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Volume 10 Number 1, December 1956

Volume 10 Number 1

The Nature of Space (Editorial)

Murshidabad Painting
Robert Skelton

Indian Temple Sculpture


1. Amina Ahmed
Rita Regnier

2. Jehangir Sabavala
Richard Lannoy

3. Pradosh Das Gupta
Mulk Raj Anand

4. Lain Singh Bangdel
C. Krishna Gairola

5. The International Exhibition of Iranian Art at Rome
Hermann Goetz

6. Art Chronicle, Autumn 1955–56
Shirin Sabavala

American Supplement: 20th-Century Art in the United States
Holger Cahill 

U.S. Embassy Building, New Delhi Stanvac Building in Bombay

Tea through the Ages

The Nature of Space [Editorial]
Anand, Mulk Raj
Vol. 10 No. 1, December 1956, pp. 2-9

The article looks at the complex issues involved in a meaningful synthesis between the contents of indigenous Indian culture and modern Western technical developments. It analyses the two dominating metaphysical viewpoints about space which distinguished the ancient traditions of Europe and Asia. In the West, the apparent contradiction between the many Greek gods and the newer monotheisms was resolved through the doctrine of personal immortality. In the East, the universal oneness was stressed. Rapid changes in the 20th century have forced the West to look for a solution in the space-time continuum. This is reflected in the work of some European and American artists, who have rejected the emphasis on forms produced by the Renaissance.

Murshidabad Painting
Skelton, Robert
Vol. 10 No. 1, December 1956, pp. 10-22
The Murshidabad school developed under the rule of Nawabs of Bengal -- Alivardi Khan (1740-56), Siraj-ud-daula (1756-57), Mir Jafar (1757-60), and Mir Qasim (1760-63) -- and the local Hindu courts that followed. The school thrived under Alivardi Khan, with scenes from his courtly and daily life, and portraits of the local nobility. Zenana scenes and Ragmala paintings were commissioned by Siraj-ud-daula, whose period also witnessed a multiplicity of romantic motifs, a trend towards stumpiness of figures, exaggeration of details, and the portrayal of women with an idiom close to some Rajput paintings. Mir Jafar's period saw the arrival of some Lucknow artists, and that influence was particularly felt in the time of his successor Mir Qasim. Mir Qasim's reign also introduced a slightly bloated expression in the paintings. The decline set in after Mir Qasim, and there was a changeover from courtly to mythological themes under the patronage of the Hindu landed gentry and the British. The final phase of the true Murshidabad style is seen in an illustrated manuscript of the Persian translation of the story of Nala and Damayanti dated AH 1210 (1796 CE). Parallel to the decline of miniatures, a new style of watercolour painting developed under European influence.
Indian Temple Sculpture
Vol. 10 No. 1, December 1956, pp. 23-25
Hitherto unpublished photoprints of sculptures from the Lingaraja, Khajuraho, and Konarak temples, and the Gwalior Museum are reproduced from the monograph "Indian Temple Sculpture" by Shri Goswami, which has text by K.M. Munshi.
Contemporaries: Amina Ahmed
Regnier, Rita
Vol. 10 No. 1, December 1956, pp. 26-28
The paintings of Amina Ahmed, who studied art in Calcutta and Paris, are an example of a fusion of complex forces, and are modern. There is a pre-occupation with line and a powerful graphism.
Contemporaries: Jehangir Sabavala: Cubist Abstractionist
Lannoy, Richard
Vol. 10 No. 1, December 1956, pp. 29–32 + 2 unnumbered
With a sensitive understanding of light and colour in the Indian scene, a variation in the treatment of subjects, spatial subtlety, and cubist abstractionism, Jehangir Sabavala's most typical and commanding works are the near-abstract still lifes and the cubist figure subjects of Indian scenes.
Contemporaries: Pradosh Das Gupta
Anand, Mulk Raj
Vol. 10 No. 1, December 1956, pp. 33-35

The sculptures of Pradosh Das Gupta are reproduced from his book "My Sculpture". They show a continuous effort at grasping the possibilities of the present formless period with a mastery of materials and an imaginative, individual talent.

Contemporaries: Lain Singh Bangdel
Gairola, C. Krishna
Vol. 10 No. 1, December 1956, pp. 36-38
This Indo-Nepalese artist derives his themes from the life of the common folk of Himalayan India, but his technique is Western. His art shows his mastery over a variety of forms and colours.
Contemporaries: The International Exhibition of Iranian Art at Rome
Goetz, Hermann
Vol. 10 No. 1, December 1956, pp. 39-42
The exhibition covered the whole range of Persian art, from the pre-historic period to the 19th century. On display were pottery, sculpture, jewellery, plaques and tiles, textiles, metalwork, carpets, miniatures and manuscripts.
Contemporaries: Art Chronicle, Autumn 1955-56
Sabavala, Shirin
Vol. 10 No. 1, December 1956, pp. 43-45
Musings on the contemporary painting scene which has reached a lull with established names being the only artists to arouse interest in current exhibition.
American Supplement: Twentieth Century Art in the United States: Painting, Sculpture
Cahill, Holger
Vol. 10 No. 1, December 1956, pp. 46–67 + 2 unnumbered

The American art world was influenced by the early modernists, realists, and social commentators, abstraction of the 1920s and 30s, romanticism, and the abstract paintings in the 1940s and 50s. Other trends of the 1940s and 50s were romanticism and abstract painting.
The approach of 20th century sculptors who reacted against the Victorian idealization and picturesque surface handling of Saint-Gaudens, the leading American sculptor of his time, and his followers is described. Also discussed are contemporary works.

U.S. Embassy Building
Vol. 10 No. 1, December 1956, pp. 68-71
The plans of this proposed embassy at New Delhi were done by Edward D. Stone, and excerpts from his statements in "Architecture of Edward D. Stone" (by Maria Elena Torch) are reproduced.
Stanvac Building
Vol. 10 No. 1, December 1956, pp. 72-75
This is a modern office building in Bombay of a high order. Features include louvres for eliminating sun glare, an insulated terrace roof, false ceilings of "Audieane" made from sugarcane waste which conceal air conditioning ducts and muffle office noise, asphalt floor tiles, interiors with walnut paneling and flush blackboard doors, artificial lighting, an automatic telephone communication system, and other amenities.
Tea through the Ages
Vol. 10 No. 1, December 1956, unnumbered

A brief account on the importance of tea in the context of the opening of Tea Centre in Bombay.