A list of 12 Indian artists you should bank on in 2017
IIn the art world we go through cycles of discovery as the field broadens. These are artists who have tasted fame and success at varying stages in their lives but who are being revived by a new audience and in new curatorial settings. I have chosen these twelve because while they may have had recognition from noted museums and top collectors, they are far more accessible pricewise and offer great bargains for the time being.
Sadanand Bakre, 1920-2007
Bakre was one of the founding members of the Progressive Artists’ Group, known for his innovative sculpting techniques. His sculpture is complex and revelatory but yet immensely affordable.
Prabhakar Barwe, 1936-1995
Prabhakar Barwe explored the multitudes of aesthetics and image making. By balancing form and colour, he explored the relationships between objects and ideas, giving his paintings a gentle lyricism.
Jyoti Bhatt, b. 1934
Jyoti Bhatt is best known for his modernist work in printmaking and photography. His photographs have been acquired by the Tate Modern and show wonderful experimentation with composition and form.
Prabuddha Dasgupta, 1956-2012
Also from an artistic family (his parents were sculptors Prodosh and Kamala Das Gupta) his works dissolved any boundaries between the disciplines of art, fashion and photography. This self-taught artist was acknowledged by Yves Saint Laurent for his talent early in his career.
Adi Davierwalla, 1922-1975
Adi Davierwalla is another self-taught sculptor and considered one of the best modern Indian artists of his generation. Drawing from Greek mythology and Christian symbolism, he produced a stunning body of work in addition to meticulous drawings and photographs.
Madan Mahatta, 1932-2014
Madan Mahatta an architectural photographer; his ar- chive is full of these nation-building projects. In his stills he captures abstract compositions of concrete and glass yet also comments powerfully on India’s constructions as a preeminent architectural critic.
Mrinalini Mukherjee, 1949-2015
Mrinalini Mukherjee was born into artistic royalty as the daughter of greats Benode Behari and Leela Mukherjee. Being a painter and sculptor, she has a unique voice in contemporary Indian art and is best known for her knotted, macramé sculptures with hemp ropes.
Jeram Patel, 1930-2016
Jeram Patel became one of India’s leading abstractionists from the late 1950s and 1960s onwards with innovative techniques using blowtorches, burnt wood and colour. The Kiran Nadar Museum of Art just hosted a major retrospective of his work last year to rave reviews.
Nagji Patel, b. 1937
Nagji Patel has been influenced by the rural settings of his homeland often depicted by his favourite theme of animals in his superlative sculptures.
Piloo Pochkhanawala, 1923-1986
Women artists practising in India in the mid-20th century were scarce and Piloo Pochkhanawala was one of the rare women sculptors at the time. Self-taught, she employed a variety of media including wood, metal and stone.
Krishna Reddy, b. 1935
Krishna Reddy, a sculptor and printmaker, pioneered the colour viscosity process achieving a spectacular intensity. His prints often in semi-abstracted and abstracted form explore subjects from nature to human figures, all with a nod to the spiritual realm. This year he was featured in a joint exhibition with Zarina Hashmi at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Raghubir Singh, 1942-1999
Raghubir Singh is one of India’s best known photographers, well known for his landscapes and documentary style pictures in the small-format street photography tradition. He was a pioneer in reinventing the use of colour in photography. He was deeply influenced by Mughal miniatures and the Bengal School. At the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC in 2003, I fell in love with his evocation of the India countryside through the lens of the Ambassador automobile.
DIVINE FORM Mrinalini Mukherjee’s, Sri (Deity) left; Krishna Reddy sculptures (above)