49 x 33 cm, 2012. POWER 117
Left: Untitled, Laxma Goud, etching, 26 x 17 cm. Above: On the Victory Stand, Moutushi, etching, 34 x 33 cm, 2001.
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Untitled, Laxma Goud, dry point, 16 x 25 cm.
Three from the series Electro Sapiens, Maripelly Praveen Goud, serigraph, 51 x 39 cm, 2010.
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Above: Machine VIII, Maripelly Praveen Goud, woodcut, 46 x 60 cm, 2008. Above, Right: Machine 0, Maripelly Praveen Goud, woodcut, 46 x 60 cm, 2008. Right: Machine VI, Maripelly Praveen Goud, woodcut, 46 x 60 cm, 2008.
Encountered, Jogen Chowdhury, etching, 49 x 40 cm, 2008. 122 Between the Lines
Above: Metamorphosis II, Neeraj Singh Khandka, etching, 33 x 49 cm, 2010. Right: Metamorphosis, Neeraj Singh Khandka, etching, 49 x 33 cm, 2010.
Above: Untitled, Jagadeesh Tammineni, woodcut, 92 x 385 cm, 2009. Right: Untitled, Jagadeesh Tammineni, etching, 16 x 24 cm, 2010.
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Above: Untitled, Jagadeesh Tammineni, etching, 17 x 24 cm. Right: Blind Belief, Jagadeesh Tammineni, etching, 32 x 16 cm, 2008.
Left: Untitled, Chittaprosad Bhattacharya, linocut, 35 x 23 cm. Above: Untitled (X), Somsankar Roy, etching, 19 x 18 cm, 2004.
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Land of the Lost, Durgaprasad Bandi, woodcut, 120 x 60 cm, 2010. POWER 127
Untitled, Jogen Chowdhury, etching, 33 x 48 cm, 2004.
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Above: Cat, R.B. Baskaran, linocut, 47 x 68 cm, 1989. Right: Untitled, Krishen Khanna, drypoint, 49 x 37 cm, 1991.
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Opposite Page: Too Much of Anything Is Good for Nothing (2), Prathap Modi, woodcut, 213 x 312 cm, 2009. Right: Untitled, Atin Basak, etching, 21 x 14 cm, 1993. POWER 131
Chermer de Serpant, Tapan Ghosh, etching, 18 x 15 cm, 1970.
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Above: Untitled, Himmat Shah, etching, 15 x 25 cm. Right: Untitled, Jagadeesh Tammineni, woodcut, 190 x 105 cm, 2009.
Cutting Edges, Pinaki Barua, etching, 19 x 25 cm, 2008.
Untitled, Zarina Hashmi, silkscreen, 49 x 16 cm, 1971. 134 Between the Lines
Form Upwards, Lalu Prasad Shaw, 47 x 32 cm, 1983. POWER 135
A Small Collection Waswo X. Waswo
I grew up in Milwaukee, in the USA, and in my younger years I worked for long hours at a small industrial printing company known as Ryan Screen Printing. The firm dabbled in everything from large printed signage (in the days before such things were digitally made) to complex screenprinted circuitry for the ubiquitous membrane switch (as is found on everything from microwave ovens to medical equipment). It was hardly an artistic job in the usual sense. In fact, it was a dirty job, geared to the very banal demands of manufacturing. Printing at Ryan Screen was an endeavour surrounded by the sharp smells of lacquer inks, the drippings of solvents from crumpled rags, the grease of machinery, the vapours of UV coatings, and a never-ending cascade of the cheap blotting paper that was used to sample initial impressions. Employees utilized both hand screening and machine screening, and we left our jobs in the evening with jeans that were smeared with the colours of the day. People on the bus wrinkled their noses at the lingering fumes that clung to our skin and our shirts. On the weekends, all the scrubbing in the world could not remove the red and yellow tinges of polyester and vinyl inks from the edges of our fingernails. I am tempted to say, as I have already implied, that the work was industrial and thus there was nothing artistic about it. But there was. At least in the way we employees learned, maintained, and eventually taught to younger recruits a very specialized craft. Silkscreen is in fact one of the earliest printing methods, believed to have been developed in China during the Song Dynasty between 960 and 1270 AD. At Ryan we practiced its more modern avatar: using polyester fabric instead of silk, and light sensitive photo emulsions rather than hand-cut stencils. But the awareness that we were practicing an ancient craft filled me each day, and the modern refinements of the process seemed like a natural evolution. At Ryan I learned that “silkscreen” was not an easy 136 Between the Lines
process to master. One needed to learn about the various counts of mesh within the polyester fabrics that were used as screens: 200 mesh was good for applying thick coatings of ink, 300 mesh for more detailed work, 350 for the finest. One had to learn the varying qualities and importance of squeegees. A soft round-edged squeegee pushed a lot of ink through a 200 mesh screen. A hard and sharp squeegee, when used with a 350 mesh screen, could reproduce incredible detail, but printing with such became much more difficult: ink dried quickly and clogged the finer mesh, and the tiniest imperfection in a sharp squeegee could leave telltale lines in the print. One learned to properly sharpen the squeegee… a small art in itself. The logistics of multi-colour registration was taught; the delicate adjustment of pressure and balance in the printing machines. We learned the proper mixing of inks with solvents, what sort of inks adhered to various materials and which did not, strategies for dealing with plagues of bubbles, and other strategies for eliminating “fish-eyes” in inks that would separate from solvents after printing. I remember telling young trainees, “Learning to screenprint is like learning to play the piano. I can teach you to bang out a simple song in just an hour or two. But to become a master takes years. Even then, you will find something new to learn each day.” If craftsmanship is still considered a relevant factor in judging art (perhaps a matter of debate in this conceptual day and age), then certainly fine art printing ought to score high in that criteria. My years of working at Ryan Screen embedded in me a deep respect for the multifarious intricacies of the printermaker’s craft, and it is generally thought that silkscreen is one of the easiest forms of printing to master! The etcher, the lithographer, and the wood engraver all must learn techniques that perhaps would make the screenprinter’s avocation seem simple. Certainly some artists may use these techniques to just bang out a quick tune upon the piano. But others become masters of the
Print Show, Jagadeesh Tammineni, woodcut, 33 x 81 cm, 2012.
craft, working their stones, woodblocks, and metal plates with an intense love no different than the painter’s or the sculptor’s. Though my roots were in America’s lower middle class, I have always been a collector. The passion for collecting things goes back as far as my grade school shell collection. I came from an artistic family (my mother, Lucille, painted landscapes in oils, and even my father, George, dabbled in the medium. My cousin Dorinne taught art in the Milwaukee Public Schools, and her husband Ed was a rather famous art director at the Milwaukee Public Museum). As I slowly came to be able to afford it, I became a regular purchaser of the works of local Milwaukee artists: collages, sculptures, paintings photographs and prints. During the 1990’s, with a tiny bit of foresight and a great deal of luck, my partner Thomas Livieri and I managed to improve our financial situation
by investing in urban properties, taking rents, and reselling this real estate at profits. With the ever-improving state of our finances, my collecting capabilities improved as well. Over the winter of the Millennium Thomas and I shared a spacious apartment in Florence, Italy, just across the street from a fabulous coffee bar named Il Rifrullo. The neighbourhood was called San Niccolo, on the far side of the Ponte Alla Grazie, and away from more touristed locales such as Santa Croce. It was at Il Rifrullo that we met a young man named Simone Guaita, the nephew of Maria Luigia Guaita, the woman who in 1959 had founded the famous printmaking school known as Il Bisonte. Soon Simone was giving us the full tour of the venerable printmaking workshop, which in fact was located in what was once the horse stables of Palazzo Serristori. We were introduced to A SMALL COLLECTION 137
Maria Luigia Guaita herself, a grande dame whose offices were adorned with paintings, drawings, and prints by such modern masters as Picasso, Lipchitz and Calder... people she had known during her long and eventful career. To our surprise, the rear window of the apartment we had been renting actually looked into Il Bisonte’s courtyard, and over the coming weeks we began to take notice of the comings and goings of the students, the soft hum of various machines, and the occasional exhibition. In some ways the activities at the school reminded me of my days at Ryan Screen, and I took to regularly visiting it, casually observing the processes being taught. Thomas and I felt honoured when Maria Luigia herself invited us to the elegant and exclusive inauguration of an historical retrospective featuring artists associated with Il Bisonte over its long and fruitful years. The event was held at the prestigious Museo Marino Marini, just near the Palazzo Strozzi, and I could not help but observe, and be impressed by, the depth of respect the Italians held for printmaking.
My involvement with India had already begun during short trips in 1993 and 1999, but by the autumn of 2000 I was becoming enamoured. Initially I came as a traveller on a tourist visa, pursuing a passion for photography and enjoying six-month escapes from cold North American winters. With time, India became my “home”, and by 2003 I was already participating, at a very low level, in the quickly evolving momentum of its art scene. Not only did I begin to show my own work at Indian galleries, I began to collect the work of Indian artists I had learned to admire. Thomas offered moral support to my collecting obsessions, but he preferred to take a back seat in decision making. For a while, in America, he had referred to it as “our” collection. But by the time we were in India he had relinquished and pointedly referred to it as “your” collection. Though our money was to some extent jointly invested in its acquisition, Thomas was ready to acknowledge that the driving force behind the evergrowing assemblage was in fact myself.
After six months of living in Italy, Tommy and I prepared to leave the San Niccolo apartment. It was in the spring of 2000, and with just one day to go before packing our bags we quite impulsively contacted Simone and Maria and arranged to buy an original signed etching and aquatint by the British sculptor Henri Moore. It was with that purchase that my collecting days entered a new dimension. With quickly accelerating speed I started to go beyond what had previously been a hodgepodge of interesting, but very much localized art. I bought brilliant etchings by the Cuban artist Wifredo Lam and a powerful lithograph by the Mexican visionary Rufino Tamayo. Two large prints by the Chilean surrealist Roberto Matta took a prominent place in the growing collection. Though Cental and South American modernists were an initial fascination, soon another European work entered the fold with the addition of a delicate etching by George Braque. Next, crossing a somewhat blurry line into photographic reproduction, came an Edward Curtis photogravure followed by two Eadweard Muybridge collotypes. Through prints I discovered the ability to hold original works by internationally recognized artists, and moved away from the confinement of affordable, talented, but little-known artists from America’s Midwest.
My earliest encounter with Indian art had actually started in Milwaukee, when a segment of the Chester and Davida Herwitz Collection travelled to the Haggerty Museum of Art. It had been an eye-opening exhibition, a sliver of contemporary culture from a land which at the time I knew little about. A few years later I had stumbled into Chicago’s Walsh Gallery, and saw an exhibition of Atul Dodiya’s “Scribes” and “Shopshutters” that I found so compelling that a few weeks later, with the assistance of Gallery Chemould, I had tracked the artist down at his Mumbai studio. This was in 2002, and the Dodiyas were beginning to claim the international spotlight. I remember a large painting by Anju sitting half-finished upon an easel in an adjoining room, and a long conversation with Atul concerning sepia photography (he was just then incorporating some photographs into his installations, in works such as Broken Branches). But it was in Cochin, of all places, where the bug to start collecting Indian art first bit. Dorrie Younger and Anoop Skaria were yet to open the large space in Mattancherry known as Kashi Art Gallery, but they were already running a small gallery in the front room of Kashi Art Cafe on Burgher Street in Fort Kochi. Through them I purchased some small early watercolours by Babu Xavier at prices that in retrospect seem unbelievably cheap. They also directed me to the home and studio of Gopikrishna, at the time a sad-eyed
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artist who was working diligently with next to no support. I purchased a largish work from him, painted on thin linen. Two wonderful charcoal drawings by N.N. Rimzon entered the collection and also two fantastical conte drawings by Zakkir Hussain. Bhupen Khakhar died that year (it was 2003) and soon after, in Delhi, I bought my first Indian print: a wonderful etching by the deceased artist depicting two men on a sofa. The words “They loved each other so much they wore the same colour suit” had been scribbled by Khakhar in the plate. The print spoke to me of the depth of relationship enjoyed by Thomas and myself.
acquiring art that is uniquely theirs. But for me, the thought that I might own one of just fifteen or so existing prints was delightful. There is to me a certain joy involved in knowing there are other collectors appreciating the same image upon their walls. It feels like having joined an elite and cognoscente group. And there is a certain excitement in speculating as to the fate of the “identical twins” of the prints one owns. In whose collections are they? When it comes to the older, historical prints, one wonders how many have survived. Is my collection perhaps holding the last survivor? These feelings, and how they bring excitement and energy to the life of the print collector, are hard to explain.
But still the collection had not yet taken a definite direction. It remained a hodgepodge of pieces that had simply grabbed my attention in one way or another, and as it grew ever larger and more unwieldy the idea that a collector needed to focus became more and more apparent. It was not hard to sort through what I had already accumulated, both inside and outside of India, and realize I had a special fondness for works on paper. And if one examined those works on paper, the vast majority were drawings and prints. I loved drawings, but already the Indian market was taking off, starting its ascent into the boom years (that were to continue booming until the major “correction” of 2008), and drawings by well-known Indian artists were becoming increasingly expensive. With my background in printing weighing heavily upon the decision, and a maturing identification with the Indian art scene, I made what to me was the obvious choice: I would focus upon forming a substantial collection of Indian printmaking.
My collecting passions began to revolve around adding good examples of printmaking by historical Indian artists. Soon I was buying works by Haren Das, Chittaprosad, Somnath Hore, Laxma Goud, and K.G. Subramanyan. Delhi Art Gallery became an ever helpful resource and guide, though my purchases came from galleries and individuals throughout the country. In a misguided fit of de-accession during 2006 (at a time I needed money for other artistic adventures) I had parted with the paintings I had bought early on by Babu Xavier and Gopikrishna, and around the same time I had also been tempted into selling the Bhupen Khakhar etching of the two men upon a sofa. All of these sales brought in a sizable return on “investment”, but in retrospect I came to regret parting with objects I had come to love more and more through having lived with them. The loss of the Khakhar is still especially troubling for me, as it had so perfectly summed up the relationship I have with Tommy. But with the invigoration that my new focus on Indian Printmaking gave, I was soon to replace my beloved Khakhar with several other etchings by the artist...prints that also spoke to me, albeit in different ways.
I was not motivated by financial greed, in fact, I very much subscribed to the idea that art was more of an expense than an investment. In collecting circles printmaking is still, unfortunately, held in lesser esteem than painting, sculpture, and even (strangely to say) various types of “new media”. This was especially true in India, where prints were not given anywhere near the same respect as their European and American counterparts. The misconception that prints are some sort of reproduction, rather than an original creative piece of art, is sadly still very much a part of people’s minds. The fact that prints generally exist in editions turns off many would-be collectors who are set upon
The collection continued to grow. Now that I had a focus and a goal, my obsession with collecting intensified. I bought etchings by Lalu Prasad Shaw, from his finest period of graphic work. I bought early linocuts by Zakkir Hussain and Shibu Natesan, and small (and thus still affordable) etchings by Anupam Sud. A delicate and mood-filled etching by Lalitha Lajmi found its way to me, as did an exquisite early woodcut by Vijay Bagodi. I discovered a special affection for the work of Mukul Dey, visited the Mukul Dey Archives in Santiniketan,
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and was told wonderful tales of the artist’s devotion to etching and drypoint by his grandson Satyasri Ukil. The masterful lithographer Ajit Seal showed me through the graphics department at Santiniketan, and the venerable Jyoti Bhatt offered a similar tour of the graphics department at the Faculty of Fines Arts, MSU, Baroda. It was there in Baroda that I encountered a talented new wave of young printmakers, many hailing from Andhra Pradesh, whose commitment to large-scale woodcut printing processes could not be overlooked. As a forerunner to the work of these artists, the large woodcuts of Rajesh Deb entered the collection via Bengal. I also began to keep an online blog. One by one I began to upload images of the prints I had collected, and offer short (but hopefully interesting) analysis of each. I am not a trained art historian or critic, but I did want to share what I was learning through books, magazines, visits to museums and exhibitions, and personal conversations with art professionals. Most of all, I wished to share my enthusiasm. And the fact that my enthusiasm was becoming contagious was evidenced when the magazine Art Etc. - News and Views asked me to guest edit a trilogy of issues devoted to the subject that had become the sole focus of a substantial personal collection. A collection of this sort is never finished, and never really complete. As The Collection of Indian Printmaking now stands, there are yet many gaps to be filled. As one learns more and more about the history of the medium, and the way it has been used in the Indian context, it also becomes more and more obvious how enormous some of these gaps are. But it was felt by those who have been keenly following the creation of this collection that it had reached a level of coherence and importance which warranted preliminary exhibition. It is hoped then that this small collection, through exhibitions and this accompanying book, will generate an awareness of a facet of Indian art history, and the country’s contemporary art scenario, that is often overlooked.
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Artist Biographies A. Balasubramaniam b. 1971 Alwar Balasubramaniam received his Bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the Government College of Arts, Chennai, in 1995. In 1998, he studied printmaking at EPW Edinburgh, UK, followed by a course at the Universitat fur Angewandte Kunste in Wien, Austria. He has travelled extensively and exhibited in France, Spain, Egypt, Japan, Malaysia, Finland, Norway and USA. Amongst his solo shows are (In)Between and (In)Visible at Talwar Gallery, New Delhi, in 2009 and 2007 respectively; Talwar Gallery, New York (2007); (Desi)re at Talwar Gallery, New York (2005); Transition and Transformation at the Fine Arts Museum, University of Massachusetts, Amherst (2005). His participations include Freedom 2008 – Sixty Years after Indian Independence at the Centre for International Modern Art (CIMA), Kolkata (2008); The Inverted Tree at Gallery Threshold, New Delhi (2005); Indian Summer at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris (2005). The artist lives and works in Bangalore.
in France (1974) and Festival of India exhibitions (London and Oxford (1982), Switzerland (1987). Ramachandran received the Padma Bhushan in 2005 and the Raja Ravi Verma Puraskar in 2003. He lives and works in Delhi.
A. Ramachandran b. 1935 After post-graduation in Malayalam literature in 1957 A. Ramachandran completed art studies at Visva Bharati University in 1961. From 1961-1964, he did his doctoral thesis on Kerala mural paintings. From 1965 he taught at Jamia Milia Islamia, Delhi, later becoming a professor. In 1991, he was appointed honorary chairman, Kerala Lalit Kala Akademi. Kumar Gallery Delhi held his first solo in 1966. Since then, he has held many solo exhibitions in major Indian cities, including two retrospectives in Delhi (1978) and Mumbai (1981) and another in 2003 organised by the National Gallery of Modern Art, Delhi. His work has been in group exhibitions worldwide, including Indian Triennials I, II, III and V (New Delhi), Contemporary Indian Painting, Japan (1970), Brazil and Venezuela (1971), USA (1973), Menton Biennale
Akbar Padamsee b. 1928 Akbar Padamsee received his diploma from the Sir J.J. School of Art in Mumbai. He left for Paris in 1951 and lived and worked there until 1967. He, along with contemporaries like M.F. Husain, F.N. Souza, Tyeb Mehta and V.S. Gaitonde, aimed at creating a new Indian modernism in art practice. He has had major retrospectives in Mumbai and New Delhi in 1980 and has participated in numerous exhibitions: Seven Indian Painters, Gallery One, London in 1958; International Biennales at Venice; Sao Paulo and Tokyo; Museum of Modem Art, Oxford (1981); Royal Academy of Arts, Festival of India, London (1982); Indian Artists in France, Paris (1985) among others. In 1967 he was invited as Artist-in Residence by the Stout State University, Wisconsin, USA. Padamsee was awarded the
Ajit Seal b. 1958 Ajit Seal did his Diploma in painting from Guwahati College and later he joined the Garhi Studio in Delhi, working there from 1981 to 1983. After Garhi Studio, Seal did his Post-Diploma from the Department of Printmaking in Kala Bhavan in 1983 and joined the Government College of Art and Craft in Assam as a lecturer. He is currently teaching in the Department of Printmaking in Kala Bhavan. Here he has introduced platography, a medium previously unexplored by the artists and students working at Santiniketan. He has participated in numerous exhibitions, workshops and camps and his works are handled by several galleries in India and abroad. He lives and works in Santiniketan.
Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship in 1969 with which he started an inter-arts workshop in Mumbai. Padamsee lives and works in Mumbai. Anupam Sud b. 1944 Anupam Sud did a diploma in Fine Arts from the College of Art New Delhi from 1962 to 1967, during the same decade that Somnath Hore was retooling and revitalizing the college’s printmaking department. In 1967 she received the British Council scholarship and studied printmaking at Slade School of Art, University College, London. Anupam was the youngest member of “Group 8”, an association of artists at the college that was founded by her teacher Jagmohan Chopra. She was the head of department for Printmaking at the Government College of art in Delhi from 1978 to 2003. Sud has won 19 awards between 1969 and 1985 besides participating in exhibitions in India and abroad. Her works are in many private and public collections including NGMA. The artist lives and works in Delhi. Atin Basak b. 1966 Atin Basak graduated from Government College of Art and Craft in 1991. Later he went to Baroda to do his Masters from M.S. University. In 1996 and 97, he was invited as a visiting lecturer by the Director of Ecole Regionale des Beaux Arts, Cean, France. In 2000, he became Charles Wallace India Trust Scholar in UK. Subsequently, he joined the Printmakers Workshop, Edinburgh. Atin began experimenting with engraving and in 2004, he was invited to be a visiting lecturer in Ecole des Beaux Arts la Reunion, a French colony and island in the Indian Ocean above Madagascar. Through his career he has received numerous awards and participated in a long list of exhibitions. He lives and works in Kolkata.
ARTIST BIOGRAPHIES 141
B.B. Mukherjee 1904-1980 Binod Behari Mukherjee was a painter and muralist, one of the pioneers of Indian modern art. In 1919, he joined Kala Bhavan, Visva-Bharati University where he later taught. In 1949, he joined as a curator at the Nepal Government Museum in Kathmandu and subsequently taught at the Banasthali Vidyapith in Rajasthan. In 1952, along with his wife Leela, he started an art school in Mussoorie which did not run long. In 1958, he returned to Kala Bhavan, and later became its principal. In 1979, a collection of his Bengali writings, Chitrakar, was published. Mukherjee’s former student at Santiniketan, filmmaker Satyajit Ray, made a documentary film on him titled The Inner Eye in 1972 exploring Mukherjee’s creative persona and his ability to cope with blindness. Among his awards are the Padma Vibhushan in 1974; the Deshikottama by Viswa Bharati University in 1977; and the Rabindra Puruskar in 1980. Bhupen Khakhar 1934-2003 Bhupen Khakhar was a self-taught artist, having qualified as a chartered accountant before moving to Baroda in 1962 to join the Faculty of Fine Arts. Here he began to paint and became involved with the seminal Narrative Figurative movement. He held his first solo exhibition in Bombay in 1965 and had several solo shows through his career, in Bombay, New Delhi, Baroda, London, Ahmedabad, Amsterdam, Den Haag, Paris and Tokyo. Khakhar has also been represented in numerous group exhibitions including Art Now in India, London, Newcastle and Ghent (1966), IX Biennale de Sao Paulo, and the First Triennial - India, New Delhi (1968), Menion Biennale (1977), Narrative Painting, London (1979), Place for People, Bombay (1981), Six Indian Painters, Tate Gallery, London (1982), Contemporary Indian Artists, Center Georges Pompidou, Paris (1986), Documenta IX, Kessel (1992), India Songs, Sydney and Amsterdam (1994) and Traditions/Tensions, the Asia Society, New York, 1996. Bhupen Khakhar lived and worked in Baroda. Chittaprosad Bhattacharya 1915-1978 Chittaprosad was a student of the Chittagong Government College in the mid-30s. He joined the resistance movements against colonial oppression and the feudal domination of the 142 Between the Lines
landed Indian gentry. In 1943 Chittaprosad covered the Bengal Famine for various communist publications. Chittaprosad settled in Bombay from 1946 onward. The transformations within the Communist Party between 1948 and 49 caused the artist to disassociate himself, though he continued to pursue political themes in his art. Chittaprosad first exhibited in Prague’s National Gallery. In 1969, the Danish UNICEF Committee published a collection of his linocuts as Angles Without Fairy Tales, dedicated to the Inter-Conference in Defence of Children. He donated his Neglected Childhood series of paintings to the UNICEF Committee of Denmark. Chittaprosad also illustrated Indian Fables and Fairy Tales, and With Puppets to Calcutta by the Czech writer Norbert Fryd. In 1978, an Art Archive based on his works and belongings was established in Kolkata. Chiman Dangi b. 1979 Chiman Dangi obtained B.A. (Drawing and Painting) at the J.N.V. University, Jodhpur and M.A. (Visual Art) at M.L.S. University, Udaipur. He has held four solo shows in Udaipur, Jaisalmer and Mumbai. In 2011 he participated in the 9th International Biennial of Print Art at Bharat Bhavan Bhopal, the Group Art Exhibition at Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur, and State Art Exhibition, organised by Rajasthan L.K.A. Jaipur. He has attended numerous art camps, and from 2001 onwards his work has been included in group exhibitions in various Indian cities. He was twice awarded by the Rajasthan Lalit Kala Academy, Jaipur (2003) and received the Grant Scholarship by National Lalit Kala Academy, Delhi (2006). The artist is pursuing his PhD and lives and works in Udaipur. Devraj Dakoji b. 1944 Dakoji Devraj graduated from the College of Fine Arts and Architecture in Hyderabad in 1965. Later he enrolled at M.S. University of Baroda, to study printmaking. In 1975 the Andhra Pradesh Lalit Kala Academi gave him a scholarship to go to Chelsea School of Arts, London for post graduation. He was appointed as Chief Supervisor of Graphic Studios, Dept. of Art, Garhi, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi in 1977 and as Commissioner and jury member, 2nd Graphic International Print Biennial, Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal (1991). He joined the Tamarind
Institute, Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.A in 1992-1993. He has exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the world and has been a part of the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop teaching and organising international portfolios. In the 1990s Dakoji set up the Atelier 2221 in Delhi, along with wife and fellow artist Pratibha, as an effort to promote awareness about printmaking. He lives and works in Delhi. Dhruva Mistry b. 1957 Dhruva Mistry studied Sculpture at M.S. University of Baroda in 1974-1981 and the Royal College of Art in London on a British Council Scholarship in 1981-1983. Mistry was Artist in Residence at Kettle’s Yard Gallery in Cambridge with a Fellowship at the Churchill College, University of Cambridge in 1984-1985; and at the Victoria & Albert Museum London in 1988. He represented Britain at the Third Rodin Grand Prize Exhibition, Japan in 1990 and was Elected Member at the Royal Academy of Arts in 1991. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of British Sculptors, London in 1993. In 1997, he returned to Baroda. Mistry was awarded Honorary CBE in 2001. Dhruva’s work has been exhibited extensively in many national and international shows including Asian Artist Today at the Fukuoka Art Museum in Japan, at Peggy Guggenheim Collection Venice and 10th Triennial-India. Mistry lives and works in Baroda. Durgaprasad Bandi b. 1985 Durgaprasad Bandi acquired his Master’s degree in printmaking (graphics) from the Faculty of Fine Arts at M.S. University of Baroda, in 2008, after completing his Bachelor’s degree from the Department of Fine Arts at Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, in 2006. In 2010 he held his first solo show The Beast Within, at Icon art Gallery, Hyderabad. Bandi’s work has been a part of group exhibitions like Art Core England, Games People Play, and Card Deals exhibited at various venues in the UK (2011), The New Vanguard at Ahemadavad ni Gufa Gallery, Chuppa Rustam at Monolith Studio, Baroda (2009); Platform 15 at Contemporary Art Space, Lado Sarai, New Delhi, (2009); Gen X at Priyasri Art Gallery, Mumbai (2008). He was awarded the HRD National Scholarship, New Delhi, for 2008-2009
and the Malladi Telugu Scholarship, Baroda, for 2006-2008. Bandi lives and works in Baroda. Gogi Saroj Pal b. 1945 Gogi Saroj Pal studied for two years at the College of Art, Vanasthali, Rajasthan between 1961 and 1962. She then went to obtain a diploma in painting at the College of Art in Lucknow in 1967. Subsequently, she became a vocational student for postgraduate study in painting at the College of Art, Delhi. She works in many media, including gouache, oil, ceramic and weaving. From 1969, Gogi Saroj Pal has been showing regularly and participating in artists’ workshops, and camps. Over the years she has had nearly thirty solo shows and won a number of awards including the National Award of the Lalit Kala Akademi. She also participated in a large number of group shows both in India and overseas: Yugoslavia, Germany, France, Cuba and Japan among other countries. Pal lives and works in Delhi. Haren Das 1921-1993 Harendra Narayan Das, better known as Haren Das, received his early academic training partially from Ramendranath Chakravorty (1902-1955) with a diploma in Fine Art from the Government College of Arts and Crafts, Kolkata where he later became a teacher in 1947. He worked almost exclusively in printmaking mediums. His printmaking work has been exhibited and recognized in India, Japan, Germany, Switzerland, Poland, Argentina and Chile. A winner of the several national awards, Das held several one-man shows and group shows across India as well. His works are in the collections of the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, the Calcutta Art Gallery and many other state galleries. In 1950, he published a book of engravings titled Bengal Village in Wood. Haren Das died in Kolkata in 1968. Several exhibitions have shown his work posthumously including Delhi Art Gallery’s exhibition and book, both titled Haren Das: The End of Toil. Himmat Shah b. 1933 Himmat Shah graduated from M.S. University of Baroda in 1960. He was a National Cultural Scholar in 1956, and received a scholarship to study etching at Atelier 17, Paris in 1967. Shah
was a member of Group 1890, an artists’ collective founded by J. Swaminathan. His solo exhibitions include those at Jehangir Nicholson Art Gallery, Mumbai (2007); at Saffronart and Berkley Square Gallery, London (2007); and others held at Anant Art Gallery, Delhi (2005); Shridharani Gallery, Delhi (2000); Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai (1994). Among his group shows are Yellow Deity: Contemporary Indian Art at Ludwig Museum, Budapest (1997); Rediscovering the Roots at Museo de la Nacion, Lima (1997); and Biennale de Paris in 1967 and 1970. He was awarded Kalidasa Samman by the Madhya Pradesh Government in 2003; the All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society (AIFACS) Award, Delhi, in 1996, and Sahitya Kala Parishad Award, Delhi, in 1988. Shah lives and works in Delhi. Jagadeesh Tammineni b. 1988 Jagadeesh Tammineni completed his BFA from the department of Fine Arts, Andhra University, Vishakhapatnam in 2010. He is currently pursuing his MVA in printmaking at M.S. University of Baroda. In 2011 he has participated in the Annual Art Exhibition of the Bombay Art Society; the 9th Bharath Bhavan international Biennale of Print Art, Bhopal; and Staples Ideas, group show at the Faculty of Fine Arts Gallery, M.S. University of Baroda. In 2010 his work was displayed in a group show at Red Earth Gallery, Baroda. His work has also been part of various group exhibitions organised at the department of Fine Arts, Andhra University. He lives and works in Baroda. Jogen Chowdhury b. 1939 Jogen Chowdhury studied at the Government College of Arts and Crafts (1955-1960) Kolkata. In 1965, Chowdhury went to the Ecole des Beaux Arts and William Hayter’s Atelier 17 in Paris. On his return in 1968 he worked as a textile designer in the Handloom Board, Madras until 1972. His first book of poems was published in 1970, and he joined the Calcutta Painters Group. Chowdhury moved to Delhi in 1972 as curator of the Rashtrapati Bhawan art collection. In 1975, he founded Gallery 26 and Artists’ Forum along with other artists. In 1987, Chowdhury joined Kala Bhavan, Santiniketan as professor of painting. He has had several solo shows in India and abroad and has been a part of numerous group shows, national and international
Biennales and Triennials. He has received Kalidas Sanman from Government of Madhya Pradesh; and was awarded in the 2nd Biennale of Havana, Cuba. He lives and works in Santiniketan. Jyoti Bhatt b. 1934 Jyoti Bhatt studied painting at M.S. University of Baroda (19501959). He went to Academia Di Belle Arti, Naples with an Italian Government Scholarship (1961-1962) and studied Fresco at Banasthali Vidyapith (1953), and later printmaking at Pratt Institute and Pratt Graphic Art Center, New York under Fulbright and JDR Grants (1964-1966). His paintings, prints and photographs have been shown in one-man and group shows, national and international exhibitions, and published in books and magazines in India and abroad. He has done mural paintings for the Parliament House, Delhi, and several industries and educational institutions. He has received two National Awards and President’s Gold Plaque; Gold Medal at International Print Biennale, Italy; Grand-Prix at UNESCO Photo Contest, Japan, and a Top Prize at ‘FOTOKINA’, West Germany. He has served as a member of Juries and Advisory Committees for national and international art exhibitions. Bhatt lives and works in Baroda. K.G. Subramanyan b. 1924 K.G. Subramanyan graduated from Kala Bhavan, Visva Bharati University in 1948 after studying Economics from Presidency College, Chennai. Between 1951 and 1959, Subramanyan was a lecturer in painting at Faculty of Fine Arts in Baroda. During 1955-1956, he went to Slade School of Art, London as a British Council scholar. After a stint at All India Handloom Board, Bombay, he returned to Baroda as reader in painting and from 1966 to 1980 was professor. He went to New York as a Rockefeller fellow during 1966-1967. In 1980 Subramanyan moved to Santiniketan and till 1989 was professor of painting at Kala Bhavan. He has had over fifty solo shows and participated in numerous national and international group shows and major Biennales, including Sao Paolo Biennale of 1969 and 1971, Tokyo Biennale, 1964 and Menton Biennale, France in 1967 and 1976. He received the Kalidas Samman in 1981 and the Padma Shree in 1975. Subramanyan lives and works in Baroda.
ARTIST BIOGRAPHIES 143
Kanchan Chander b. 1957 Kanchan Chander did a foundation year at Weisensee Kunst Hochschule in Berlin and BFA in painting and printmaking from Delhi College of Art. During 1979 and 1980 she was guest student at College of Art, Chile. She received a Grant from Lalit Kala Akademi, Delhi; French Government Scholarship, Ecole Des Beaux, Paris and Fellowship from the Ministry of Human Resources Development, Delhi. She was a Lecturer at College of Art, Delhi between 1986 and 2005. She has held several solo shows in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Nepal and Japan and has also participated in group shows across India and overseas including Norwegian International Print show, Triennial India; International Print Biennale at France, Bhopal, Yugoslavia, Japan and the UK. She is a Founder member of Indian Printmakers Guild. Awards to her credit include those of the Yuva Mahotsava; Sahitya Kala Parishad; Women’s All India AIFACS and International Print Biennale from Bradford, UK. She lives and works in Delhi. Koustav Nag b. 1982 Koustav Nag completed his BFA from Indira Kala Sangeet Viswavidyalaya in 2005 and MFA from Kala Bhavan, Vishva Bharati University, Santiniketan in 2007. His works has been part of many solo, curated as well as group shows in India and abroad including a group show by Emami Chisel Art Gallery, Kolkata (2010); Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai (2010); Brownson Art Gallery, G.C Laha Art Gallery in Kolkata (2009); Manhattanville College, New York (2008), and others. He has been part of several residencies, workshops as well as camps such as those at NIV Art Center, International Residency, New Delhi (2011); Religare Art, International Residency, New Delhi (2010); Video Art with performance at Studio 21, Kolkata (2009). He is the recipient of Lalit Kala Research Grant, New Delhi (2010); National Scholarship (HRD), New Delhi, 200809 among others. Nag lives and works in Kolkata and Delhi. Kurma Natham b. 1985 Kurma Nadham completed his Bachelor’s degree in printmaking from Andhra University, Vishakhapatnam in 2007. In 2009 he achieved his post-graduation in printmaking from 144 Between the Lines
the Faculty of Fine Arts at the M.S. University of Baroda. He received a national scholarship and the Vasudev fellowship to support his artistic education. Among his exhibitions are Energy of Belief, The Strand Art Room, Mumbai (2010); Gestures of Love, Epicenter, Gurgaon (2011); Print Bazaar Chhaap Foundation For Printmaking trust, Baroda; Boxes and Bookends The Strand Art Room, Colaba, Mumbai; Incredible Collections Travel Exhibition, Ahmedabad; Gufa Art Gallery Ahmadabad, Fine Arts Gallery Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S. University of Baroda (2010); AIFACS 82nd Annual All India Exhibition, New Delhi (2009); International Biennial, Bhopal (2008). He has participated in several printmaking workshops and camps. Kurma lives and works in Baroda. Krishna Reddy b. 1925 Krishna Reddy studied art at the Vishwa-Bharati University, Santiniketan, West Bengal. From 1947 to 1950 he headed the art section at Kalakshetra, Chennai. From 1951-1952 he studied art at the Slade School of Arts, University of London. Later, he worked under William Hayter in Paris as Associate Director of Atelier 17, as well as in the studios of Henry Moore in England, Marino Marini in Italy and Ossip Zadkine in Paris. During the 1950s he began to teach, at the American University, Washington and Stout University of Menomonie, Wisconsin. He has participated in the International Symposium of sculpture held at St Margarathain, Austria in 1962 and in Montreal, Canada in 1964. He has served on numerous award juries, national and international. Awarded the Padma Shree in 1972, Reddy was also one of the guest Invitees to the Silvermime National Print Biennial in the USA. Krishna Reddy lives and works out of Paris and United States of America. Krishen Khanna b. 1925 Krishen Khanna attended classes at the Mayo School of Art in Lahore before moving to Shimla during partition. A largely self-taught artist, Khanna graduated from the Imperial Service College, Windsor, England in 1940. Later he joined Grindlays Bank in Mumbai and was invited to join the Progressive Artists’ Group with whom he remained in continued association. Khanna was awarded the Rockefeller Fellowship in 1962 and was Art-
ist in Residence at the American University in Washington in 1963-1964. Apart from several solo shows he has participated in group shows including Tokyo Biennale (1957 and 1961), Sao Paulo Biennale (1960), Venice Biennale (1962), and Festival of India in the then USSR and in Japan in 1987 and 1988. Khanna has held positions in decision-making bodies of the Lalit Kala Akademi, National Gallery of Modem Art and Roopanker Museum, Bhopal. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1990 and Lalit Kala Ratna in 2004. Khanna lives and works in Delhi. Lalitha Lajmi b. 1932 Lalitha Lajmi is a self-taught artist who began painting from 1961 onwards. Early in her career she taught art in a school. By the mid-80s, she was doing etchings, oils and watercolours. She has held more than twenty solo shows in several prestigious galleries in India including the Prithvi Art Gallery, Pundole Art Gallery and Gallery 7 in Mumbai, Apparao Galleries in Chennai and Art Heritage in Delhi. She has also participated in many shows in England, Yugoslavia and the Netherlands. Lalitha Lajmi has been awarded grants for exhibitions in Germany and the USA. She was honoured twice by the Bombay Art Society, and she is represented in many public collections including the British Museum, UK. She was the recipient of the Government of India Junior Fellowship from 1979 to 1983. She lives and works in Mumbai. Lalu Prasad Shaw b. 1937 Lalu Prasad Shaw completed his education in fine arts at the Government College of Arts and Crafts in Kolkata. He was a lecturer at Visva Bharati University, Sanitniketan for more than sixteen years. He is an elected member of Society of Contemporary Artists, Kolkata. Shaw has exhibited extensively in India and abroad since 1956, and his works have been a part of prestigious international shows such as the second British Biennale in London, 1970, two Norwegian Print Biennales in 1974 and 1978, the seventh Paris Biennale in 1971; the second Asian Art Biennale hosted by Bangladesh in 1984; and Whiteley’s London in 1996. He has received the National Award of Lalit Kala Akademi, Delhi and the West Bengal State Lalit Kala Akademi Award in 1971. The artist lives and works in Kolkata.
Laxma Goud b. 1940 Laxma Goud did his Diploma in Fine Arts from College of Fine Arts and Architecture, Hyderabad, in 1963, and specialized in Mural Design under K.G. Subramanyan from M.S. University of Baroda in 1965. He established and headed the Department of Fine Arts in the Sarojini Naidu School of University of Hyderabad. His works have been exhibited in all the major cities of India in solo and group shows. He has participated in several International exhibitions including Figurative Indian Artists Warsaw, Griffei Kunst Hamburg, Tokyo Print Biennale, Sao Paolo Biennale, Contemporary Indian Art, London, Worcester and New York, India in Print, Amsterdam, Indian Art Today: Four Artists, The Phillips Collection Washington, Coups de Coeur Geneva, Saffron Art and Pundole Gallery New York. He also curated Contemporary Indian Art to commemorate fifty years of Indian Independence in Lima, Peru. He has been awarded the State Lalit Kala Award, Andhra Pradesh; Silver and Gold Medal by Hyderabad Art Society. The artist lives and works in Hyderabad. L.N.V. Srinivas b. 1966 L.N.V. Srinivas graduated in Fine Arts from Andhra University, Vishakhapatnam (1991), following it with a Post Graduation in Fine Arts from University of Hyderabad (1993). Among his solo exhibitions are those at Alankritha Art Gallery, Hyderabad (2007), Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai (2005), Sridharani Art Gallery, New Delhi (2002), Daira Art Gallery, Hyderabad (2002). He has taken part in camps, workshops and group exhibitions, including those at the Museum Gallery, Mumbai (2008); ICONART gallery, Hyderabad (2008), MINAZ art gallery, Hyderabad (2008), Birla Academy of Art and Culture, Kolkata (2008), Cymroza Art Gallery, Mumbai (2008), and Nvya Art Gallery, New Delhi (2007). He was awarded from 2006 Camlin Art foundation Award, the Telugu University Award 2001, and in 1991-1992 the National Scholarship, Department of Culture, Government of India. He lives and works in Hyderabad where he is Associate Professor at Department of Fine Arts, Central University. M.F. Husain 1915-2011 Muqbool Fida Husain was a self-taught artist. In 1937 he
reached Mumbai determined to become an artist. In 1947 his first exhibition was conducted at the Bombay Art Society. He was invited by F.N. Souza to join the Progressive Artist’s Group in 1948. From 1948 to 1950 there was a series of exhibitions of M.F. Husain’s paintings all over India. In 1956, his paintings were exhibited in the art galleries of Prague and Zurich. In 1966 Husain was awarded the Padmashri by the Government of India. Besides painting, he has also made feature films, such as Through the Eyes of a Painter, in 1967, which was a Golden Bear Award winner at the Berlin Film Festival; Gajagamini in 2000 and Meenaxi-A Tale of 3 Cities in 2004. The Government of India also honoured him with the Padma Bhushan and the Padma Vibhushan awards. Husain passed away in London in 2011. Maripelly Praveen Goud b. 1986 M. Praveen Goud completed his MFA in Printmaking from Faculty of Fine Art, M.S. University of Baroda (2009) and BFA in Painting from P.S. Telugu University, Hyderabad (2007). He has participated in many group shows and workshops such as First Look, Project 88 Art Gallery, Mumbai (2009), Ragini Art Gallery, New Delhi (2009), 51st National Art Exhibition, Lalit Kala Academy (2009), and others. Praveen has been part of several camps and workshops. He has received the HRD Scholarship by ministry of culture, New Delhi in 20092011 and the KrishnaKriti Foundation Scholarship, Hyderabad (2007-2009). He is recipient of the National Academy Award in 51st National Art Exhibition organised by Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi (2009), and the H.K .Kejriwal Young Artist Award by Mahua Arts, Bengaluru (2010). Praveen lives and works in Baroda, Gujarat, India. Moutushi b. 1975 Moutushi pursued her education in Graphic Arts at Kalabhavan, Santiniketan followed by a Masters at Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda. In 2000 she was awarded the Charles Wallace India Trust Award from the British Council in India, as well as the Commonwealth Fellowship for Visual Arts. Aided by the scholarships she completed an MA programme in Advanced Printmaking at the Wimbledon School of Art London. She has held two solo shows, in London and in Bangalore, and partici-
pated in several national and international exhibitions including the 7th International Engraving Biennial of Ile-de-France (2009); Indian Art Exhibition at Cairo, curated by Dr. Sanjoy Mallik and presented by Lalit Kala Akademi, Rabindra Bhawan, Delhi (2008); and Footprints a show of prints by thirty women printmakers from India and abroad, Colab Gallery, Bangalore and Gallery Chemould, Mumbai (2006). Most recently she had a solo show, Parables, at Time and Space Gallery in Bangalore (2012). The artist lives and works in Kolkata. Mukul Dey 1895-1989 Mukul Dey was a student at Santiniketan. He went to Japan in 1916, and studied under artists Yokoyama Taikan and Kanzan Shimomura. In 1920 Dey once again travelled abroad, this time learning etching and engraving under Frank Short and Muirhead Bone. He studied at both the Slade school of Art and the Royal College of Art London. Dey was appointed the first Indian Principal of the Government School of Art, Calcutta, in 1928 and kept the post until 1943. While there he was responsible for starting a women’s section. The Mukul Dey Archives are housed at Mukul Dey’s former home, named Chitralekha, at Santiniketan. He was also the illustrator for many book projects; one of his earliest was a scholarly book Shantiniketan: The Bolpur School of Rabindranath Tagore, which he illustrated for in 1916. He was also one of the artists asked by Jawaharlal Nehru to sketch the emblems for the Government of India’s awards, including the Bharat Ratna and the Padmashri. Nandalal Bose 1882-1966 Nandalal Bose began his art education under Abanindranath Tagore; he was also a pupil at the Government College of Art. He became the principal of Kala Bhawan, Shantiniketan in 1922. Nandalal Bose was awarded a prize of Rs. 500 at the first art exhibition organized by it in 1908 for his painting Shiva-Sati. In 1956, he became the second artist to be elected Fellow of the Lalit Kala Akademi, India’s National Academy of Art. In 1954, Nandalal Bose was given-upon the title award of Padma Vibhushan. Several universities conferred honorary Doctorates on him. Vishvabharati University honoured him by conferring on him the title of Deshikottama. The Academy of Fine Arts in ARTIST BIOGRAPHIES 145
Calcutta awarded him with the Silver Jubilee Medal. The Tagore Birth Centenary Medal was awarded to Bose in 1965 by the Asiatic Society of Bengal. His works have been shown in exhibitions worldwide, many of them posthumously. Neeraj Singh Khandka b. 1983 Neeraj Singh completed his BFA from the Govt. College of Art, Chandigarh and is currently completing his MFA in graphics from Viswa Bharati University, Santiniketan. His work has been part of exhibitions organised by AIFACS Delhi (2011); the 9th Bharat Bhavan Biennale of Print Art (2010); Birla Academy of Fine Arts (2010-2011); the Dept. of Language and Culture, Himachal Pradesh, All India Exhibition of Art (2008); and the Indian Academy of Fine Arts (2007, 2010), among others. His work has been recognised by the Government College of Art Chandigarh through an Outstanding Award in Printmaking (2009-2010) and a First Prize in printmaking at the annual art show (2006, 2008). He has also been awarded at the 76th and 77th All India Exhibition of Arts at the Academy of Fine Arts, Amritsar. Khandka lives and works in Santiniketan. Nirmalendu Das b. 1951 Nirmalendu Das completed a Bachelor’s degree in graphic art in 1973 at Vishva Bharati University, Santiniketan. He was awarded a Master’s degree in graphic arts in 1975 at M.S. University of Baroda. He later did a PhD researching printmaking in India at Vishva Bharati University (Under Junior research Fellowship, U.G.C). He has held various academic posts in his career, and from 1996 has been Professor in Graphic Art, Kala Bhavan, Vishva Bharati University. He has participated in more than eighty exhibitions in India and all over the world, and held several solo shows. He has participated in, and also curated and organised printmaking workshops and camps. He has been awarded by AIFACS, Delhi; by the West Bengal State Academy of Arts, Kolkata; by the Birla Academy of Art Kolkata and also twice at the All India Prints Exhibitions (Hyderabad; Delhi and Chandigarh). He lives and works in Santiniketan. Paramjit Singh b. 1935 Paramjit Singh studied at the Delhi School of Art and learnt 146 Between the Lines
printmaking at Atelier Nord Oslo Norway. He taught at the Department of Fine Art, Jamia Milia Islamia University in Delhi for twenty-nine years retiring as Professor in 1992 to take to full time painting in pursuit of his passion. He was the founder member of ‘The Unknown’, a group of young painters and sculptors based in Delhi. Following his first solo exhibition in 1967 at Triveni Gallery in Delhi, he has had more than thirty solo and fifty group exhibitions in various Indian metros and abroad including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Singapore, London, Norway, Germany, Tokyo and Belgium. Winner of the National Award in 1970 and participant at art festivals in the then USSR, Baghdad and Israel amongst others, he has also been the Commissioner for the Indian participation at the Art Festival of Pakistan in Lahore. The artist lives and works in New Delhi. Pinaki Barua b. 1954 Pinaki Barua joined Kala Bhavan as a student in 1973. He specialized in printmaking and finished his Masters in 1980. He later joined the department as a teacher and continues in the same department as a Professor in Printmaking. In 1984, Barua, along with a group of artist friends formed a group called the Realists. He has exhibited throughout India in group and solo shows and participated in camps and workshops. He has also exhibited frequently in the international arena. He has been the recipient of a Senior Fellowship, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Department of Culture, Government of India (1997-1999); and a Junior Fellowship from the Department of Culture (1994 -1996). From 1994 to 1996 he has been a member of Executive Council, Rabindra Bharati University and of General Council, Lalit Kala Academy. Barua lives and works in Santiniketan. Prabhakar Alok b. 1976 Alok Prabhakar has done his BFA in painting from Patna University (1995-2000) and MVA in printmaking from M.S. University of Baroda (2003-2005). He has participated in several group exhibitions including ones at Sarjan Art Gallery, Cutting Chai, Vadodara (2009); Obtuse-Acute, Priyasri Art Gallery, Mumbai (2009); the Academy of Fine Arts (2008); Samokal Gallery, Kolkata (2007); Birla Academy of Art and Culture 40th Anniversary celebrations, Kolkata (2006); and Two x Two
at Sarjan Art Gallery Baroda, organised by Alekhya Foundation, Baroda (2006). In 2002 he was awarded a Scholarship in the field of Graphics by the Department of Culture, Govt. of India. He has also received other awards from the Bihar Art Society, Ara (2000) and AIFACS, Delhi (2000). Prabhakar lives and works in Baroda. Prathap Modi b. 1983 Prathap Modi graduated with a BFA in Printmaking from Andhra University, Visakhapatanam, in 2004, followed by a Masters in Printmaking from M.S. University of Baroda in 2007. He received the Gold medal for printmaking, at both Bachelors and Masters levels and was selected for participation in the Peers Residency at Khoj in 2007. In 2011, he held a solo show in Mumbai at Seven Art Gallery, and in 2008 at Kitab Mahal Mumbai organised by the Fine Art Company. Prathap Modi’s work has been exhibited in several Indian cities including 22nd Ravi Jain Annual Show, Dhoomimal Gallery, New Delhi (2006); Trans Local, Exhibition Grounds, Faculty of Fine Arts, Baroda (2006); AIFACS Exhibition, New Delhi (2006). Modi has received several scholarships, including the HRD National Scholarship (2007); Vasudev Arnawaz Fellowship (2005-07); Malladi Telugu Fellowship, Vadodara (2005); Mothdaka Travel Scholarship to Delhi (2005); Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University Scholarship (2005-07). Modi lives and works in Baroda. Preeti Agrawal b. 1985 Preeti Agrawal did a Bachelor’s degree at Lalit Kala Sansthan at Dr. B.R. Ambedkar University, Agra, (2005) followed by a Master’s degree in printmaking at M.S. University of Baroda, (2008). Agrawal’s has participated in several group exhibitions including the Affordable Art Fair, Hampstead Heath, London (2011); Here, Now, Then, There, and Here Again, Religare Art Residency Show, New Delhi, (2011); Rush, The Strand Art Gallery, Mumbai (2010); Show! Girls, The Strand Art Gallery, Mumbai and the IMA Foundation MenIre Gallery, London (2009); the French Biennale Exhibition, France; and Horizons Divergent at the Academy of Art, New Delhi (2007). Agrawal was awarded with the INLAKS Fine Arts Award, Mumbai in 2009; the State Lalit Kala Akademi award, Ahmedabad (2007-
2008), and received a National Scholarship for Young Artists from the Ministry of Culture, Government of India (20052007). She lives and works in Baroda. R.S. Sham Sunder b. 1949 R.S. Sham Sunder completed a diploma in painting, KEN School of Art Bangalore (1974-1979) followed by post diploma in Printmaking at Kala Bhavan, Viswa Bharati University (1980-1982). He has held fourteen solo shows in Bangalore, Bombay, Delhi and Hyderabad and has been part of numerous group exhibitions, workshops and camps, both nationally and internationally. His works were part of Contemporary Indian Prints, Festival of India in USA, 1985; Asian European Art Biennale at Ankara, Turkey (1990); an exhibition at The Redstone Art Center, Colorado, USA (2000). In addition to being awarded several times by the Karnataka Lalit Kala Academy, and All India Graphics, Chandigarh, he has received the Karnataka Shilpakala Academi Award for contribution in the field of Fine Arts (2001), and Human Resource Development Fellowship for Fine Arts (19951996). He is currently Head and Professor, at the Department of Fine Arts, Central University, Hyderabad. He lives and works between Hyderabad and Bangalore. Rajan Fulari b. 1971 Rajan Fulari did his BFA at Goa Art College in 1992 and MFA at M.S. University of Baroda in 1995. He also studied Film Appreciation from FTII, Pune. He was a lecturer in Goa College of Fine Art, Panaji in 1995-2001 and also taught at Academy of Fashion Studies, Delhi in 1996. He has held his solo shows at Delhi in 2000, 1998 and 1996; Mumbai in 1999 and 1998; at Goa in 1995 and 1993; at Aurangabad in 1994. He has participated in over twenty-five group shows across India and abroad including International Art Expo, Italy, Contemporary Indian Art, Germany, Bharat Bhawan Print Biennale, and Idea and Images at the NGMA in Mumbai, Multiple-Encounters (Indo-American Print Show) Delhi, and Emerging India, Royal College of Art, London. He has received more than fifteen awards including National Scholarship and Junior Fellowship from Govt. of India, National Award from Rajasthan Lalit Kala Akademi, AIFACS Award. He currently heads the graphic department at Garhi Studios, Delhi.
Rajesh Deb b. 1979 Rajesh Deb did his M.V.A. from Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata. He has displayed his work in Academy of Fine Arts Annual Exhibition over the years 1999-2003. He has participated in CIMA Gallery’s workshop exhibition in 2004, National Exhibition in Mumbai (2004), Rethinking Bengal in 2005, Outsider (2006), Gen Next at Aakriti Art Gallery, Kolkata, (2007) and Zany and Visionary Debian Delight, Aakriti Art Gallery, Kolkata (2011). He has participated in the National Seminar and Workshop (2004-2005) in Delhi, the Khoj International Workshop in Kolkata (2006), among others. As a printmaker, Rajesh has several awards, including the R.B.U. Annual Exhibition Award in 2004 and 2005, Nirad Baran Smriti Award in 2006 and the University Gold Medal in 2006. He lives and works in Kolkata. Ram Kumar b. 1924 Ram Kumar did his Masters in Economics from Delhi University. A student at the Sarada Ukil School of Art, Delhi he began to participate in group exhibitions and was spotted by Raza who became a close friend. Kumar later went to Paris and studied painting under Andre Lhote and Fernand Leger between 1949 and 1952. He has held several solo exhibitions; he has been part of International Biennales in Tokyo in 1957 and 1970, the Venice Biennale (1958) and in Sao Paulo in 1961, 1965 and 1972. He has also participated in the Festival of India shows in the then USSR and Japan in 1987 and 1988. Ram Kumar received the Padma Shri in 1971. He also writes short stories in Hindi and four collections of his works have been published. He has received the Premchand Puraskar from the U.P. Government for Meri Priya Kahaniyan, a collection of short stories. Ram Kumar lives and works in Delhi. Ramendranath Chakravorty 1902-1955 Ramendranath Chakravorty’s formal art education began at the Government School of Art in 1919. In two years he left Calcutta and to join the newly founded Kala Bhavan, Santiniketan in 1921. After short stints at Andhra National Art Gallery (Kalashala) of Musolipatnam and Kala Bhavana, Ramendranath joined Government School of Arts, Calcutta, as the Head Assistant Teacher in 1929, during the principal-ship of Mukul Dey. From 1943 to
1946 he was the Officiating Principal there and he introduced the Graphics Department in 1943. Ramendranath became the Principal of the School in 1949. In 1937 Ramendranath travelled to London for higher studies in painting at Slade School of Art, London and the following year has a solo show in London. From this time onward (until his untimely death in 1955) he exhibited his works extensively all over the world. He also organized exhibitions of Indian artists both in India and abroad. Ramkinkar Baij 1906-1980 Ramkinkar Baij received his diploma from Kala Bhavan, Shantiketan in 1925, where he was trained by two European sculptors, one of whom was a disciple of Bourdelle, who were on a visit to Santiniketan on an invitation by Rabindranath Tagore. He later became Head of the Sculpture Department there. He worked with sculpture, painting as well as printmaking in his career as artist and teacher. His works have been included in several exhibitions such as the Asian Art Exhibition, Tokyo (1979), Man and Nature: Reflections of Six Artists, Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage and National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi (1995). A retrospective of his work was held at the National Gallery of Modern Art (1990) as well as in 2012. He has been the recipient of Deshikottom by Vishwa Bharati University, D.lit by Rabindra Bharati University, and was honoured with the Padma Bhushan in 1970. R.B. Bhaskaran b. 1942 R.B. Bhaskaran studied Advance Painting at Govt. College of Arts and Crafts, Chennai from 1960-1966. In 1964 he underwent training in fresco technique at Bhanasthali Vidyapith College, Rajasthan. Under a scholarship from International Association of Plastic Arts (IAPA), UNESCO, in 1968 he studied Intaglio, Printmaking, Lithography and Ceramics at Ein Hod in Israel. 1976-77, he did Post graduation in print making at Portsmouth Polytechnic, England on a British Council scholarship. Bhaskaran has held numerous one-man shows between 1966 and the present in India, Israel, Jerusalem, UK and Holland. In addition he has participated in various major group shows in India and aboard. He was also awarded scholarships from British Council, Delhi in 1979, 1981, 1984, and 1986; a Fellowship by ARTIST BIOGRAPHIES 147
the Dept. of Culture, Ministry of Education, Delhi in 1982; and the National Award, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi. Bhaskaran lives and works out of Chennai. R.C. Bagchi 1910-1977 Radha Charan Bagchi graduated in 1939 with distinction from the Government School of Art and Craft, Calcutta. He taught art in schools before joining Kala Bhavan, Santiniketan at Rabindranath Tagore’s invitation. In 1963-1973, he was officiated twice as the Principal of Kala-Bhavan. Bagchi was a master painter working in oil, tempera, opaque and transparent watercolour as well as wash painting style. He received awards for his work from the Academy of Fine Arts, Calcutta 1939; AIFACS, New Delhi 1946; the Rabindranath Tagore Gold Medal for the painting entitled Sultana Razia, Academy of Fine Arts, Calcutta again in 1946; the Punjab Govt. Gold Medal for painting in 1952. In 1958 he was awarded the President’s Gold and Silver combined plaque from All India Exhibition of Paintings, Madras and Gold Centered Medal, All India Exhibition, Patna, for traditional Indian Paintings. Rekha Rodwittiya b. 1958 Rekha Rodwittiya completed her graduation from M.S. University of Baroda in 1981. She received the Inlaks scholarship for her M.A. in Painting from Royal College of Art, London in 1984. She was invited as guest artist to the Konsthogskolan, Stockholm 1988-1989; and to deliver lectures on Indian Art at the Ecole des Beaux Arts Grenoble and Castello de Rivoli, Torino in 1991. She was conferred Staff Fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation Asian Cultural Council to work in the USA in 1990. She has held numerous solo exhibitions, and among her international participations are Contemporary Indian Art from the Herwitz Collection, Grey Art Gallery, New York (1985), Evocations, solo exhibition at Ludovica Barberri Gallery, Venice (1998), and a Project in Brazil with Labrotoria, curated by Phillipe Mullion (1998), Art Amsterdam by Gallery FIA, Amsterdam, Netherlands (2000). She received a Junior Fellowship, Ministry of Culture and Human Resources, Government of India in 1994. Rodwittiya lives and works in Baroda.
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Rini Dhumal b. 1948 Rini Dhumal acquired her MFA in painting from M.S. University of Baroda in 1972. She is both, a printmaker and a painter. She has held a number of solo and group exhibitions in India and overseas, including those at Galerie Brita Printz, Madrid-Spain (1993); Sakshi Gallery, Madras, Banglore (1992); Print Exhibition, Madrid-Spain (1991); Galerie Art & Data, Frankfurt-Germany (1990). Rini has received several awards and recognitions including Senior Fellowship, Ministry of Human Resource, Delhi (1994-1996); M.S. Randhawa Award, AIFACS, Delhi (1988); National Award, L.K.A. (1988); Research Fellowship, Ministry of Human Resource, Delhi (1983-1885); French Govt. Scholarship working under Sir S.W. Hayter at Atelier 17 and with Krishna Reddy, Paris (1975-76); Govt. of India Cultural Scholarship (1973–1975); and Chancellor’s Gold Medal (1972). She was Professor and Head, Department of Painting in Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S. University between 1997 and 2005. The artist lives and works in Baroda. Rm. Palaniappan b. 1957 Rm. Palaniappan is an alumnus of the Govt. College of Arts Crafts, Madras. He studied advanced Lithography in Tamarind Institute, USA, during 1991 and was Artist in Residence at the Oxford University in 1996. He has participated in numerous international prints exhibitions and important national level shows. He has held more than nineteen one-man shows across the country and also in Holland and U.K. He has curated Major Trends in Indian Art organized by Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi to commemorate the golden Jubilee of India’s independence in 1997 and also served as international Commissioner for Bharat Bhavan Prints Biennale (1995). He has received several awards and residencies including the Fulbright Grant, Charles Wallace India Trust grant, International Visitorship programme of USIS, and Senior Fellowship, Govt of India; he was invited to visit France, Germany and Australia through ministries of cultural affairs. He lives and works in Chennai. S. Chandramohan b. 1981 S. Chandramohan completed his BFA in Painting, J.N.T.U, Hyderabad, 2004 and MVA in Graphics, Faculty of Fine Arts,
M.S. University of Baroda (2007). He held his first solo exhibition at Serindia Gallery in Bangkok (2010). He has participated in several group exhibitions including those organised by ABS Gallery Baroda (2009), AIFACS Delhi (2006 and 2007), and Hyderabad Art Society (2004 and 2006). He was awarded the Highly Commendable certificate in 8th Biennial of Printmaking, Bhopal in 2008, at the 49th National Exhibition of Art by Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi (2006) at the All India Industrial Exhibitions, Hyderabad Art Society (2005), and received the Highly Commendable certificate by Hyderabad Art Society in 2004 and 2006. He lives and works in Baroda. S. Karuna b. 1980 Karuna Sukka has a Bachelor’s degree in painting from P.S. Telugu University, a Master’s in printmaking from University of Hyderabad and Master’s in museology from M.S. University of Baroda. Her solo shows include Exhibition of Drawings and Paintings, at Shrishti Art Gallery, Hyderabad (2008) and at The Kashi Art Cafe, Cochin, India (2009). She has participated in numerous group shows, the most recent being the Regional Art Exhibition, Lalit Kala Academi, Regional Centre Galleries, Chennai (2012); and Salt and Pepper: an art exhibition in black and white, Icon Art Gallery, Hyderabad. She has received the National Merit scholarship from Ministry of Culture, HRD, Govt. of India (2007); A.P. State award for graphics, P.S. Telugu University, Hyderabad (2007); 77th All India Exhibition award, AIFACS, New Delhi (2005); All India Art Exhibition award, Hyderabad Art Society (2004), among others. She lives and works in Hyderabad. Salil Sahani b. 1962 Salil Sahani obtained a Master’s degree from Vishwa Bharati University in 1990. He has held several solo exhibitions, including those at Nandan Gallery, Santiniketan (2005, 2011), Birla Academy of Art and Culture, Kolkata (1999, 2000, 2005), Art Heritage Gallery, Delhi (2003). He has participated in national and international group shows including those at Dhaka University, Bangladesh (2011); Otterbein College, Frank Museum of Art, Westerville, Ohio (2009); Silpakorn University Bangkok (2008); and Manhattan Graphics Centre, New York (2004).
His work was part of the Print Biennial in France (2012), and Pusan International Biennial of Contemporary Art in South Korea (1992). He has won awards like the President of India’s Silver Plaque award and AIFACS Award in 1992, and the South Central Zone Cultural Centre Award. He was awarded by the British High Commission and the Henry Moore Foundation in 1988 and received the National Academy Award in 1994. He lives and works in Santiniketan. Sanat Kar b. 1935 Sanat Kar joined the Government College of Art and Craft, Calcutta in 1950. In 1952, along with fellow-students Kar formed a group called The Artists’ Circle. He graduated from the Art College in 1955. He held teaching jobs first at Calcutta Boy’s School and then in 1978 at Kala Bhavan, Vishva Bharati in Santiniketan. He participated in the formation of the Society of Contemporary Artists in 1960. Since 1951 he has held quite a number of solo exhibitions in Calcutta, New Delhi, Bombay and Santiniketan. He has participated in a number of National and International exhibitions including the Festival of India at the Meguro Museum of Art and Takaoka Municipal Museum of Art, Japan (1988); India in Print, Koninklijk Institute, Vorde, Amsterdam (1983); and Indian Printmaking Today, Jehangir Art Gallery, Bombay (1985). He has received the Kala Vibhushan (1997), Shiromani Puruskar, Kolkata (1996), and Bengal LKA Award (1993). Kar lives and works in Kolkata. Santanu Bhattacharya b. 1944 Santanu Bhattacharya completed a Diploma in Fine Arts & Crafts from Kala Bhavan, Visva-Bharati University in 1966 followed by a Post-Diploma in mural-painting from Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S. University of Baroda (1968); and a further PostDiploma in graphic art at Kala Bhavan, Viswa Bharati (1969). His work has been part of national group exhibitions held in cities across India, and internationally he has participated in 9th International Triennial of coloured Graphic Prints, Grenchen, Switzerland (1982), where his work was awarded. He has held solo shows at Birla Academy of Arts & Culture, Kolkata (2006), Jehangir Gallery, Mumbai (2005), and at Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata, every year from 1968 to 2011. His work was awarded by
J. Walter Thompson & Co., Calcutta (1963), and at 2nd All India Prints Exhibition organised by Takhman 28, Rajasthan, in 1987. He taught at the department of Graphic Arts, Kala Bhavan, until 2009. He lives and works in Santiniketan. G.R. Santosh 1929-1997 Gulam Rasool Santosh initially trained in painting, weaving and papier-mâché. He won a Government of India scholarship to study fine art at the M.S. University of Baroda. He held his first solo show in 1953 in Srinagar. Santosh was also an acclaimed poet in Kashmiri and Urdu. His Urdu novel Samandar Pysasa Hai was lauded, and 1979 the Sahitya Akademi awarded him for his collection of poems in Kashmiri, titled Besukh Ruh. Since 1953, Santosh held over thirty one-man shows in India, USA, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore. His paintings had been exhibited in international shows, including the Sao Paolo Biennale (1969, 1972), Triennale-India (1968, 1978), Contemporary Indian Art, National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi (1984), and the Neo-Tantra Art, U.C. Los Angeles (1986). He received the National Award in 1973, and Padma Shri in 1977, and won the Artist of the Year Award in Delhi in 1984 besides several posthumous honours in Kashmir and Delhi. Shaikh Azghar Ali b. 1985 Shaikh Azghar Ali has a Bachelor’s degree in sculpture from Andhra University, Vishakhapatnam (2008) and a Master’s degree in sculpture from Viswa Bharati University, Santiniketan. Among the recent group exhibitions in which he has participated are Art|nexxt| (2012) at Lalit Kala Akademi Delhi; group show at Dhoomimal Gallery Delhi organised by Kala Sakshi Memorial Trust (2012); Emerge, at Exhibition Hall, Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S. University of Baroda (2011); and Artcore – Card Deal, England, curated by Sandhya Bordawekar (2011). He has been part of several camps and workshops nationally. In 2009, he received the Kala Sakshi Memorial Trust Award, Delhi and in 2010 he received the National scholarship from the Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India. He lives and works in Baroda. Shankar Kumawat b. 1958 Shankar Kumawat completed his Maasters in Drawing and
Painting from MLSU, Udaipur in 1985. A selection of the exhibitions he has participated in are those at the Culture Center, Saint-Denic and the Re-Union, Franklen (1991-1992); National Museum, Copenhagen, (1996); Gallery W-11, Copenhagen (1997); Contemporary Art Gallery, Ahmedabad; and Fine Arts & Crafts Society, New Delhi. He has participated in several national workshops and camps at Udaipur, Nagpur and Chandigarh. His work has been shown in the All India Exhibition of Print, Delhi (1985); and at the Rajasthan Lalit Kala Acadami, Jaipur (1985 and 1994) among others. In 1985 he was awarded by the Rajasthan Lalit Kala Acadami, as a student. He lives and works in Udaipur. Shanti Dave b. 1931 Shanti Dave completed his Post-Graduate Diploma in Painting from the Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S. University of Baroda in 1956. His work has been exhibited widely in shows held in different parts of the country and overseas including the International Graphics Exhibition, Switzerland in 1960; Paris Biennale, Paris in 1961; Commonwealth Exhibition, London in 1962; Frankfurt Kunstkabinett, Germany in 1963; Third Triennale India Gold Medal in 1975; Sao Paulo Biennale, Brazil in 1980; Indian Contemporary Art Seminar and Exhibition, Delphi and Athens in 1984; Indian Contemporary Art, Tokyo in 1988; National Exposition of Contemporary Art, NGMA (1991). He has been honoured with several awards including Lalit Kala Akademi Ratna (2004), Padma Shri (1985), Tokyo Biennale Award (1965); Calcutta Academy of Art Award and Bombay Art Exhibition Awards (1959) and thrice the National Art Academy Award in 1956, 1957 and 1958. He lives and works in New Delhi. Shibu Natesan b. 1966 Shibu Natesan earned his BFA in Painting from College of Fine Arts, Trivandrum, 1987, and his MFA in Printmaking from M.S. University of Baroda, 1991. From 1996-1997 he was the Artist in Residence at Rijksakademie Van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam. His solo exhibitions include Each One, Teach One, Jack Shainman Gallery, New York (2007); Vision Unlimited, Grosvenor Gallery, London (2006); Existence of Instinct at ARTIST BIOGRAPHIES 149
Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai (2005) and two solos at Gallerie Nanky De Vreez, Amsterdam (2002 and 1997). He has participated in numerous group exhibitions including Parallel Realities, Asian Art Now, Blackburn Museum, Lancashire, England (2006); Parallel Realities, The Third Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan (2005); Under Construction, The Japan Foundation, Tokyo, Japan (2001); Ars 01 – Unfolding Perspectives, Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki, Finland (2000); and the Sixth Bharat Bhavan Biennale of Contemporary Art, Bhopal, India (1995). The artist lives and works between London and Trivandrum. Soghra Khurasani b. 1983 Soghra Khurasani completed her Master’s degree in printmaking at the Department of Graphics, M.S. University of Baroda (2010). She did her Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting from Andhra University, Visakhapatnam (2008). Her work has been part of several shows since 2011 including the Religare Residency Group show, The WhyNot Place, Religare Arts, New Delhi; IFA Group show, Bangalore and Inks & Ideas, group show of printmakers, by Kalakriti Art Gallery, Hyderabad; Works at One, at Gallery One in Udaipur and Bougainvillaea Art Gallery in Udaipur, and GenNext V, group show at Aakriti Art Gallery, Kolkata in 2010 among many others. She is a recipient of Kala Sakshi Memorial Trust Award, New Delhi (2009) and a Scholarship from Krishnakriti Foundation (2009). She lives in and works in Baroda. Somnath Adamane b. 1986 Somnath Adamane did his BFA at Sir J.J. School of Art, Mumbai (2011) and is currently completing his MFA in printmaking at the same institution. His work has been selected for several exhibitions including those organised by the Art Society of India, Mumbai (2012); AIFACS, Delhi – 84th Annual all India Art Exhibition (2011); The Bombay Art Society (2011); the Pradarshak Art Gallery Monsoon group show (2010); and SNZCC Nagpur (2009). He recently participated in Peti, group show at the Hungarian Culture Centre, Delhi. In 2012 he was awarded by the Bombay Art Society, for graphics, and with the 25th
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All India Lokmanya Tilak art exhibition award. He also received several recognitions from Sir J.J. School of Art between 2007 and 2011. He lives and works in Mumbai. Somnath Hore 1921-2006 Somnath Hore was admitted to the Government College of Art and Craft at the instance of the Communist party leader P.C. Joshi. From 1954 onwards, Hore experimented significantly with printmaking. Between 1954 and 1958, he was lecturer at Indian College of Art and Draughtsmanship in Calcutta. From 1958 to 1967, he held several posts such as in-charge of the graphic section of the Delhi College of Arts, visiting professor at the M.S. University of Baroda and Vishva Bharati, Santiniketan and head of the graphic department of Kala Bhavan, Vishva Bharati. He joined the Society of Contemporary Artists in 1960. His works have been exhibited widely; he had more than fifteen solo exhibitions in Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore and participated in numerous group exhibitions and international biennales and triennials. In 1984, he was made Professor Emeritus, Santiniketan and received the Gagan-Abani Award, Kolkata. In 2004 he was given the Lalit Kala Ratna Puraskar, Lalit Kala Akademi, Delhi. Somsankar Ray b. 1954 Somsankar Ray completed his Masters of Fine Arts at Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata in 1981, and was awarded a PhD in Graphic Art from the same institution in 1998. His works have been part of several exhibitions since 1979, including Fifty Years of Art in Independent India, AIFACS, Delhi (1997); Graphic Expressions, Cymroza Art Gallery, Mumbai (2000); Art in Art Colleges of West Bengal, Birla Academy of Art & Culture, Kolkata (2001); and Fifth International Biennial of Print-Art, Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal (2001). He has received the West Bengal State Academy Award, Kolkata (1979); the Ebrahim Alkazi Endowment Research Scholarship (1998); and National Award, All India Fine Arts & Crafts Society (AIFACS), New Delhi in 1997. He has published a book on design, and written several articles. He is currently Principle Coordinator, The Bhawanipur Design Academy, in Kolkata, where he lives and works.
T. Sudhakar Reddy b. 1952 T. Sudhakar Reddy completed his BA in painting at M.S. University of Baroda in 1982, followed by a Master’s degree in graphics from the same Institution. He has participated in numerous group exhibitions including those hosted at Rukshana Art Gallery, Mumbai (2010); Vishakha Museum, Vishakhapatnam organised by Kala Gramam (2010); Suruchi Art Gallery, Delhi (2007); and Kshetra Art Gallery Baroda (2004). He has handled several official academic positions through his career and has been a Member, Board of Studies, Department of Fine Arts Andhra University, Vishakhapatnam since 1990, and has taught at the same department from 1987-2012. He has participated in conferences and seminars nationally, and has conducted many workshops on printmaking. He has worked on curriculum development for rural institutions under the aegis of National Council for Rural Institutions, and collaborated with craftspersons and artisans. The artist lives and works in Vishakhapatnam. Sudhir Khastgir 1907-1974 Sudhir Khastgir studied at Santiniketan and graduated under Nandalal Bose in 1929. Later, he went to Bombay to learn stone carving at the studio of the sculptor Ganpat Kashinath Mahtre (1933). He began his career as the art teacher at the Scindia School in Gwalior and later at the Doon School in 1935 where he taught for twenty years. In 1937 he received a travelling Fellowship from the Deutsche Akademie of Munich. His first solo exhibition in London in 1939 was at India House. He exhibited several times in England and in India. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, London (1937). He was prolific in painting and sculpting, writing in Bengali and English, and also playing the flute and singing. Khastgir wrote articles on art collected in Myself and Other Writings published by Monfakira and an autobiography in Bengali, Amar E Path. He was awarded the Padma Shri by the Indian government in 1958. Surendran Nair b. 1956 Surendran Nair completed his diploma and BFA in painting from the College of Fine Arts, Trivandrum, Kerala in 1981-1982. He then completed his post diploma in Printmaking) in 1986 from M.S. University of Baroda in 1983. Surendran Nair has held sev-
eral solo shows and his work has been part of major national and international exhibitions of contemporary art including Pause: A Collection, Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai (2011); Neti Neti, Frey Norris Gallery, San Francisco, USA (2010); Horn Please: Narratives in Indian Contemporary Art, Kunnst Museum, Bern, Switzerland (2007); El Filo del Deseo - Arte Reciente en India, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey MARCO, Mexico (2006); Edge of Desire: Recent Art In India, The Art Gallery Of Western Australia, Perth, Australia (2004) among others. He was awarded with Montalvo Artist Residency, Montalvo Center for the Arts, Sartoga, USA (2010), Civitella Ranieri Foundation Fellowship, Perugia, Italy (2004) among others. Nair lives and works in Baroda. Sushanta Guha b. 1960 Sushanta Guha did a diploma in fine arts and crafts from Kala Bhavan, Vishwa Bharati University (1975-1980) followed by a Post-Diploma in Fine Arts (printmaking) from the same institute (1980-1982). In 1998 he did advanced research in printmaking which included six months training at Camberwell College of Arts and Crafts London, UK. In 2003 he underwent professional training in non-toxic printmaking at Manhattan Graphic Center, New York, USA on a Fulbright Fellowship. His work has been in numerous exhibitions in various Indian cities and abroad including the Netherlands, Russia and USA. He has received the National Akademi award, from Lalit kala Akademi (2000); the Charles Wallace India Trust Award (1998); and the Junior Research Fellowship from ministry of HRD, Govt. of India in printmaking (1992-1994); and the Lalit Kala Akademi research grant to work at Garhi Studio, Delhi (1991) among others. Guha lives and works in Delhi. Tanujaa Rane b. 1976 Tanujaa Rane received a BFA in Painting and an MFA in Printmaking from Sir J.J. School of Art in Mumbai. Selected solo exhibitions include Me- Mom etchings at Gallery Chemould Prescott Road, Mumbai (2008) and Glasgow Print Studio Gallery – III, Glasgow (2002). She has exhibited in numerous group shows, including 7th International Biennial exhibition of engraving Yvelines, France (2009), 8th Bharat Bhavan Inter-
national Biennial of Print Art, India, Bhopal (2008), Footprints: women in printmaking, at Colab Art and Architecture, Bangalore and Gallery Chemould, Mumbai (2007); Myrrh at Tao Art Gallery, Mumbai (2006); Present – Future, artists under 45 years, NGMA, Mumbai (2005) among many others. In 1999, the artist won a scholarship to live and work at the Kanoria Center for Arts in Ahmedabad, and in 2001-02 she was awarded the Lalit Kala Akademi scholarship for printmaking. Rane lives and works in Mumbai. Tapan Ghosh b. 1943 Tapan Ghosh graduated in Fine Arts from the Government College of Arts and Craft, Kolkata, 1965. Since then he has held more than twenty-seven solo shows in Kolkata, Mumbai, Bengaluru, New Delhi, Paris, and Norway. He has also participated in several major group shows in India and abroad. He obtained a French Government scholarship in 1969-1971; Royal Norwegian Government Fellowship (1971); UNESCO Fellowship in Montreal, Canada (1975); Senior Fellowship in Visual Art, Department of Culture, Government of India (1998-2000). He has also attended many camps and workshops including Prof. Paul Lingren’s printmaking workshop in Kolkata (1984); multi-media camp organized by the Lalit Kala Akademi in Simla (1990); and Confluence, an Indo French camp organized by Alliance Francaise de Kolkata and the Ambassade de France, New Delhi, in Kolkata in 1992. The artist lives and works in Kolkata. T. Venkanna b. 1980 Theegulla Venkanna has a Masters of Fine Arts in Printmaking from M.S. University of Baroda (2006) and Bachelors of Fine Arts in painting from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad (2004) where he was awarded a gold medal. He has held solo exhibitions at Luce Gallery, Turin, Italy and Gallery Maskara, Mumbai. His work has been part of Prague Biennale (2011), Art in General Cross Roads: India Escalate; Finding India - Art for the New Century, Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei (2010); The Empire Strikes Back: Indian Art Today, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK (2010) and others. He was one of the twenty shortlisted artists for the ŠKODA Prize for art in 2010. He lives and works in Baroda.
Urmila Venugopal b. 1978 Urmila Venugopal did her BFA in Painting from College of Fine Arts, Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, Bangalore (2003) and MFA in Printmaking from Kala Bhavan, Visva Bharathi University, Santiniketan, (2006). She has participated in SaNsA international art workshop, Ghana (2009); Open Studio, Khoj International Residency Workshop, Bangalore (2008); and the 7th and 8th Bharath Bhavan International Biennale of Print Art, Bhopal (2006 & 2008), ADOGI – 27th and 29th Mini Print International of Cadaques, Barcelona, Spain (2007 and 2009), Linocut Today, Graphic Arts Prize Competition of Bietigheim-Bissingen, Germany (2007). She held her first solo show RECIPIES FOR CHANGES...S, at 1 Shanthi Art Gallery, Bangalore (2010) and attended the woodcut workshop, Theertha International Artists collective, Sri Lanka (2011). She received the National Lalit Kala Akademi Scholarship, New Delhi (2006-07), Arnavaz Vasudev scholarship, Bangalore (2006) and Karnataka Lalit Kala Academy Award, 2007. She lives and works in Bangalore. Vijay Bagodi b. 1959 Vijay Bagodi has a diploma in Painting and a Post Graduate Diploma in Printmaking from the Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S. University of Baroda, supported by a scholarship from the Karnataka State Lalit Kala Academy. His international exhibitions include the Contemporary Printmaking Exhibition in Festival of India, San Diego University, USA, the 10th International Exhibition of Graphic Arts, Frechen, Germany, and the 22nd International Exhibition of Graphic Arts, Slovenia. In India, he has had both solo and group showings at Mumbai, Bangalore and Baroda. He has received accolades from AIFACS, New Delhi, Bombay Art Society’s All India Art Exhibition and the National Award for Print in the 40th National Exhibition of Contemporary Art, Bangalore. He taught in Chamarajendra Academy of Visual Arts, Mysore from 1986 to 1991. Currently he is teaching at Department of Graphic Arts, Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S. University of Baroda, where he lives and works.
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Viraj Naik b. 1975 Viraj Naik completed his Bachelor’s degree in painting from the Goa College of Art in 1998, and later, his Master’s degree from the University of Hyderabad in 2000. He has held several solo shows, the most recent ones being hosted at Apparao galleries, Chennai, 2010; India Fine Art, Mumbai (2009); and Visual Arts Centre, Hong Kong (2008). Some of the artist’s group shows include those at Scion Installation Art Gallery, Los Angeles, USA (2011); 10th Biennale Internazionale per L’Incisione, Acqui Terme, Italy (2011); 6th KIWA Exhibition, Kyoto, Japan (2011); 7th Bienal Internacional de Ex-Libris, Zacatecas, Mexico (2010); 2nd International Prints for Peace, Monterrey, Mexico (2009); The Scared, presented by Galleria at Museum Gallery, Mumbai, in 2008 among others. In 2001, Naik received the Young Artists Scholarship from the Ministry of Culture, and, in 2005, he won the Silver Medal at the Anvantika Awards, New Delhi. Naik lives and works in Goa. Venugopal V.G. b. 1976 Venugopal V.G. completed his BFA (with gold medal) in Painting from Chamarajendra Academy of Visual Arts (CAVA), Mysore (1998) and MFA in Printmaking from CIAS, Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, Bangalore (2000). His solo shows have been Monologues, Gallery Blue Spade, Bangalore (2010); Now Showing, Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, Bangalore (2003). He participated in 6th and 8th Bharath Bhavan International Biennale of Print Art, Bhopal (2004, 2008), 42nd, 47th, 49th and 50th National Exhibition of Art, Lalit Kala Akademi, Delhi. He has attended several camps and workshops and was part of Sethusamudram residency at Theertha International Artists Collective, Sri Lanka (2010). He received the H.K. Kejriwal Young Artist Award, Bangalore (2007-2008); National Scholarship, Dept. of Culture, Govt. of India (2002-2003); Karnataka Lalit Kala Academy Award (2000); K.K. Hebbar Art Foundation Gold Medal from University of Mysore (1998). He lives and works in Bangalore. Zakkir Hussain b. 1970 Zakkir Hussain completed his Master of Fine Arts (Graphics), Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S. University of Baroda in 1997 before 152 Between the Lines
which he completed his Bachelor of Fine Arts (painting), College of Fine Arts, Trivandrum in 1994. He has had several solo exhibitions in India and abroad including 103° C Yellow Fever and other Works at Gallery Ske, Bangalore (2010); Krinzinger Projekte at Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna (2008); and Re-turn of the Unholy at Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi (2008) and Zero Tolerance, Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi (2012). His work has been part of group shows in cities across India and also New York and Bangkok. Hussain has won multiple awards for his work, including the All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society Award for drawing in 2001, and the State Award from the Kerala Lalit Kala Akademi in 2000. The artist lives and works in Trivandrum. Zarina Hashmi b. 1937 Zarina Hashmi received a BSc degree with honours from Aligarh Muslim University in 1958 before studying printmaking in India and abroad. Between 1963 and 1967 she studied printmaking with S.W. Hayter and Krishna Reddy at Atelier 17 in Paris, and in 1974 studied woodblock printing at Toshi Yoshido’s studio in Tokyo on a Japan Foundation Fellowship. She has participated in numerous exhibitions, including The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia 1860-1989 at the Guggenheim Museum, New York, Gouge: The Modern Woodcut at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles and WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution, a travelling exhibition organized by MOCA, Los Angeles. Hashmi was awarded residencies at Art-Omi in Omi and the Women’s Studio Workshop in Rosendale, New York. In 1985 and 1990 Hashmi was awarded the New York Fine Art Fellowship in printmaking. Hashmi has taught at Bennington College, Cornell University and the University of California in Santa Cruz. She lives and works in New York.