Author: Eminent Contributors
Editor(s): Amit Mukhopadhyay
Publisher: Lalit Kala Akademi
ISBN/UPC (if available): N/A
The career of L Munuswamy can be seen to encapsulate two histories, his own and that of post-1950 art, for it coincides with and summarises many of the issues central to this period. It is a highly reprehensive career, one which registers with barometric efficacy the demise of the influence of the British Royal Academy on Indian art, the schismatic questions posed by mid-50's art and the channeling of the latter into the art of the current period.
Munuswamy's method and style as an artist have been those of a man who has something relevant to say and has employed no rhetoric, but driven straight to the point. Although it deals in realities, it is not prosaic. On the contrary, it contains those essential elements of poetry and deep feeling to which is added in many instances the charm of rhythm,. The singular beauty and dignity of many of his compositions, seemingly due to instinct rather than deliberate plan, are salient qualities of his work which more than anything else give the aspect of unforgettable pictorial authority and weight to his major works of art.
M REDDEPPA NAIDU
There is a popular misconception that whatever is abstract is modern and whatever figurative, traditional. Reddeppa (born, 1932), as this much admired Andhra artist is popularly known in 1963 when as member of the selection and judging committee for the AP Lalit Kala Akademi's Annual Exhibition, He had the pleasure of recommending his entry for the Gold medal which of course was awarded.
It is futile to try to explain pictures in words, particularly those with religious themes, such as the ones Reddeppa paints, because they are best understood at the aesthetic and spiritual level and certainly not at the verbal level.
Reddeppa's favourites among modern masters are: Dufy, Klee, Picasso-in fact all those great masters who broke the barrier and showed a new path to the world: Degas, Lautrec, Cezanne, Van Gogh all great visionaries and pathfinders no doubt. But Klee is the one closest to Reddeppa's temperament. However, none of them ha influenced him, because he takes care not to come under the protective umbrella of any one, however great.
Nicholas K Roerich, the renowned Russian humanist and artist strode the world art scene for over five decades like a colossus. He was a towering personality, saintly in appearance and liberal in outlook, influencing every facet of human life he touched. And his touch extended from arts to archaeology, from history to humanistic studies and to the cause of world peace.
It is impossible not to admire Roerich. One cannot pass by his precious canvasses without experiencing a deep emotion. To see a Roerich picture means to see something new, something you have never seen anywhere, not even among Roerich's own works.
Nicholas Roerich has no home, no date, no Nation; he belongs to no Nation or epoch. So do the great Chinese art works. They belong to all times and climes. For, every artist, every poet, every philosopher is primarily a priest-his vocation is Holy, Holy, Holy. He leads mankind and we follow him. They are timeless, as is Beauty. They have many facets, all reflecting the supreme.
P T REDDY
When you look at a painting by Pakal Tirumal Reddy-P T for short-one thing strikes you immediately. But you don't know what it is. You can't define it: you only experience it. Gradually you begin to realise that you are face to face with a canvas painted by a real artist-a complete artist totally overpowered by his own creative energy for which somehow he has to find on outlet all the time.
Since 1956 he has been very active, holding exhibitions, participating in the programmes of various art institutions and managing the affairs of a number of leading art organisations in the country-including Lalit Kala Akademi, AP Lalit Kala Akademi, AP Council of Artists, Hyderabad Art society, South Zone Cultural Centre, fine Arts Departments of Various Universities, etc. He is Fellow of the Lalit Kala Akademi and recipient of honorary awarded of academic distinction from various universities.
When Reddy's fabulous Sudharma Art Galley is ready, the public will have an opportunity of seeing this massive private collection in its breathtaking range and diversity. It will be for this monumental work that Reddy will be remembered by the future generations with pride, joy and gratitude.
Piraji constantly insists on the need to enter into the secret of the creative drive to form and to penetrate to the heart of simple but profound mystery of nature. His drawings and paintings range from portraits and landscapes to symbolic and metaphoric images.
In some of his paintings the use of strong natural and vibrant colours enhances the intensity of the content and it is this effect in contrast to the abstract content that adds to the impact of his paintings.
Piraji paints with this spirit even at the age of 65. His latest work has begun to show amazing simplicity.
There is a central image which becomes indispensable and the main preoccupation in the work of an artist, over many long years. Raza was introduced to the idea of the Bindu as a focal point of meditation when he was a young boy of eight, in his native village of Kakaiya in Madhya Pradesh.
There is no doubt that Raza's paintings are abstractions, with a meditative quality about them. But with a sensibility that bespeaks his Indian origins, these forms and colours are imbued with an inner life; Indian origins, these forms and colours are imbued with an inner life; with a vibrancy which relates them to the tangible world of his reality.
Radhamohan, former Principal of the Patna Art College and leader of nearly three generations of artists, is still busy making portraits, even though he is in his eighties, in his long, unbroken creative period, some of the portraits he has made are landmarks of their time; in their skillful creation they have carved out an identity of their own.
The life size images of the men and women we see in his paintings seem to be alive. By degrees hi portraits being to acquire in individuality. The portrait series include such eminent personalities like Dr Rajendra Prasad, mahatma Gandhi and Jai Parkash Narayan done immediately before Independence. His paintings are also in the collection of all India Fine Arts and Crafts society and the Central Lalit Kala Akademi.
RAM GOPAL VIJAIWARGIYA
Old age and complacence have consigned many a celebrity to oblivion. But Ram Gopal Vijaiwargiva is an exception. At 82, this doyen of the realm of Indian Painting is an energetic and active as on would expect a young artist to be, In a chequered career spanning over six decades, he earned enviable fame and fortunes.
In the radiation of the style of painting of the Bengal revival to the various regions of India, Shailendra Nath De was the person who took it to Rajasthan. He is one of his illustrious pupils. For more than half a century, he has dominated the Rajasthan painting scene.
RANVIR SINGH BISHT
It is universally true of artists who by virtue of their inner resource live by admiration, hope and love, and strive hard to ascend to the dignity of being. The ascent involves a descent within which they accomplish in their own peculiar ways. In this respect the artist of hills, delicate and midget, Ranvir Singh Bisht, lives artistically the ascent and paints to projet different states of his mind and vision.
SARAT CHANDRA DEBO
Born with a silver spoon in mouth in the royal family of Chikitigada in southern Orissa, Sarat Chandra died a miserable death in the dilapidated palace of Chandraprabhashram at Berhampur. He left behind a legacy which casts its marooned shadow on the contemporary art scene of Orissa and inspires the younger generation to lead the movement which he ad left unfinished. His life of sixty two years (1911-1973) is a symbol of dedication to the cause of art in Orissa.
With the passing away of Sarat Chandra, a great painter, an art educationist, an able organiser, a sympathetic devout and spiritual soul passed away. He was misunderstood when he was alive for he was ahead of the generation he lived in and when he is no more, his vision inspires and lights the path of a generation in its creative pursuits.
VINAYAK PANDURANG KARMARKAR
The life of Karmarkar is an account of a village lad's rise to the pinnacle of achievement and fame in India's art world. He was recognised as the doyen of Indian sculptors through determination, enterprise and talent.
To Karmarkar form was a means to achieve an end. Sculpture to him was a medium to interpret ideas and observations and not a replica a nature. He was a visionary, his works were enriched with poignant emotional content and not merely physical beauty alone. He loved life, he loved nature and like Brancusi said, It is pure joy I gift to you.
Y K SHUKLA
The life and work of Y K Shukla would seem to provide an exact illustration of the workings of the artistic spirit on the Indian art scene in the twentieth century. Most Indian artists of his generation underwent a transmutation or conversion, given and Indian in transition.
The achievements of the schools may best be evaluated by the viewer himself. In the meanwhile what is certain is that the so-called realistic and the ideal are termini of the two opposing tendencies. In the body of Shukla's work we witness the play of both tendencies, now one now the other in the ascendant.
The art that Shukla pursued, lacked mysticism; but it was not spurious or gimmicky. We cannot follow him in his methods- we expect much more from the day's artists. But unless our younger artists climb up the rungs which Shukla and those like him mastered, they are unlikely to surpass their forerunners.
This set comprises of 12 books on the artistes mentioned below: L Munuswamy M Reddeppa Naidu Nicholas Roerich P T Reddy Piraji Sagara Radhamohan Ram Gopal Vijaiwargiya Ranvir Singh Bisht Raza Sarat Chandra Debo Vinayak Panduirang Karmarkar Y K Shukla