Spring '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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Sanjay Bhattacharya (b. 1958)

Sudamoyee

Oil on canvas
44 x 36 in.
c. 1995

Drawing inspiration from senior Bengali realist painter Bikash Bhattacharjee, as well as Western masters such as Rembrandt and Velasquez, Sanjay Bhattacharya is known for his exquisite control of perspective and light and for imbuing his scenes of everyday life with evocative and romantic imagery which speaks to the complex stories of the individuals and families who dwell amongst them, both on and off his canvases. Born and raised in Kolkata, Bhattacharya’s work can be characterized by his masterful realist depictions of interior and exterior architectural scenes taken from lower and middle-class urban Indian neighborhoods and his portraiture of the inhabitants found therein.

Sudamoyee beautifully encapsulate Bhattacharya’s skill in conveying a wealth of insight into the lives of his subjects through a serene single candid image of their daily routine.

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Shanti Dave (b. 1931)

Untitled (No. 3)

Oil on canvas

21 x 18 in.

1964

Throughout his long career, Shanti Dave was considered a mentor and an “artists’ artist” by M. F. Husain and his modernist colleagues. Dave’s work from the 1960s stands apart from his counterparts in its near total focus on different mediums and their possibilities rather than the incorporation of cultural or historical themes. In the work here, Dave’s deep understanding of color and impasto texture is clearly manifest through his use of encaustic, which few other painters were experimenting with at the time. Born in a small village in Gujarat and moving later to Ahmedabad, Shanti Dave, much like Husain, began his artistic career painting signboards and billboards for films, before going on to train in art at the M. S. University, Baroda, where he studied under eminent artist-teacher N. S. Bendre, and co-founded the Baroda Group in 1957.

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We are delighted to present a small but choicely curated set of South Asian artworks that explore a range of directions that our artists took around Modernism. Each work represents a benchmark of quality that we have come to be known for. We are excited for you to consider them.

Satish Gujral (1925 - 2020)

Untitled

Acrylic on canvas

42 x 42 in.

1995

Though Satish Gujral came into contact with the Progressive Artists’ Group (PAG), he found it difficult to reconcile with their techniques. The search for his own brand of modernism, would eventually lead to a completely unique style that was deeply rooted in Indian traditions and history, but also heavily inspired by Latin American Realist painters such as Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros whom he met while studying in Mexico City in the 1950s. A multi-disciplinary artist working in painting, sculpture, murals, architecture and interior design, Gujral

continually challenged the notions of Modern Indian art. His paintings have never been purely abstract, but in the early 1960's his style gradually evolved to privilege line and texture over explicit subjects, relying on form and design to its idea and mood.

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For more details on the above artwork, please contact us.

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