The tender techniques of engraving from Haren Das to Sangeet Shyamala
At Sangeet Shyamala in Delhi, curated by Jyotirmoy Bhattacharya, are the Haren Das prints that feature a step back in time. Das was academically trained by Ramendranath Chakravorty who was influenced by Japanese Ukiyo-e prints. Haren Das focused on traditional Western perfection and the rural image and often had Indian farms and villages as subject matter. He became a professor at the Government School of Art in Calcutta in 1947.
Proposal, perspective and anatomy were three things proposed by the first director of the Govt College of Art in Calcutta. The institution was to give the native youth of India an idea of men and things in Europe, both present and past, not so that they might produce a feeble imitation of European art, but rather so that they can study European methods of imitation and apply them to the representation of natural, architectural landscapes. monuments, ethical varieties and national costumes in their own country”.
Haren Das’ sequel to this seminal show is an illustration of Locke’s words and philosophy.
Ibrahim Alkazi and Das
The story says that it was Ibrahim Alkazi, the theater personality, who had organized Das’ retrospective at Art Heritage, New Delhi and established him as a major printmaker. Das was a prolific engraver, he could execute woodcuts, linocuts, drypoint engravings and rock reliefs with equal ease. He headed the graphic department of the Government Art College from 1947 to 1979. The institution had a tradition of printmaking, which had started with Anandapraasad Bagchi (1849-1905).
Das’ most iconic work was his iconic etching of a plume of water spurting from a pump in which a boy bathes two buffaloes.
Endowed with a humanist’s eye, his works bring to life vignettes of rural life, craftsmen at work, festivities, the hard life of laborers in the cities, wanderers and wanderers, all bearing the mark of his mastery of his craft, drawing and the magic of chiaroscuro. With her Belongings is another masterpiece that creates a sad sonata from the melancholy of the homeless and isolated.
These prints speak of the beauty and ethos of rural rhythms. Equally elegant are the colored woodcuts. Das’ innovative use of negative space imparted a dreamlike quality to his works. The undulations of the village grounds, both between streams, streams and ponds, as well as the flavor of textural and sculptural composition demonstrate his imaginative ability to represent human figures as animated. still forms of traction in space. Working beyond the limits of two dimensions, these woodcuts and etchings interrogate the mythical associations of printmaking with individual fatherhood and the physical body and human agency of the sensibility of one of India’s greatest printmakers who have embraced the rural idyll.
witness of life
Das’ prints reflect Indian art history at its best. In the early years, the sources of Indian art lay in its philosophy and its religious system, in its symbolism. Traditional art did not imitate the visible world and if he could produce good art in the past, the contemporary artist could also create from his inspiration through the traditional heritage. Das’ prints are born from the narrative of experience and perception.
Das was content to evoke the simple notes of village life he had witnessed as a child without idealizing or romanticizing it. Without breaking with the academic realism taught at art school, Das created vistas that would take viewers across the gentle ponds and winding waterways, through the thick groves and rustic, shady fields that greeted the horizon. long before they were affected by the modes of industrialization.
Everything was linked to the borders of the fields, with men, women and children having moments of inactivity or work. They are impressions of a delicious dexterity. But perhaps the best are the deeper tones of the silhouettes that evoke fishermen and their humble homes and times. spent making a living. Das was an artist who believed in the integrity and beauty of studying everyday idioms and realities before capturing them for posterity. In Sangeet Shyamala, this spectacle is like a candle that shines a spotlight on a master printmaker from Bengal who belongs to the hauntings of history.
Pictures Sangeet Shyamala Delhi
The opinions expressed above are those of the author.
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