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Whispering Green: Moving towards 'Chance Aesthetics' by Jesal Thacker

A chronicle thinker, Prabhakar Barwe is best known for his thought experiments with object-form-content interrelationships. Born in the family of sculptors, Barwe’s father, Shivram, worked in various film studios, making sculptural molds for commercial use and, significantly, his grand-uncle, Vinayak Pandurang Karmarkar, who was well known for strictly following the academic genre of realism. Barwe’s spent his initial years in the Konkan village, where he was born, and his later years in Bombay (now Mumbai) surrounded by the natural and creative atmosphere.

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Whispering Green: Moving towards 'Chance Aesthetics' by Jesal Thacker

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. 

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

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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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On Bhupen Khakhar's encaustic painting - Ranjit Hoskote

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.

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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. 

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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 Begampur 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.

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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. 

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An introduction to the Weavers' Service Centre

Pages from Bhanu's handwritten notes

"My father, a multifaceted man, was far ahead of the times. His thirst for knowledge led him to explore avenues of learning beyond scholastic and academic boundaries. He would travel to Mumbai frequently to collect books on various subjects ranging from painting to photography and embroidery to film making. These books were imported from Britain by Englishmen who had big stores in Mumbai.

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Pages from Bhanu's handwritten notes

Gaitonde & Mohamedi at Bhulabhai Desai

Artists don’t exist in a vacuum. The feature looks at the works of two Indian artists who occupy a special niche in the art world. This feature looks at VS Gaitonde and Nasreen Mohamedi through different prisms.  

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Gaitonde & Mohamedi at  Bhulabhai Desai

VS Gaitonde's Paintings - Technique And Processes

Abstraction refers to non-representational art, Figurative art refers to something with reality - both definitions are broad and have to be in fact, as otherwise, it would be seemingly impossible to categorize many artworks. What's the connection between these definitions with Vasudeo Santo Gaitonde's art? The connection becomes clear thanks to a recent exhibit at the Prince of Wales Museum (now called Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalay).

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VS Gaitonde's Paintings - Technique And Processes

Vasudeo S. Gaitonde - A Tapestry

Gaitonde grew up in Nagpur, Maharashtra, and studied at the J. J. School of Art. In 1947, he was invited to join the Progressive Artists’ Group and went on to become one of its original members. He worked with various mediums and used a roller and palette knives to create his layered texture, which later became his signature style. 

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Vasudeo S. Gaitonde - A Tapestry

Two rare works by N.S. Bendre

Born in 1910 in Indore, N. S. Bendre trained at the State Art School in Indore in 1929. Bendre’s early works can be described as Impressionist and academic in style. He is well known for founding the Baroda Group of artists in 1956 as well as founding the Lalit Kala Akademi in Delhi.

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Two rare works by N.S. Bendre

Bikash Bhattacharjee's Early Work

Bikash Bhattacharjee was born in Kolkata in 1940 and graduated from the Indian College of Arts and Draftsmanship, Kolkata in 1963. His works were inspired by his early childhood and environment.

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Bikash Bhattacharjee's Early Work

Early Abstraction in Indian Art

Abstract art or non objective art is a painting or sculpture that does not depict a person, place, or any other figure. With abstract art, the subject of the work is what you see: color, shapes, brushstrokes, size, scale, or just the process.

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Early Abstraction in Indian Art

Prabhakar Kolte : Abstract Painter

Prabhakar Kolte was born in 1946 in Nerur Par, Maharashtra. He completed his diploma from the Sir J.J. School of Arts, Mumbai in 1968. He also taught there from 1972 to 1994.

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Prabhakar Kolte : Abstract Painter

G R Santosh : Early abstract works

Santosh began his career painting landscapes at home in Kashmir before being spotted by S. H. Raza, who encouraged him to study at the Maharaja Sayajirao University at Baroda under N. S. Bendre. He started painting figurative and abstract works before he completely switched to tantra inspired works in 1964.

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G R Santosh : Early abstract works

Nasreem Mohamedi -Double Sided

Born in 1937 in Lahore in undivided India, Nasreem Mohamedi is well known for her line drawings. While she mainly worked with pencil and ink on paper, she also experimented with line and form and how it could intercept the path of light.

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Nasreem Mohamedi -Double Sided

V. S. Gaitonde: Abstract Drawing

V.S. Gaitonde grew up in Nagpur, Maharashtra, and studied at the J. J. School of Art. In 1947, he was invited to join the Progressive Artists’ Group and went on to become one of its original members. He worked with various mediums and used a roller and palette knives to create his own layered texture that became his signature style.

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V. S. Gaitonde: Abstract Drawing