MAQBOOL FIDA HUSAIN
Born 1915, Pandharpur, Maharashtra, India
Lives and works between Dubai and London.
M. F. Husain is the most recognised figure of modern and contemporary Indian art; he joined the Progressives Artists Group in 1948. A self-taught artist, Husain moved to Mumbai at an early age and began his artistic career by painting the billboards for cinemas. He recalls, "We were paid barely four or six annas per square foot. That is, for a 6x10 feet canvas, we earned a few rupees. And apart from the New Theatre distributor, the others did not pay us at all. As soon as I earned a little bit I used to take off for Surat, Baroda and Ahmedabad to paint landscapes".
His first exhibition took place in 1947 with his painting Sunhera Sansaar, shown at the annual exhibition of the Bombay Art Society and Husain decided to stay in India during the Partition in 1947. Between 1948 – 1950, Husain's work caught the public eye in a series of exhibitions across India and through the fifties and sixties, he traveled outside India, with his first foray into China in 1951. The following year he had his first solo exhibition in Zurich and so began a series of exhibitions across Europe and the United States. In 1966, the Government of India awarded him the Padmashree.
Over the following decades, Husain's fame spread and was glorified by what was deemed to be a rather controversial approach to his art. His Shwetambari exhibition at the Jehangir Art Gallery consisted of two halls shrouded in white cloth, whorls of which also shared the floor with torn newspapers. Later, he gave a public performance at the Tata Center in Calcutta. For several days a crowd watched as he painted pictures of six goddesses. On the last day of the exhibition he destroyed his paintings by overpainting them in white. Several of his paintings in the nineties were named after the film actress Madhuri Dixit, perhaps displaying a childhood obsession that goes back to the time of painting billboards. As reported in the Times of India, "the Padma Vibhushan awardee continues to paint events that are topmost on contemporary minds, be it the solar eclipse, the cricket mania or the victory at Kargil".
Themes in Husain's work have repeatedly returned to his cultural roots, but he has embraced diverse influences, be that the cinematography of Buñuel to themes that have blended folk, tribal and mythological figures to create vibrantly contemporary, living art forms in his work. Icons of Indian culture through the ages seek to capture the quintessence of his subjects, like Mother Teresa, Krishna and the goddess Saraswati. Besides painting, he has also made feature films, including "Through the Eyes of a Painter" in 1966, which won the Golden Bear Award winner at the Berlin Film Festival (1967), and "Gaja Gamini" in 2000. The Government of India honoured him with the Padma Bhushan and the Padma Vibhushan awards, both prestigious civilian awards.
Select Solo and Group Exhibitions
2008 Winter Moderns, an exhibit of five senior modern Indian artists - M.F. Husain,
F.N. Souza, Shyamal Dutta Ray Satish Gujral and B. Prabha, Aicon Gallery,
2008 Winter Moderns, exhibit of senior Indian modern masters, Aicon gallery,
2007 From the Vault, Aicon Gallery, London and New York
Epic India: Paintings by M F Husain, Peabody Essex Museum, Massachusetts, USA
2006 M F Husain: Early Masterpieces 1950s-70s, Asia House, London, UK
The Moderns Revisited, Grosvenor Vadehra, London, UK
2005 Ashta Nayak: Eight Pioneers of Indian Art, Gallery ArtsIndia, New York
2000 New Works, The Fine Art Resource, Berlin
1995 Inaugural Exhibition; River of Art, Art Today, New Delhi
1991 National Exposition of Contemporary Art, National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai
1988 Takoka Municipal Museum of Art & Meugro Museum of Art, Tokyo, Japan
1987 Coups de Coeur, Halles de I'lle, Geneva, Switzerland
1986 Indian Art Today, The Philips Collection, Washington D.C.
Contemporary Indian Art, Grey Art Gallery, New York.
1986 Sista's Art Gallery, Kala Yatra, Bangalore
1985 100 Jahre Indische Malerei, Altes Museum, Berlin
1982 Modern Indian Painting, Hirshhorn Museum, Washington,DC.
Contemporary Indian Art, Festival of India, Royal Academy of Art, London
India: Myth and Reality: Aspect of Contemporary Indian Art, Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, UK
Six Indian Painters, Tate Gallery, London
Indische Kunst Heute, Kunsthalle Darmstadt
1973 Retrospective Exhibition, Birla Academy of Art and Culture, Calcutta
1971 São Paulo Biennale, Brazil
1970 Art Today -II, Asoka Art Gallery, Calcutta
1969 21 Years of Painting , Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai
1966 Art Now in India, Newcastle, England and Ghent, Belgium
Commonwealth Art Exhibition, London
Oberoi International Hotel, New Delhi
1965 Exhibitions in Baghdad and Kabul
1960 Tokyo Biennale, Japan
Frankfurter Kunstkabinett, organized by Hanna Bekker vom Rath
Exhibition in Rome
1959 São Paulo Biennale, Brazil. Also 1971 as special invitee together with Pablo Picasso
1958 Eight Painters, International Culture Centre, New Delhi
1956 Zurich and Prague
1955 National Exhibition, Rabindra Bhavan, Lalit Kala Akademi
Venice Biennale, Italy
1953 Indische Kunst, Rautenstrauch- Joest –Museum, Cologne
Venice Biennale, Italy
1951 Salon de Mai, Paris
1950 Bombay Art Society's Salon, Bombay
1948–56 Group Exhibitions with PAG (Progressive Artists Group)
2004 Meenaxi: Tale of 3 Cities (Director and Writer)
2000 Gaja Gamini (Director, Writer, Actor)
Fiza (Thanks, as M F Husain)
1997 Mohabbat (Actor, as Himself)
1991 Henna (Art Department/Paintings: a tribute to Raj Kapoor, depicting "Henna" in line and color)
1966 Through the Eyes of a Painter (Director and Writer)
2004 Lalit Kala Ratna, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi
1967 Awarded the Golden Berlin Bear for short film 'Through the Eyes of a Painter' (produced 1966 Berlin International Film Festival, Germany
1966 Awarded Padma Shree and Padma Bhushan, Govt. of India.
Husain has received Honorary Doctorates from the following:
Benaras Hindu University
Jamia Millia Islamia
LALU PROSAD SHAW
Veteran artist Lalu Prosad Shaw fashions works of simplicity and grace, often portrait content with an emphasis on the subject's physical characteristics. Through detail and his facility with lines and color, he manages to create subjects that become genuine individuals to the viewer. For example, in both "Portrait of a Young Woman" and "Love" he has produced characters with a distinctly personal feel – we know the postures, the expressions, we imagine we have a sense of how they feel. And he manages to create these intimate images in a seemingly effortless way.
Born in 1937 in Bengal, Lalu Prosad studied art at the Government College of Arts and Crafts in Calcutta. He began as a printmaker both of intaglios and lithographs. He resided in Calcutta during this printmaking period. Over time, he began devoting increasing time to drawing and painting. His favored medium became gouache, an opaque watercolor in which the pigments are bound with glue. One art historian has conjectured that it was the medium's "tonal intensity, density and matte texture" that attracted Lalu Prosad to gouache.
For over 40 years, Lalu Prosad Shaw has exhibited his work throughout India and abroad, including in Paris (VII Paris Biennale, 1971); London (II British Biennale, 1970; Whiteley's, 1996); and in Bangladesh (II Asian Art Biennale, 1984). He has participated in numerous group exhibitions both in India and abroad, including the National Exhibition of the Birla Academy, and exhibitions in Prague, London, Japan, France, Bagdad, Italy, Cuba, and Yugoslavia. Awards he has received include the Birla Academy Award; the National Award; and the W.B State Akademi. His work appears in the permanent collections of the National Museum of Modern Art in New Delhi; the Birla Academy in Calcutta; and the Art Forum in Singapore.
Born 1887, West Bengal
Diploma in Fine Arts, Government School of Arts and Craft (1903-08)
Born in 1887 in a small village in Bankura district, West Bengal, Jamini Roy joined the Government School of Art, Kolkata in 1903. He began his career by painting in the Post-Impressionist genre of landscapes and portraits, very much in keeping with his training in a British academic system. Yet, by 1925, Roy had begun experimenting along the lines of popular bazaar paintings sold outside the Kalighat temple in Kolkata. By the early 1930s, Roy made a complete switch to indigenous materials to paint on woven mats, cloth and wood coated with lime. The inspiration for painting on woven mats was the textures he found in Byzantine art, which he had seen in color photographs. It occurred to him that painting on a woven mat might make for an interesting mosaic-like surface.
The Santhals, a tribal people who live in the rural districts of Bengal, were an important subject for Roy. A series of works done a decade before World War II is a very good example of how he captured the qualities that are a part of native folk painting and recombined them with those of his own. He fused the minimal brush strokes of the Kalighat style with elements of tribal art from Bengal (like that of the terracotta work found in the Bishnupur temple in Bengal, where terracotta was often composed into decorative units - some elaborate in design - over portals and across exterior walls of the temples).
Roy's rejection of the then modern style of painting and his foray into the realm of Bengali folk paintings marked a new beginning in the history of Indian modern art. The mother and child, Radha, and animals were painted in simple two-dimensional forms, with flat color application and an emphasis on the lines. The main subjects were often enclosed within decorative borders with motifs in the background. The figure of the Christ was also a subject that Roy often painted.
Roy held several one-man exhibitions and numerous group shows. His works can be found in several private and public collections, institutions and museums all over the world, including the Lalit Kala Academy in Delhi and museums in Germany and the United States of America. He was honored with the Padma Bhushan in 1955. Jamini Roy died in 1972 in Kolkata, where he had lived all his life.
Selected Posthumous Exhibitions
2005 Manifestations III – 100 Artists of Contemporary Art, organized by Delhi Art Gallery at Nehru
Centre, Mumbai, Lalit Kala Akademi, Rabindra Bhavan, New Delhi and Delhi Art Gallery, New
2004 Manifestations II – 100 Artists of Contemporary Art, organized by Delhi Art Gallery at Jehangir
Art Gallery, Mumbai and Delhi Art Gallery, New Delhi
2003 Manifestations I – Indian Art in the 20th Century, organized by Delhi Art Gallery at World Trade
Centre, Mumbai and Delhi Art Gallery, New Delhi
2003 Exhibition of Works of Jamini Roy, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi
2003 Poetry and Patriotic Fervor, Delhi Art Gallery, New Delhi
2003 Indian Art Pre-Independence, Delhi Art Gallery, New Delhi
2000 Face Off 1900-1980s. An Exhibition of Indian Old Masters and Moderns, Delhi Art Gallery, New
2000 Art of Bengal : Past and Present 1850-2000, Centre for International Modern Art (CIMA),
1997 Art of Bengal 1850-1950 : Calcutta Metropolitan Festival of Art, Birla Academy of Art and
1998 Temperas and Sketches, Art Bazar, Kolkata
1998 The Simplicity of a Pionee', The Window, Mumbai
1995 From Seeds to Flowers – Jamini Roy and His Roots, Romain Rolland Galerie, Alliance
Francaise, New Delhi
1990 Centenary Exhibition, Cymroza Art Gallery, Mumbai
1987 Centenary Exhibition, National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), New Delhi
1987 Centenary Exhibition, Birla Academy of Art and Culture, Kolkata
Select Group Exhibitions
1998 The Window, Mumbai
1987 Centenary Exhibtion, NGMA
1938 British Indian Street, Calcutta
1937 Samavaya Mansions, Calcutta
Awards & Honors
1967 Awarded honorary D. Litt., Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata
1956 Elected Fellow, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi
1955 Awarded Padma Bhushan, Government of India
1935 Awarded Viceroys Gold Medal for 'Mother Helping the Child to Cross the Pool'.b
Ganesh Haloi was born in Jamalpur, Mymensingh, now in Bangladesh in 1936. He moved to Calcutta in 1950 following the Partition. The trauma of the uprooting left its mark on his work as it did on some other painters of his generation. In 1956, he graduated from the Government College of Art and Craft, Calcutta. The next year he joined the Archaeological Survey of India to make copies of the Ajanta murals. After seven years, Haloi returned to Calcutta to work. From 1963 till his retirement, he taught at the Government College of Art and Craft. Since 1971, he has been a member of the Society of Contemporary Artists. The experience of Ajanta influenced Haloi profoundly and his works showed an innate lyricism. Haloi worked in many mediums and initially painted figures in landscapes. The mood was poignant. Gradually, he shifted focus to landscapes. A sense of nostalgia for a lost world pervaded these paintings. Eventually, Haloi concentrated on abstract renderings of landscapes. Dots, dashes, lines became cryptic signs for trees, water, green fields. A refreshing interlude came when Haloi did some architectural paintings following a tour of the ruins of Gour Pandua in north Bengal. He has also done a number of commissioned mosaic murals. He lives and works in Calcutta.
Born 1924, in Simla
Atelier Fernand Leger and Andre Lhote, Paris (1949-52)
M.A. in Economics from St. Stephen's College, New Delhi (1946)
Evening Classes at the Sharada Ukil School, New Delhi (1945)
Ram Kumar, like many of his confreres among the first generation of post-colonial Indian artists - including such figures as F N Souza, M F Husain, Paritosh Sen, Jehangir Sabavala, Krishen Khanna, S H Raza and Akbar Padamsee - combined an internationalist desire with the need to belong emphatically to their homeland. In its internationalist mood, this generation looked to the early 20th-century modernisms of Paris, London and Vienna for inspiration; its need to belong prompted an interest in the construction of a viable "Indian" aesthetic that bore a dynamic relationship to an Indian identity. With Ram Kumar, this quest for an indigenist tenor has not meant a superficial inventory of "native" motifs offered as evidence of a static and essentialist Indian identity. Instead, he demonstrates that a painter can enact the innermost dramas of his culture while maintaining the individuality, even idiosyncrasy of his performance. - Excerpts from "Parts of a World: Reflections on the Art of Ram Kumar" by Ranjit Hoskote, 2002. Ram Kumar lives and works in New Delhi.
Select Solo Exhibitions
2008 Homage to Kekoo Gandhy, Chemould Prescott Road, Mumbai
Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi
2007 Reflective Landscapes, Aicon Gallery, New York
You shall remain hidden, Gallery Espace, New Delhi
Materia Prima, Anant Art Gallery, New Delhi
2005 Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai
2002 Recent Works, IndoCenter, Chelsea, presented by Saffronart and Pundole Art Gallery;
Mumbai; New Delhi; San Fransico; New York
2000 Landscapes from New Zealand, Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi
1999 Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai
1997 Arks Gallery, London
1996 Pages From a Sketch Book, Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai
1994 Jehangir Art Gallery, organized by Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi
1993 Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi
1992 Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi
Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai
1991 Chitrakoot Gallery, Kolkata
1990 Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai
Center for Contemporary Art, New Delhi
Select Group Exhibitions
1995 Gallery Raku, Japan
1988 Three Indian Artists, Karachi, Pakistan
1987, 88 Festival of India shows in the then USSR and Japan
1987 Coups de Coeur, Geneva, Switzerland
1985 Artistes Indiens en France, Foundation Nationale des Arts Graphiques et Plastiques, Paris
1973 Indian Contemporary Painting, a traveling exhibition in the U.S. and Canada
1967 Joint exhibition with M.F. Husain in Delhi and Prague, Czechoslovakia
1957 Graham Gallery, New York
Gallery One, London
Awards and Fellowships
2003 Officers Arts et Letters, French Government
1985 Kalidas Samman by the Madya Pradesh State Govt
1975 Uttar Pradesh State Government for short stories in Hindi
1972 Padmashree from Indian Government for short stories
1970 JD Rockefeller fund fellowship
1959 Honorable Mention, Sao Paolo Biennale
1958 National Award, New Delhi
1956 National Award, New Delhi