Watercolour

Harvest, A Land of Plenty

Rithika Merchant’s paintings are allegorical. They occupy the intersections of mythologies from across cultures to generate modern narratives that look into a re-imagined present. She paints the form of her characters with striking attention, using the medium of gouache to her advantage, as she layers washes of colours with opaque textures onto stained papers. With… Read more »

Mother

“Mother” was painted on Siji Krishnan’s return from a residency at the Koganecho Art Center in Yokohama, Japan. Centred alone in the painting is a lady holding a contemplative expression, evoking a sense of solitude as she seems at complete ease with her body and the cat in her lap. The decision to draw this… Read more »

Mother and Child

“Mother and Child” is a live portrait of a woman and her child who had just moved in next-door to Siji Krishnan. In the image we find representational elements like the red comb that was in the woman’s hair when she first met the artist, but most of it, as Krishnan suggests, is more about… Read more »

Untitled

Dhruvi Acharya’s paintings portray the urban woman. She creates a canvas that most often depicts a comic-like female figure in a visual world unique to each painting. In this world thoughts exist as real entities and human forms take on aspects of their emotional personalities. Often these figures are represented with blank expressions and blank… Read more »

Divine Light

‘Divine Light’ by Vishwanath Nageshkar depicts the resurrection of Christ after his crucifixion. In the composition, Nageshkar uses a mellow color palette, wherein the figure of Christ itself is painted green – biblically this was meant to be a scene of redemption. Yet due to the gruesome nature of Christ’s death, this scene has a… Read more »

Untitled (Portrait of a nude woman)

KH Ara acquired a somewhat avuncular air in the art scene of 1940s-50s Mumbai. That was rudely challenged when he got into nudes. And he got into nudes in a big way—the word ‘obsessive’ has been used to describe this sudden fascination. But Ara’s nudes came in for a lot of criticism.  Compared to those… Read more »

Untitled (two women)

This untitled portrait of two ethnically dressed women engaging in conversation is very much in keeping with Kalal Laxma Goud’s typical subject matter and style of painting. Born in 1940 in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, the artist began his career under the tutelage of KG Subramanyam in Baroda. Early on in his career, Goud was known… Read more »

Untitled (Portrait of a Lady)

This untitled portrait of a lady is very much in keeping with Kalal Laxma Goud’s typical subject matter and style of painting. Born in 1940 in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, the artist began his career under the tutelage of KG Subramanyam in Baroda. Early on in his career, Goud was known for his erotic figures, which… Read more »

Untitled (Jackfruit tree)

This post-card work is by Jadupati Basu and is addressed to Nandalal Bose.  Jadupati Basu portrays a close-up detailed painting of a jackfruit tree. The painting references hot weather and summertime, as it shows the fruits on the tree to be plump and ripe. The tree appears to be in full bloom with leaves, ripened… Read more »

The yews, Darjeeling

This post-card work is by Jadupati Basu and is addressed to Nandalal Bose.  Jadupati Basu has portrayed a scene of trees against the horizon at dusk. The painting is titled ‘The yews, Darjeeling’; there are faint amounts of light around the trees, suggesting that it could be around sunset. There are two taller trees that… Read more »

Jhijhirdak (Sound of the Crickets)

In the first of this series of ink on card work addressed to Nandalal Bose, Jadupati Basu has depicted a nighttime scene of crickets in a bush. He has titled this painting ‘jhijhirdak,’ which translates from Bengali to ‘the sound of the crickets.’ In this postcard artwork, Basu is conveying to the recipient, Bose, his… Read more »

Flowers of the Bombay Presidency

Flowers of the Bombay Presidency offers fascinating insights into the botanical beauty of the western states of India in the 1880s, with 202 illustrations of Indian flowers and plants in watercolour painting. Nearly all of the paintings are supplemented by a handwritten pencil inscription with the name of the flower (often in Latin with the… Read more »

Untitled

The paintings of artist Arpita Singh are primarily satirical. Yet, they are infused with emotion, creating a bridge between allegory and direct expression. She is a master of visual storytelling, and in her stories she brings forward the psychological impacts of two major oppressions in the world: patriarchy and systemic violence through wars. The artist… Read more »

Untitled

As one of the founders of the Progressive Artists’ Group and an idealist who was once imprisoned for participating in MK Gandhi’s salt satyagraha, KH Ara seemed to have acquired a somewhat avuncular air in the art scene of ’40s and’50s Bombay. That was rudely challenged when he got into nudes. And he got into… Read more »

Aandhi

Manisha Gera Baswani reinterprets traditional Indian miniature paintings with a contemporary twist. In this painting from a series titled Luminously Between Eternities, a tree is depicted in the grip of an ‘aandhi’ or storm. The tree is delineated in a rather detailed manner and you can observe a lot of texture in its leaves and… Read more »

Man of signs

A unicorn, an empty boat, a winged messenger. Decoding the haunting symbols of Badri Narayan’s art