Fall Collection

Jagdish Swaminathan (1928 - 1994)

'Untitled'

Oil on Canvas

45 x 31 5/8 in.

As an artist Swaninathan was engaged with establishing a continuum between folk, tribal and urban contemporary art. He had veered away from the ‘sentimentality’ of the Bengal school, and while he admired the work of the progressives, he felt that they had switched entirely to a western type of modernism. This led him to create the group 1890, whose manifesto stated: ‘ To us creative expression is not the search for, the unfettered unfolding of personality. A work is neither representational nor abstract, figurative or non-figurative, it is unique and sufficient unto itself, palpable in it’s reality, appearing as if they were being seen at the end of a fark passage in a temple.’ The group’s manifesto became central to manner in which Swaminathan approached his own particle which was never meant to ‘represent reality’, but rather, it should aim to be ‘a poetic rendering of ideal truth’. His career was an exploration of these concepts, first with the ‘Color of Geometry’ phase and then with the ‘Bird, Mountain, Tree’ phase. The current composition is a pinnacle of the this second phase with an incredible economy of line and an intricate application of color.

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Zarina Hashami (1937 - 2020)

'Untitled'

Collage with BFK light paper printed with black ink and 22 karat gold leaf mounted on arches cover buff paper

Image- 4x4 in.

Paper - 8x8 in.

2015

Primarily working in intaglio, woodblock, lithography, and silkscreen on handmade paper, Zarina made exquisite graphic images pared down to simple, clear delineations, often complemented by Urdu inscriptions, exploring ideas of home, place, borders, and memory. These not only emphasize the essential nature of line in the language of both word and image—its ability in Zarina's work to trace the contours and borderlines of place and memory—but also to invoke her mother tongue, which denotes a lifelong 'translation' of artistic and linguistic expression. "Somewhere along the line I decided to make my own life the subject of my work, but I didn't realize how people would respond to that. Some people who have come and settled in the United States don't look back, but I'm not one of them. They are lucky!" Her art—which resides in the collections of numerous institutions worldwide and was the subject of a retrospective, her first, at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles in 2012—revels in a multitude of references, from the American Minimalism of Carl Andre and Sol LeWitt to Urdu poetry and her own biography. “I think we are witnesses to the times we are living in,” she told an interviewer when recently asked about the role of the artist in society. 

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Zarina Hashami (1937 - 2020)

'Untitled'

Collage with BFK light paper printed with black ink and 22 karat gold leaf mounted on arches cover buff paper

Image- 4x4 in.

Paper - 8x8 in.

2015

Zarina was intellectually generous and very well read; a conversation with her would range from deep knowledge of current American politics to poetry to a reminiscence of meeting Agnes Martin. She had a quiet wisdom born of a life in perceptive observation of humankind all over the world, and a fierce wit, sassy irreverence and hilarious sense of humor that turned any teatime into a party. Above all, her sense of what 'home' meant lay within her, in a deep belief in a spiritual life, that enabled her not just to come to terms with her permanent displacement, but also to serve as a trenchant, brilliant witness to our times. The archetypical forms, as well as thick lines suggesting geographic boundaries and psychic fault lines, is a recurring motif in her oeuvre. “I work in small scale,” the artist told writer Lisa Liebmann in 1984. “I know the work has density of emotion and it will create its own space around it.”

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Ram Kumar (1924 - 2018)

'Untitled'

Oil on canvas

36 x 72 in.

2006

Ram Kumar has been described as one of India's foremost abstract painters. Like a number of Indian and Pakistani artists who studied in Paris in the 1950s, he returned from Europe with a semi-figurative style that drew on cubism, he eventually chose to abandon the figure entirely and began working almost exclusively with the motifs of the abstract cityscapes and landscapes, a move unique among his immediate contemporaries at the time. In the early 1960s, the artist abandoned this early figurative style after a pivotal journey to Varanasi. It would create a lifelong engagement with depicting the townscapes along the banks of the holy river Ganga. The current painting is an extraordinary and large example of this. His motifs in this composition are like a shifting beam of light, they move, passing through the entire space of the painting, from one segment of reality to another, uncovering the hidden relationships between the sky, rock, building and river. The sacred resides not in the objects depicted, but in the relationships discovered.

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Jamini Roy

Five Women

Tempera on card laid on board

15.25 x 10.25 in.

c. 1960's

Signed in Bengali Lower Right

This majestic and powerful depiction of five women is in a composition rooted in Bengali folk culture. They represent one of Jamini 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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Ganesh Haloi (b.1936)

'untitled' (Green Abstract)

Mixed Media

20 x 13.5 in.

2001

Ganesh Haloi was born in Jamalpur, Mymensingh, now in Bangladesh in 1936. He moved to Calcutta after the Partition in 1950.  He belongs to the first generation of post-independence painters who have been significant in the shaping of Indian Modern Art as they have been witnesses to India’s resilient culture, its freedom and struggle for its reinvention. His simple gouache on paper express layers of this timeless struggle. Giving it its own individuality and constructing layers of different tonalities and textures over it. Ganesh Haloi is a sophisticated abstractionist. He has the sensitivity of Nasreen Mohamadi with the precision of architectural lines and the complexity of Gaitonde's color. His compositions are ephemeral works and experiments in color. Color has been the subject of discourse for artists, authors, physicists, philosophers, playwrights and poets for over centuries with its meaning and definition evolving with every expression. Leonardo da Vinci observed that colour does not exist without light.  In the East, color has been attributed to various religious faiths and symbols. Sometimes as a coded system of visualization with ancient sounds to balance the self and the universe, similar to a chakra meditation.  All of these various dimensions of color as light, energy, faith, symbol and wholeness are experienced in Ganesh Haloi’s explorations.

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Akbar Padamsee (1928 - 2020)

'untitled' 

Oil on canvas

30.25 x 20 in.

1962

By 1962, Padamsee has returned to India after a fruitful and creative time in France. Shortly after returning, he embarked on the most ambitious project of his career, “the gray series”, where he purged color from his pallet and created a set of large monochrome landscape works, considered the pinnacle of his artistic output. He then transitioned into painting large abstractions of landscape known as metascapes, an exploration of color planes that he would continue for the rest of his life. The current work is a poignant transitional work that picks up the tail end of his fascination with cityscapes and hints towards the continued journey he takes with exploring color. The foreground tells of his resolution with painting cityscapes illustrating a mastery and organization of color with the buildings on a hill against the backdrop of his early developing metascapes. The early sixties are the high point of South Asian Modernism, there is a zeitgeist of powerful and maturing work across the artists working from the first generation of post-independence painters. This beautiful gem of a painting belongs in that pantheon.

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New York, NY

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