Artists: Notes on Art Making

I need to but shut my eyes and he appears vividly, wearing a burgundy blazer, smiling gently and speaking softly. Unlike many with lesser achievements he was unaggressive and mild in his manner. This impression has remained with me ever since I met him in Lahore where he taught at the Mayo School of Arts and Crafts and I was a young student at Government College.

He was steeped in our tradition which made no distinction between art and craft. Nor was he caught in the trap of qualities which are pervasive today. Many of our schools of art history in concerning themselves with the modern movement of art in India, fail to notice the early strivings in Lahore. It seems that the partition of India has dislocated our knowledge of what happened earlier. Amrita SherGil, The Progressives in Bombay and Calcutta have tended to eclipse the endeavours of Pran Nath Mago, Harkrishan Lai, Roop and Mary Krishna and Parasher. Changes in thinking and execution were being wrought which had little or nothing to do with the movements in Europe. Pre 1947 paintings of Mago and Harkrishan were interactions with Pahari paintings. Long before Ajit Mookerji's books and Tantric Art became a cult, Parasher painted Tantric diagrams and forms. These were created with an impatient energy eager to set down visions before they disappeared. There is urgency of response which overrides delicacy and finesse of execution. Subsequent practitioners of this genre of painting, Biren De, the late G.R. Santosh, Haridasan, Om Prakash Sharma and S.H. Raza to mention the chief exponents, have all placed their emphasis on painterly values and in doing so have produced beautiful objects at the expense of losing the thrust of the initial spark. Parasher's paintings viewed today may not have the glitter and gloss which so many contemporary works have but they still speak of the undiluted vision which he pursued.

Sign In Close
Only Critical Collective subscribers can access this page.
If you are already a subscriber, then please log in.
 Forgot Password?
Subscribe now
   
Sign In Close
Only Critical Collective subscribers can access this page.
If you are already a subscriber, then please log in.
 Forgot Password?
Subscribe now