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Francis Summers

(b Karachi, 1935).

Pakistani conceptual artist, sculptor, painter, writer and curator, active in England. He graduated in civil engineering from the University of Karachi in 1962 and moved to London in 1964. He began working as an artist without any formal training, producing sculptures influenced by Minimalism and by his engineering experience; the four-part Boo (1969; Liverpool, Walker A. G.), with its cage-like compartments, recalls in particular the work of Sol LeWitt. In 1972, appalled by the institutionalized racism that he found to be endemic in Britain, he became interested in radical politics and joined the Black Panther movement. Six years later he founded and began editing the journal Black Phoenix, which, in 1989, was transformed into Third Text, one of the most important journals dealing with art, the third world, post-colonialism and ethnicity. He continued to contribute to and edit Third Text, and was one of the pivotal figures in establishing a black voice in the British arts through his activities as a publisher, writer and artist. His performance ...

Article

Arnige  

Ian Alsop and Kashinath Tamot

[Chin. Anige; A-ni-ke; A-ni-ko; Nepalese: Arnike]

(b c. 1244; d c. 1306).

Nepalese sculptor, architect, and painter who worked in Tibet and China. A Newar from the Kathmandu Valley, Anige is now honoured in his native land as Nepal’s most famous artist of early times. He left his home at the age of 17 or 18, joining the myriads of wandering Newar artists who served the courts of the great lamas and emperors of Tibet and China. He so impressed his patrons at the court of the Mongol Yuan dynasty (1279–1368) that he eventually rose to a position of prominence as the director of the imperial workshops at the capital of Dadu, now Beijing.

No trace of Anige’s life and works has survived in Nepal, but this is not surprising given the dearth of historical records (as is the case throughout the Indian subcontinent), and the fact that artists were generally anonymous. Further, as Anige left the valley at a young age, his artistic distinction was almost entirely achieved in foreign lands....

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

(b Peshawar, Oct 25, 1926).

Pakistani painter and sculptor. He began painting while training as an engineer in the USA (Columbia and Harvard universities) and held his first exhibition in 1950. He continued to paint while secretary at the Pakistan embassy at Ottawa during the 1950s, developing a reputation for portraiture. In 1957 he was commissioned to paint the portrait of King Zahir Shah of Afghanistan, and in 1959 he held an exhibition of 151 paintings and sketches in Kabul. He also painted portraits of Prince Karim Aga Khan (1961), Zhou Enlai (1964), Queen Farah Diba of Iran (1965) and President Ayub Khan of Pakistan (1968). He then turned to making portraits from marble mosaic and semi-precious stones, a technique that he had developed in Kabul in 1959. His abstract paintings, produced since the 1960s, incorporate ornamental calligraphy, coloured beads, small pieces of mirror, and gold and silver leaf. These works include a large abstract mural painted in ...

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

(b Pillaiyarpatti, Ramnad district, Nov 30, 1927).

Indian sculptor and architect. He comes from a long line of traditional sculptors and architects who belong to the Vishvakarma tribe. His forefathers, patronized by Rajaraja I (reg ad 985–1014) of the Chola dynasty, built the great temple at Thanjavur. His degree in mathematics and knowledge of Sanskrit, together with his devotion to and understanding of inherited aesthetic form, have given him unique insights into the intricate blend of contemporary and traditional in 20th-century art and architecture. He headed the Government College of Architecture and Sculpture at Mamallapuram for 27 years but in the early 1990s was involved with the Research Academy of Science and Art, Mamallapuram, dedicated to the principles of traditional housing and architecture and urban planning in the modern context. He was also involved with the Vastu Vedic Research Foundation, which studies and promotes the ancient tradition of science, technology, art and culture founded by the architect and planner, Mayan (dates unknown). The foundation’s primary aim is the propagation of the traditional concept of energy, matter, time and space, form and beauty, and the investigation of the concept and application of Vastu Purusha Mandala as discovered by Mayan....