April '20 Collection

Jamini Roy (1887 – 1972)

Six Women

Gouache on paperboard

14 x 28 in.

Signed in Bengali Lower Right

Jamini Roy's Six Women, and the Apsara below, both stunningly powerful depictions of female forms in various incarnations rooted in Bengali folk culture, form a magnificent pair of works representing one of Roy’s most iconic and widely beloved subject matters. In them, one sees Roy’s masterful juxtaposition of rich earthy colors as well his unparalleled economy of line and style front and center; two defining qualities of his unique synthesis of folk art and Modernism which would revolutionize the course of 20th century Indian painting. Roy’s works possess an immediate and rare vitality, with their strength and popularity owed to the vividness of expression in his conceptual clarity and linear simplicity.

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Jamini Roy (1887 – 1972)

Apsara

Gouache on paperboard

19.5 x 12 in.

Signed in Bengali Lower Right

Born in West Bengal, Roy began his career painting in the post-impressionistic genre of landscapes and portraits, keeping in line with his British academic training, before eventually developing a new visual language rooted in folk tradition, where he substituted the conventions of ‘high art’ for the rustic pictorial language of Kalighat painting. Throughout his life, Roy’s prolific output lead to his unique vision of Indian Modernism becoming immensely popular across Indian society and thus a defining visual foundation for the country’s new art.

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Maqbool Fida Husain

(1915 – 2011)

Untitled (Two Figures)

Oil on canvas

36 x 34 in.

1968

Long considered a pioneer of Modern Indian art and widely referred to as “the Picasso of India”, M. F. Husain initially made a living as a billboard painter and children’s furniture designer, painting at first in his spare time until joining the Bombay Progressive Artist’s Group (PAG) in 1947, where he began fusing Indian subject matter with Post-Impressionist colors, Cubist forms and Expressionist gestures, forging a synthesis between early European modernist techniques and the ever-shifting cultural and historical identities of India. Throughout his long and prolific career, Husain combined his internationalist outlook with iconography and vistas that drew on India’s teeming metropoles, her epic mythology, the Raj, and the unending valorization of the Indian people. However, Husain, both the artist and the iconoclast, never shied away from expressions of critiques of modern India, which helped lay the foundations for the pervading themes of Modern and Contemporary Indian art to this day.

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Krishen Khanna (b. 1925)

ST MARK

Oil on canvas
30 x 42 in.
c. 1999

Although becoming a member of the Bombay Progressive Artists’ Group (PAG) in 1950, along with other figurative modernists such as M. F. Husain and F. N. Souza, Krishen Khanna was unique amongst the group in that he grew up in Lahore, had spent time studying in England, and came to art only after an established career in banking. At the age of six Khanna's father came back from Milan with a copy of The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci, which would spark a lifelong fascination with Christian imagery for Khanna. This is clearly evident in his work St. Mark, where the two hooded figures sit in candid discussion over a meal at a table that could have come straight from The Last Supper itself.

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