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Jonathan M. Bloom

Reviser Sheila S. Blair

(b Kishorganj, East Pakistan [now Bangladesh], Nov 18, 1914; d Dhaka, May 28, 1976).

Bangladeshi painter and printmaker. He studied painting at the Government School of Art in Calcutta from 1933 to 1938, and then taught there until 1947. His work first attracted public attention in 1943 when he produced a powerful series of drawings of the Bengal famine. After the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947 he worked as chief designer in the Pakistan government’s Information and Publications Division, and also became principal of the Institute of Fine Arts in Dhaka (later known as the Bangladesh College of Arts and Crafts), which he helped to found in 1948 and where he remained until 1967. From 1951 to 1952 he visited Europe and, in addition to exhibiting his work at several locations, worked at the Slade School of Art in London, and represented Pakistan at the UNESCO art conference in Venice in 1952. An exhibition of his work in Lahore in 1953 became the starting-point for a series of ...

Article

Marcella Nesom-Sirhandi

(b Delhi, India, Feb 4, 1941; d Lahore, Pakistan, Jan 18, 1999).

Pakistani painter, sculptor and printmaker. Educated in Pakistan and abroad, he has consciously and successfully synthesized Eastern and Western aesthetic traditions. In 1963, a year after graduating from the National College of Arts, Lahore, he joined the faculty as a lecturer in art, later becoming a professor and head of the Department of Fine Arts. His studies abroad have included post-graduate work in London (1966–7, 1968–9) and the United States (1987–9).

Like many of his colleagues, Zahoor was influenced by his mentor, Shakir ‛Ali, principal of the National College of Art from 1961 to 1975. Both artists were motivated by art history, philosophy and aesthetics. Zahoor’s non-figurative paintings of the 1960s evolved into tangible—though not always realistic—images addressing the dualities of space and time, East and West. Most of his triptychs and single canvases were conceived within a grid that provides a stabilizing structure for their compositions. This grid refers to Zahoor’s admiration for the American artist ...

Article

Marcella Nesom-Sirhandi

(b Wazirabad, 1895; d Lahore, 1978).

Pakistani painter and etcher. Apprenticed at age five to Master Abdulla, a Mughal miniature artist of Lahore, by age fourteen Bux had become an accomplished signboard painter. He worked as a carriage painter for Mughalpura Railway and as a scene painter for Agha Hasher Kashmiri’s theatrical company. In 1914 he went to Bombay, where he was employed as a photographer, retouch artist and portrait and landscape painter at the Bombay Art Studio. After returning to Lahore in 1919, he became a fine art painter who supported himself as a commercial artist.

Bux was known as the ‘Krishna painter’, after one of his favourite themes, and until 1947 was readily patronized by the Hindu community of Lahore. Panoramic fantasies filled with earthly and floating figures and brightly coloured realistic or abstract landscapes recall Maxfield Parrish, Gustave Moreau and the Symbolists. Bux had access to Western originals in the collection of Bhupindra Singh, ruler of Patiala, for whom he worked part-time for several years....

Article

Filipino, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1942, in Malabon, Manila, Philippines.

Painter, printmaker, illustrator. Figures, portraits.

Baguio Arts Guild.

Bencab started drawing at the age of seven and was influenced by his older brother Salvador, an artist. He later studied at the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts and worked for several publications as an illustrator and layout artist. In ...

Article

Marcella Nesom-Sirhandi

(b Lahore, 21 Sept ?1894; d Lahore, Jan 17, 1975).

Pakistani painter, etcher and engraver. Though he was self-taught, his early style is indistinguishable from that of the Bengal School (see Calcutta, §3). He may have been influenced by the Calcutta-trained painter Samenendranath Gupta, who was a teacher and vice-principal at the Mayo School of Arts during Chughtai’s years there in the early 1920s as a drawing master in the photolithography department.

Like the Bengal School artists, Chughtai painted exclusively in watercolour and illustrated Hindu and Buddhist myths and Indian genre scenes. Unlike them, however, he also painted scenes from Islamic history and literature and Punjabi legends. By the 1940s he had evolved a highly personal style that reflected his interest in Persian, Mughal and Rajput painting as well as Japanese woodcuts and European painting, particularly Art Nouveau.

A skilled draughtsman with an innate sense of colour and design, Chughtai often gave an amusing twist to his large watercolours. He was an accomplished etcher and engraver, having studied these arts in London during two visits in ...

Article

Filipino, 20th century, female.

Active in France fromc.1972.

Born 4 June 1942, in Guimbal (Iloilo), Philippines.

Engraver, collage artist. Figure compositions, religious subjects.

Ofélia Gelvezon-Téqui graduated in art from the University of the Philippines in 1964, and again in 1966, in English. In ...

Article

Anis Farooqi

(b Jhelum, West Punjab [now in Pakistan], Dec 25, 1925).

Indian painter, sculptor, printmaker and architect. Totally deaf from the age of 13, he studied painting at the Mayo School of Art, Lahore, from 1939 to 1944, and then at the Sir Jamshetjee Jeejebhoy School of Art, Bombay, from 1944 to 1947. After independence and the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947, he pursued his artistic career in India and for several years expressed in his work the anguish of the partition. From 1952 to 1954 he studied at the Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City, and from 1953 to 1954 worked under David Alfaro Siqueiros on murals in University City, MI. He was also influenced by the work of the Mexican artist José Clemente Orozco, especially by his use of large forms and his treatment of human anatomy. In his paintings of this period, such as Despair (1954; oil, 0.9×0.9 m; New Delhi, N.G. Mod. A.) and ...

Article

Atteqa Ali

(b Aligarh, India, 1937).

Printmaker of Indian birth. Zarina, known professionally by her first name only, received a BSc from Aligarh’s Muslim University in 1958. She worked at Atelier 17 in Paris from 1964 to 1967 and studied woodblock printing in Tokyo. With her works she opens up discussions of dislocation, exile, partition and migration. These loaded topics are handled in lighter ways; her black-and-white pictures do not burden viewers with a lot of visual information. Instead, her imagery relies on the extended meanings of lines and shapes: borders, separation and units, among other things. Her semi-abstract, minimal style does not have the cool formalism that one might associate with the Minimalist movement. Perhaps because she often utilizes the woodblock technique, she softens hard edges and customizes the style to her needs. Her subject matter is, likewise, a personalized interpretation of larger concerns.

Zarina has traversed many boundaries in her life, and much of her oeuvre is about her personal journeys that are both actual and conceptual. She has lived in several places including India, Paris and New York and considers home to be an idea more than a physical structure. In her mind, home is a transitory site that moves along with you. Yet, she made a portfolio of prints, ...

Article

Indonesian, 20th century, male.

Active in the Netherlands from 1938.

Born 1924, in Sabang, Indonesia.

Engraver, painter, collage artist, sculptor, draughtsman.

A self-taught artist, Anton Heyboer lived in Curaçao in the Dutch Antilles from 1933 to 1938.

He was in a concentration camp in 1943...

Article

Hans Ebbink

(b Sabang, Dutch East Indies [now Indonesia], Feb 9, 1924; d Den Ils, Netherlands, April 9, 2005).

Dutch printmaker and painter. His experience in a Nazi concentration camp in 1943, where he nearly died, marked his work. In 1951, after a voluntary stay in a mental hospital, he decided to devote himself to a life as an artist. After 1961 Heyboer lived in an isolated community in a barn at Den Ilp, north of Amsterdam, which he shared with three women. His images from the early 1950s, almost exclusively etchings, show ships in Ijmuiden port and his shabby living dwellings. The first etchings reflecting his mental condition also date from this period. In Awareness of the Wound (1954; The Hague, Gemeentemus.) he depicted himself as a simplified Man of Sorrows, wearing a crown of thorns and displaying his stigma, a bleeding heart. In the same year Heyboer recorded crucial moments of his life in works such as Defence of Immature Things, which consists of a large number of sheets of paper bearing definitions of ‘being’, ‘conscience’, ‘suffering’, ‘innocence’ and related concepts. Heyboer’s source of reference was Christian symbolism. To express the relationship with his fellow men he used the cross as the symbol of suffering. In ...

Article

R. Siva Kumar

(b Chittagong, April 13, 1921).

Indian printmaker, sculptor and painter. He began with visual reporting of the 1943 Bengal famine for the Communist Party organ Jannayuddha (People’s War); he was also associated with the 1946 peasant unrest. Later, at the Calcutta Art School, he mastered traditional printmaking media. He devoted himself seriously to printmaking in the 1950s, developing viscosity printing independently in ...

Article

Anis Farooqi

(b Pandharpur, Maharashtra, Sept 17, 1915).

Indian painter, printmaker, photographer and film maker. He grew up in Indore, where his family moved in the year of his birth. After studying at the School of Art in Indore for one year he moved to Bombay in 1937 and worked as a painter of cinema hoardings and, from 1941, as a designer of toys and children’s nursery furniture. The same year Amrita Sher-Gil and George Keyt exhibited their works in Bombay, inspiring Husain to dedicate his life to this creative field. In 1946 Francis Newton Souza invited him to join his Bombay Progressive Artists’ Group. Husain’s paintings first attracted notice in Bombay in 1947, when he won an award at the annual exhibition of the Bombay Art Society. He visited Delhi, where he encountered ancient Mathura sculpture and Indian miniature paintings. This was a crucial period in his development as an artist as he assimilated ideas from Western and Indian art. In ...

Article

Thai, 20th century, male.

Born 1942, in Bangkok.

Engraver.

Work by Itthi Khongkhakul was shown at the international print biennale in Tokyo in 1974.

Article

Malayan, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1947, in Malaya.

Engraver.

Yew Puah Kok lives in Singapore. Works by him in a geometrical abstract style were shown at the international print biennale in Tokyo in 1974.

Article

Van Lau  

Mayching Kao

[Wen Lou]

(b Xinhui County, Guangdong Province, Sept 15, 1933).

Chinese sculptor and printmaker, active in Hong Kong. Van moved with his family to Vietnam in 1935 and studied architecture and fine arts in Taiwan from 1953 to 1958; in 1960 he settled in Hong Kong. He became an influential figure in the local arts scene, not only assuming a leading role as a sculptor of the modern school, but also active in arts administration, publishing, design, education and politics. In the 1960s, inspired by contemporary international movements, Van experimented in different styles and media. He subsequently returned to his native tradition for imagery and aesthetic concepts, though retaining a Western approach in formal organization. Thereafter, his focus has been metal sculpture in geometric formations suggesting vitality and organic growth. His fascination with movement, particularly flight, inspired his Space Form (Hong Kong, Space Mus.), completed in 1980, followed by numerous public commissions.

Wen Lou/The Art of Van Lau (exh. cat., intro. ...

Article

Vietnamese, 20th century, male.

Active in France from 1940.

Born 1921 or 1922, in Bich-La-Dong (Quang Tai, Hue); died 7 March 2015, in Paris.

Painter, printmaker, lithographer, draughtsman, sculptor. Stage costumes and sets.

Le Ba Dang came to Paris in 1939 and studied at the Écoles des Beaux-Arts in Toulouse and then Paris. He had his first solo exhibition at the Galerie du Globe in Paris in ...

Article

Thai, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1947, in Angthong.

Engraver.

Viboon Leesuwan lives in Nakhon Pathom in Thailand. In 1974, works by him were shown at the Tokyo print biennale.

Article

Singaporean, 20th century, female.

Active and naturalised in England.

Born 16 February 1936; died 1997.

Sculptor, printmaker.

Minimal Art.

Kim Lim grew up in Singapore and moved to London at the age of 18 to study at St Martins School of Art (1954-1956) and at Slade School of Art (...

Article

Catherine M. Grant

(b Singapore, Feb 16, 1936; d London, Oct 23, 1997).

British sculptor and printmaker of Chinese birth. She grew up in Singapore and at the age of 18 decided to go to London to study at Saint Martin’s School of Art (1954–6) where she took a particular interest in wood-carving; she then transferred to the Slade School of Art, where she concentrated on printmaking, graduating in 1960. Whilst at college she often travelled through Asia and Europe en route back to Singapore, with Indian and South-East Asian sculpture and spirituality making a great impact on her work. An early sculpture, King, Queen, Pawn (1959; see 1999 exh. cat., pp. 12), consists of three simply shaped wooden blocks, with sections blowtorched to give a variation of colour. Whilst Lim always acknowledged a debt to the work of Constantin Brancusi in her simplification and abstraction of forms, it is in her concern for the specific qualties of materials, as in her use of charred wood to create contrast, that the influence of Eastern spirituality and concepts of balance can be seen. In ...

Article

Malayan, 20th century, male.

Born 1944, in Malaya.

Engraver.

Thien Shih Long lives in Kuala Lumpur. In 1974, work by him was exhibited at the 9th International Print Biennale in Tokyo.