Thousand years from Then

Event start Date : 2017-10-06 | Event End Date : 2017-10-16

The Art Life Gallery is pleased to present a group exhibition of works featuring 10 master artists from Rajasthan who are displaying miniature, pichhwai, phad and miniature phad paintings. Titled, Thousand Years from Then, it ran from October 6, 2017-October 16, 2017.  The show was inaugurated by Shri Vijay Goel, minister of state for Parliamentary affairs and patronised by Shri Durgesh Shankar, former member CBDT displayed around 100 art works.  "Art needs to be in every part of the country and this is a laudable effort," the minister said after the inauguration. According to the guest of honour, Durgesh Shankar, the traditional arts like phad and miniature need to be supported and publicised.  

The 10 artists featured in the show were Pradip Mukherjee, BL Rajput, Govind Ramdev, Ramu Ramdev, Jugal Kishor Chandel, Kalyanmal Sahu, Om Prakash Soni, Rajaram Sharma, Shammi Bannu and Tulsidas Nimbark.  Many of the works are inspired by Krishna and other deities and royalty of India. Shapes, minute detailing and natural colours are driving forces.  For the traditional artists, figures and forms and colour mixing are very important and often experimental. For example, the Ramdev brothers are helping conduct a special research on Gougoli-Indian yellow in the Art Institute, Chicago.  For this show, a touch of gold in the paintings adds to the royal nature of paintings from the land of the rajas.  

Shilp Guru Pradip Mukherjee, a renowned pioneer of miniature phad is an established name in the traditional  art. "Traditional art of India is being revived now and we are happy that the government body like Cottage Industry is also supporting the artists," says Mukherjee.  "Having tried my hands at phad, I decided to innovate my style and have been working on miniature phad painting for the past 35 years," recalls Mukherjee .  

Tulsidas Nimbark is a fine water colorist and specialises in portrait paintings having done portraits for royal families like the Scindias. BL Rajput, a well-recognised miniature artist is one of the last in his family to practice this art. Shammi Bannu is another celebrated artist participating in the show. He hails from a family of court painters of Maharana Sawai Jai Singh II, the founder family of Jaipur. His family has practised miniature painting for over seven generations.

Kalyan Mal Sahu, one of the best Pichhwai artists received the national award for traditional painting form in 2011. He uses organic colours to paint on hand-spun cloth.   In the same fashion Jugal Kishor Chandel has been working on miniature paintings for the last 40 years and was the National Award winner in 2015 for his art. OP Soni, acclaimed for his realistic touch in miniature painting is well-known for restoration and art preservation. Former PM Atal Behari Vajpayee and Maharana Arvind Singh Ji Mewar are amongst his several celebrity patrons.

According to Pratibha Agarwal, co-founder and co-director of the Art Life Gallery, "Traditional Indian art forms a rich mosaic by bringing together genuine values with the cultural heritage of India. As Albert Camus says without culture and the relative freedom it implies, society even when perfect, is but a jungle. This is why any authentic creation of art is a gift to the future." 

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