Jagdish Swaminathan (1928 - 1994)
Oil on Canvas
45 x 31 5/8 in.
As an artist Swaminathan 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.
Zarina Hashami (1937 - 2020)
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.
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.