Indiyart Exhibition is one of a kind. Never before has anyone ever seen so many Indian traditional art forms coming under one roof. Indian Traditional art embraces its rootedness in the everyday life of the people of a community and its sacred practices. Yet, it is constantly evolving in terms of its themes and style while maintaining the essence of its gurus. At Indiyart Exhibition, you will see the artworks of Padma Shri awardees and renowned artists of Indian traditional art. Without further delay, let us take you through all the art forms and their uniqueness that we will showcase at Indiyart Exhibition.
Originating in the Nathdwara region of Rajasthan, Pichwai Art depicts everything connected to Shrinathji, the child version of Lord Krishna. The central motifs like cow, lotus and peacock are connected with legends of Sri Krishna, infused with rich meaning and symbolism. Rajaram Sharma, the most revered artist of Pichwai art in the country, will exhibit his masterpieces at the Indiyart Exhibition. His artwork ‘Kamal Pichwai’ has every refined element that characterised Pichwai art.
The seasonal element in Pichwai art is very relevant. For instance, artists make Kamal Pichwai only during the summer season. The Pichwai painting uses very fine, intricate details like a miniature, but the form in Pichwai is larger. Even if one looks at it from a magnifying glass, the details in the art do not pixelate.
Phad is a style of textile painting that originated in Rajasthan and Gujarat to honour the local deities Pabuji and Devnarayanji. It also depicts scenes from the Hindu epics of Ramayana, Mahabharata, and Puranas. Over the years, the art form has evolved to meet the needs of current times. The size of Phads has shortened, and the storytelling has become simple and unique. It also began to incorporate many contemporary themes.
At the Indiyart Exhibition, we will exhibit the Phad artworks of two artists from the Joshi family— Kalyan Joshi and Abhishek Joshi. Kaylan Joshi retains the traditional themes of Phad while experimenting with colour composition. On the other hand, Abhishek Joshi shows his uniqueness by taking traditional themes and expressing them in a way that aligns with his thoughts and concerns. His painting ‘Dirty Politics’, is a perfect way to mould traditional elements to address contemporary concerns.
Madhubani art is one of the most legendary folk art of India. It is famous for depicting scenes of love unions like that of Rama Sita, and Shiva Parvati. Apart from religious themes, Madhubani has varied patterns and styles that express integral aspects of womanhood, and its relation with nature and the divine. Therefore, it is a feminist folk art that exhibits feminine sensibility and expressions.
Unlike most Madhubani artists who usually have a familial artistic legacy, Dulari Devi lacked formal education and had to work as a domestic help. She learnt Madhubani art from Karpoori Devi and went on to create her unique compositions with unique subjects. You will also see the works of Ambika Devi at Indiyart Exhibition. Her minimal use of colours, intricate patterns, and detailing make her artworks stand out. In her artworks, Tree of Life constitutes an important element that expresses her perspectives on life.
Rajasthani Miniature has a rich history going back to the 16th century. It draws heavily from various literary works authored by Surdas, Tulsidas, Meera Bai, Keshav Das, and Bihari Lal, and also important works of religious poetry, Bhagavata Purana, Ramayana, and Geet Govinda. All these literary works have drawn inspiration from the legends of Lord Krishna. Veer ras and shringar ras dominate Ragamala paintings. Apart from intense emotions, Rajasthani miniatures also involve themes, such as natural landscapes, flora and fauna, and Barahmasa (twelve seasons).
There are various schools of Rajasthani miniature. Paintings are small in size, an important characteristic that adds to its beauty and delicacy. At the Indiyart Exhibition, we have maintained this diversity of Miniature art. You will see artworks of artists who are experimenting with techniques and subjects, including traditional as well as contemporary themes. While Virendra Banni experimented with shading and beyond-the-frame techniques, Asharam Meghwal moulded the Deogarh style to tell the history of wars and captivating folktales.
Pattachitra is the traditional art form Odisha, and one of the oldest art of India, with its history running back to the 5th century BC. It developed around the Jagannath Temple from when it created the theme of ‘Thia Badhia’ or the childhood powers of Lord Krishna. The ten incarnations of Lord Krishna, known as Dasabatara Patti, and the depiction of Lord Ganesha as a five-headed deity in the Panchamukhi painting are popular subjects of Pattachitra.
Pattachitra artists at Indiyart Exhibition belong to the family of Mahopatra, who had been practising the art form for several generations. By experimenting with various mediums, they have reached an audience beyond their community.
Originating in the Cheriyal village of Telangana, the Cheriyal Art gradually became India’s one of the most vibrant traditional art forms in terms of storytelling. It exhibits the serene life of the village, and the mythology and religious themes are depicted through over-arching themes of rural life. Kalamkari, Deccani scrolls, and Kakatiya paintings have influenced Cheriyal Art, and this element of blend gives Cheriyal art a unique history and place among other traditional art forms. Cheriyal Scrolls also depict scenes from Ramayana and Mahabharata.
At Indiyart Exhibition, we have artworks of renowned Cheriyal artist, D. Venkatramana. His works on rural life in India are true to the real life and give a tinge of nostalgia through the hairstyles and dresses of tribal women. He also experimented with depicting a smaller scene in each block.
Though originated among the tribal communities of Maharashtra, Warli Art has spread to metropolitan cities. The commercialisation of Warli Art made those who are unconnected to its cultural context familiar with its motifs. However, the commercialisation of the art form does not acknowledge its artistic merits.
At the Indiyart Exhibition, we have artists from the Mhase family, Pravin Mhase and Vijay Mhase, known for their contribution to the art form. Warli art has traditionally focused on community rituals and beliefs. Now the art form is creatively moulded to show a connection between the human world and nature and raise awareness of environmental and social issues and the need to appreciate and conserve the natural world of fauna and flora.
The Bhil community in Madhya Pradesh practices its distinct tribal art. Its tribal origins are reflected in Bhil art that depicts themes related to paganism, like believing in forest spirits, deities, and evil and dangerous spirits, typical to a nomadic lifestyle. Prevalence of such superstitions, Bhils are ritualistic.
Apart from stories of religious epics and mythologies, the art form also features animals and plants. At Indiyart Exhibition, we have Bhil artists like Lado Bai and Bhuri Bai who creatively experimented with the elements of Bhil art while maintaining the connection of the artwork with its community and nature. While Lado Bai created her distinct color compositions and wave-like patterns, Bhuri Bai intersects nature with modern technology that has brought a change in the lives of Bhils.
Mata Ni Pachedi
Mata Ni Pachedi is associated with the festive season of Shardiya Navratri where nine avatars of Maa Durga and her legendary battle with Mahishasura are celebrated. This celebrated mythology signifies victory of good over evil which is not easy to come. Goddess Durga symbolises protection, strength, motherhood, destruction, and wars. Mata Ni Pachedi draws techniques of painting from the Kalamkari style of painting and has more intricate designs than the latter.
At Indiyart Exhibition, we have artworks from artists of the Chitara family that have a strong legacy in Mata Ni Pachedi. They have experimented with colour compositions where the choice of colour holds a meaning. While showing reverence to the Goddess, the presence of natural elements is quite strong. The artists from the present generation have added more detailed and time-consuming designs and patterns, which make the art form even more enchanting.
Indiyart Exhibition shows the true spirit of our country’s motto—unity in diversity. Indian Traditional art will reach the wider world once its vibrancy and rootedness in history and culture become known to the world. This exhibition aims to bring together the various traditional art forms of India at the same level of reverence and importance as modern art.
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