M.F. Husain: The King of Hearts by Ashvin E. Rajagopalan

The only time I have seen M. F. Husain in person was at his exhibition in honour of singer M. S. Subbulakshmi at a gallery in Chennai (Madras) in 2004. Wearing no footwear, except for thick black socks, and wielding a massive paintbrush in one hand, Husain was surrounded by a group of Chennai’s socialites. I was patiently waiting behind them to meet Husain when he suddenly popped out and said, “Hello”. I was giddy with excitement and asked him to autograph the invitation card I had in my hand. He did so and quickly moved on to greet the next visitor. Husain was as excited to meet unknown gallery visitors as they were to meet him—the energy was amazing for a man who, at that time, was 91 years old. A year or so later, Husain left India, never to return. 

Read More
M.F. Husain: The King of Hearts by Ashvin E. Rajagopalan

Pupul Jayakar: the craft catalyst

Pupul Jayakar had an undying passion for preserving the country's culture and weaving tradition. She was a writer and an advocate of crafts in Indian society. The textile scholar aimed to restore India's cottage weaving industry. Her interest in rural arts and crafts, her eye for potential, and her unparalleled execution skills initiated a change in many areas of craft. Jayakar singlehandedly led the revival of arts and handicrafts in India. Hence, she established The Weavers' Service Centre formerly known as the Handloom Design Centre in the 1950s. 

Read More
Pupul Jayakar: the craft catalyst

Ganesh Pyne: The Mystical Artist

An intensely private artist whose artistic imagination was fuelled by the strange, dark fantasy of his grandmother’s stories and charred by the horrors of his reality, Ganesh Pyne's paintings are quiet revelations of his personality. Pyne's intricate ink works, haunting temperas, and jottings are rich in imagery and symbolism, bordering along the uncanny and drawing our attention to a world beyond the familiar. His art deeply rooted in dark, unsettling images, derived from mythology and dreams. 

Read More
Ganesh Pyne: The Mystical Artist

Uncle Husain by Anjum Siddiqui

I had the good fortune of spending a larger part of my life in close association with M. F. Husain. Or Uncle H, as I called him. He was more than just a friend of the family. He was part of the family. We all lived, painted, and went on vacations together. There were always the choicest of paints and canvases in the house while growing up, for which I am always thankful to him. I got to paint alongside him right from when I was 6 years old. As a child, he must have seen a unique creative spark in me. Or so he said to me in a note, written inside a book he sent me just a month before he passed away. 

Read More
Uncle Husain by Anjum Siddiqui

On Bhupen Khakhar's encaustic painting - Ranjit Hoskote

At first sight, this encaustic painting – rendered in heated beeswax, into which pigments of various colours have been mixed – seems to be worlds away from what most viewers know of Bhupen Khakhar’s work. There are no limp-limbed yet curiously wide-awake men from a broad middle class; no domestic interiors laid out for erotic encounter; no playful or picaresque encounters among figures whose ordinariness is belied by some eccentric bodily feature or undecipherable gesture. No figures at all, in fact. 

Read More
On Bhupen Khakhar's encaustic painting - Ranjit Hoskote

Jewellery terms

If you are looking to start and sustain a jewellery collection, you must be aware of its frequently used terms to be able to make an informed choice. Here is a list of frequently used terminologies for every jewellery connoisseur out there. 

Read More
Jewellery terms

Bhupen Khakhar: the gentle radical painter

An observer and painter of life, a chartered accountant occasionally picked up his paintbrush to reflect the uncanny, the fantastical, the mixed droll, and dramatic impulses quintessential to everyday life. Bhupen Khakhar (b.1934) unabashedly revealed the melancholia, mundanities, and inner monologues of the marginal man. Khakhar was born in Bombay, but the quaint town of Baroda nurtured the artist in him. An office accountant in the city of dreams, money was not the only thing Bhupen wished to draw.

Read More
Bhupen Khakhar: the gentle radical painter

From the archives: F.N. Souza on Modern Art

A letter written by Francis Newton Souza expressing his views on Modern Art in the summer of '88. This is one of Souza's three letters to be featured in the Modern Indian Art auction this May,

Read More
From the archives: F.N. Souza on Modern Art

Manjit Bawa: the lyrical painter

Once upon a time, a dreamer derived his painterly language from Indian mythological tales, legends, and fables rich in moral and spiritual lessons. Manjit Bawa (b. 1941) introduced fragments of his thoughts, ideas, and poetry into the rational world throughout his artistic oeuvre. Born in Dhuri, Punjab, Bawa's childlike fascination with music, spirituality, and philosophy breathed heavily on his canvas. Manjit Bawa's artworks are mystical musicals that strike a chord and capture a dream.

Read More
Manjit Bawa: the lyrical painter

A historical rediscovery: the second PAG Catalogue, 1950

Stated below is the text of the second catalog of the Bombay Progressive Artists' Group in collaboration with the Calcutta Group. Gobardhan Ash's works were exhibited in the joint show of the Calcutta Group and Progressive Artists’ Group alongside masters such as K.H. Ara, Francis Newton Souza, Maqbool Fida Husain, S.H. Raza, H.A. Gade, and S.K. Bakre at Calcutta in 1950. This document is indeed a historically prominent yet lesser-known artistic discovery in the world of modern Indian art. 

Read More
A historical rediscovery: the second PAG Catalogue, 1950

Gobardhan Ash: the quiet master artist

A silent, dedicated artist content amidst the walls of paintings stacked in his Begumpur mud house stirred a quiet revolution against the preconceived notions of artistic expression. No wonder Gobardhan Ash (b.1907) carved a niche for himself as an individualistic artist who fearlessly explored diverse artistic styles and techniques.

Read More
Gobardhan Ash: the quiet master artist

An introduction to the Weavers' Service Centre

Years ago, artists from various walks of life gravitated towards a creative anomaly near Mumbai's Opera House. The Weavers' Service Centre was established in the 1950s by Pupul Jayakar. Masters such as Prabhakar Barwe, Anand Mohan Naik, Gautam Waghela, Ramesh Vaghela, and Gopal Adivrekar designed textiles at the center for years to support themselves while exploring their identities as artists. 

Read More
An introduction to the Weavers' Service Centre

How to acquire antiques online

While the good old days of sauntering amidst quaint antique stores and art galleries might be on hold for now, the thrill of the hunt has now shifted online. And if done right, antique shopping can be rewarding – by uncovering an elaborate piece of history or acquiring artworks that speak to you. If the antique collector in you is tugging at your sleeve to bring home vintage furniture and rare collectibles, follow our lead.

Read More
How to acquire antiques online

Antiques and their provenance

In the world of antiquing, provenance refers to the history of an acquired object. The provenance of a piece traces its origin back to its owner(s) or where it comes from. A certain artifact could belong to a previous era, like a glorious chandelier that once illuminated the ballroom of a magnificent palace. Or a scatter of old maps, manuscripts, and sheets quietly tucked away in between the pages of old books at a library.

Read More
Antiques and their provenance

An introduction to antiquing

Antiques from the past quietly turn back the clock to bygone days. Nostalgia wafts in the air as the musty scent of age-old rarities fills your senses. And soon, you realize that antiquing is less about a point in time and more about timelessness. Be it a wise old Satinwood chest of drawers or an elaborate Rosewood cabinet that stood the test of time, these old keepsakes possess an eternal charm.

Read More
An introduction to antiquing

Art Deco elements for the contemporary home

The old school glamour of The Great Gatsby meets the 21st century home. The magic of the roaring '20s is very much in vogue today owing to the endless allure of Art Deco's luxurious and lavish style. Be it a wise old satinwood chest of drawers or a sturdy Rosewood cabinet that creaks with wisdom, each art deco element fits like a glove in the contemporary home.

Read More
Art Deco elements for the contemporary home

Set in wood

Wood has stayed in our hearts and homes for centuries. And yet, its versatility remains timeless. The look and feel of a wooden piece of furniture are known to transcend time and geography.

Read More
Set in wood

Art Deco

Art Deco is an opulent and alluring visual arts design style that unfolded in the 1920s in France. It burgeoned internationally in the early 1940s. This style still has a boundless influence on everything from architecture to sculpture, interiors to jewelry, furniture to car design. It is no doubt that Art Deco is a conspiracy between many styles and movements to please every connoisseur out there.

Read More
Art Deco

Bhanu Athaiya by Ranjit Hoskote

Bhanu Athaiya: The legacy of a long-hidden sun  I. It was D.G. Nadkarni, elder statesman among Bombay’s art critics, who first told me that Bhanu Athaiya had trained as a painter and had once shown alongside the members of the Progressive Artists' Group (PAG).

Read More
Bhanu Athaiya by Ranjit Hoskote

Atul Bose and the Art of Portraiture

The art of portraiture seems much more enticing today when we live in a world where ‘portraits’ can be created at the click of a button with a single handheld device. There is something enigmatic about how artists in the past captured personalities with strokes of the brush and immortalized them in portraits. There is something romantic about the notion of portraits themselves, and how a sensitive artist could capture the physical characteristics as well as the psychological aspect of the subject of the portrait. 

Read More
Atul Bose and the Art of Portraiture