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Article

Sarah Urist Green

(b Kabul, June 5, 1973).

Afghan video and performance artist and photographer, active also in the USA. After fleeing Soviet-occupied Kabul with her family in the late 1980s, Abdul lived as a refugee in Germany and India before moving to Southern California. She received a BA in Political Science and Philosophy at California State University, Fullerton, and an MFA at the University of California, Irvine, in 2000. Abdul first returned to a post-Taliban Afghanistan in 2001, where she encountered a place and people transformed by decades of violence and unrest. Since that time, Abdul has made work in Kabul and Los Angeles, staging herself in performances and creating performance-based video works and photography that explore ideas of home and the interconnection between architecture and identity.

Beginning in the late 1990s, Abdul made emotionally intense performance art informed by that of Yugoslavian artist Marina Abramović and Cuban-born American artist Ana Mendieta. At the time unable to travel to Afghanistan, Abdul created and documented performances in Los Angeles that probed her position as Afghan, female, Muslim, a refugee and a transnational artist. In ...

Article

Indonesian, 20th century, male.

Born 1915, in Surakarta (Java); died 1992.

Painter, pastellist. Figures, nudes, portraits, scenes with figures, genre scenes, landscapes.

The son of Abdullah Soerjosoebroto, also a painter, Basuki Abdullah studied at the fine arts academy in The Hague. He travelled to Paris and Rome, and his work has been exhibited in Bangkok, Malaya, Japan, the Netherlands, England and Portugal. He is known as a portrait painter, particularly for his paintings of beautiful Indonesian women, but also painted rural flora and fauna, landscapes and court scenes....

Article

Indonesian, 20th century, male.

Born 1911; died 1991.

Painter. Figures, landscapes.

Abdullah Soedjono made a name for himself as a painter of Indonesian landscapes.

Amsterdam, 21 April 1993: Indonesian Land­scape with the Volcano Merapi (1975, oil on canvas, 38¾ × 88½ ins/98.5 × 225 cm) ...

Article

Jonathan M. Bloom

revised by 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

‛Abid  

Jeffrey A. Hughes

[‛Ābid]

(fl c. 1615–58).

Indian miniature painter, son of Aqa Riza and brother of Abu’l-Hasan. Both his father and his brother worked for the Mughal emperor Jahangir (reg 1605–27). Although ‛Abid probably began working in the royal atelier c. 1615, all of his known signed works are datable to the reign of Shah Jahan (reg 1628–58). His style varied somewhat from that of his celebrated older brother, but ‛Abid’s work also stayed within the strict formalism of the Persian-derived courtly concerns for symmetry, technical perfection and minute detail. Within these constraints, ‛Abid’s portraits of court figures are injected with an animation that creates characterization of individual personalities and intensifies the narrative. ‛Abid was an accomplished colourist, whose vivid use of colour seems to contrast with the realism of his subjects, primarily battle and court scenes. His known paintings are relatively few; most are from the Padshāhnāma of c. 1636–58 (Windsor Castle, Royal Lib., MS. HB.149, fols 94...

Article

J. P. Losty

(b 1588; fl 1600–30).

Indian painter.

In 1618 the Mughal emperor Jahangir (reg 1605–27) wrote in his memoirs that Abu’l-Hasan’s ‘work was perfect…At the present time he has no rival or equal… Truly he has become Nadir al-Zaman (“Wonder of the age”)’. Some of this artist’s paintings are among the greatest in Mughal art. He was born in Jahangir’s household in 1588, the son of the erstwhile Safavid artist Aqa Riza. Abu’l-Hasan’s earliest known work, a drawing based on Albrecht Dürer’s St John and executed when he was only 12 (Oxford, Ashmolean), already shows in its naturalism the trend of his mature work. A single painting in a manuscript of the fable-book Anvār-i Suhaylī (‘Lights of Canopus’), probably done in 1604 (London, BL, Add. MS. 18579), develops the naturalism of his portraiture but still contains a Safavid landscape based on his father’s work; his sense of respect for the latter is indicated by his signing himself here ‘the dust of Riza’s threshold’. He maintained throughout his career the meticulous finish of the Safavid style (...

Article

Filipino, 20th century, male.

Born 1930, in Bohol, Philippines.

Sculptor. Figures, historical subjects, religious subjects, allegory, myths.

Napoleon Veloso Abueva graduated in 1953 from the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts (UPCFA), where he was mentored by the first National Artist for Sculpture, Guillermo Tolentino. He received another scholarship from the Fulbright/Smith–Mundt Foundation and in ...

Article

Indonesian, 20th century, male.

Born 1907, in Cirebon (Java); died 1990.

Painter. Figures, scenes with figures, nudes.

Affandi worked at the Seni Rupa Academy in Yogyakarta. He founded the Association of Artists’ Communities in 1946 and the Association of Artists of the People in 1947...

Article

Indonesian, 20th century, male.

Born c. 1907; died 23 May 1990, in Java.

Painter. Landscapes, local scenes.

In his early works Affrandi depicted Indonesian landscapes; later he turned to scenes from daily life including markets, fighting cocks and fishing. His picturesque compositions are full of life and extremely colourful. Affrandi’s pictures have been exhibited in Paris on several occasions....

Article

Marcella Nesom-Sirhandi

(b Faisalabad, 1922).

Pakistani painter. She introduced non-traditional pictorial imagery in Pakistan and initiated a new era in painting. She completed a degree in political science at Kinnaird College, Lahore. Her introverted disposition and concentrated study of philosophy formed the background against which her abstract ‘idea’ paintings emerged. At the Lahore School of Fine Art (1945), Agha began a study of Western art. In addition to copying Old Masters, she came into contact with contemporary Indian painting and folk art.

Mario Perlingieri, an Italian painter who had studied with Picasso, introduced Agha to abstraction in 1946. Unlike the majority of Pakistani artists in the 1950s and 1960s, who emulated Cubism (see Cubism, §I), Agha evolved a personal style synthesizing East and West. Four years in London and Paris (1950–53) brought her face to face with modern European art. Agha’s predilection for discordant shapes, tension, and mysterious and irrational juxtapositions link her art to that of Marc Chagall and Edvard Munch. An intensely private and cerebral individual, she was awarded the President’s Medal for Pride of Performance in ...

Article

Filipino, 20th century, male.

Active in Europe.

Born 1932, in Manila.

Painter. Designs for tapestries.

Aguilar-Alcuaz initially studied law in Madrid before turning to studying painting at the San Fernando Academy in Madrid in 1954.

His oil paintings are clearly in the neo-expressionistic vein current in the 1970s. His tapestries are resolutely abstract, occasionally close to abstract expressionism: bold colours and curling, swirling black shapes, sometimes reminiscent of Miró. Aguilar-Alcuaz himself does not claim that his work is exotic in any way; on the contrary, he maintains that it draws on the European/international tradition....

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

Milo Cleveland Beach and Jonathan M. Bloom

revised by Sheila S. Blair

[(Khwāja) ‛Abd al-Ṣamad; ‛Abd as-Ṣamad; Abdus Ṣamad]

(fl c. 1540–95).

Iranian miniature painter and calligrapher, active also in India. Trained in Safavid Iran, ‛Abd al-Samad migrated to India, where he became director of the Mughal painting workshops under the emperor Akbar (reg 1556–1605). In this key position, he influenced the development of Mughal painting in the second half of the 16th century more than any other artist (see Indian subcontinent §VI 4., (i), (b)).

No inscribed works by ‛Abd al-Samad are known from the period when he worked in Safavid Iran, though attributions have been proposed, such as a depiction of the assassination of Khusraw Parviz from the copy of the Shāhnāma made for Shah Tahmasp I (reg 1524–76). Already a mature painter, he paid homage in 1544 to Akbar’s father, the Mughal emperor Humayun (reg 1530–40; 1555–6), when the exiled ruler was given refuge at the court of the Safavid shah Tahmasp at Tabriz. In ...

Article

Sheila R. Canby

[Mīr Sayyid ‛Alī-i Tabrīzī]

(b Tabriz, c. 1510; d Mecca, after 1572).

Persian painter, active also in India. He was the son of the Safavid-period painter Mir Musavvir. Though Qazi Ahmad, writing in the late 16th century, deemed him cleverer in art than his father, Mir Sayyid ‛Ali reveals paternal influence in his meticulous rendering of ornamental patterns and details. As he was a junior artist at the time of the royal Shāhnāma of c. 1525–35 (dispersed, see Dickson and Welch), his contribution to this was limited. Only two miniatures (fols 135v and 568r; priv. col. and New York, Met., respectively; see 1979–80 exh. cat., nos 20 and 33) are attributed to him, and possibly passages in other works by Sultan Muhammad and Aqa Mirak. By the time of the illustration of the Khamsa (‘Five poems’) of Nizami of 1539–42 (London, BL, Or. MS. 2265), Mir Sayyid ‛Ali was a first-rank Safavid court artist, painting four (or possibly five) miniatures, three (or possibly four) of which were subsequently removed from the manuscript (Cambridge, MA, Sackler Mus., 1958.75 and 1958.76; Edinburgh, Royal Mus. Scotland, ...

Article

Robert Skelton

[Muḥammad ‛Alī Muzahhib]

(fl c. 1600–10).

Persian painter, active in India. He has been identified from three inscribed works bearing his name: a Seated Poet (Boston, MA, Mus. F.A.), a Seated Youth (Washington, DC, Freer) and the drawing of A Girl in the Binney Collection (San Diego, CA, Mus. A.). The latter, signed Muhammad ‛Ali Jahangir Shahi with the presumed regnal date 5 (ad 1610–11), shows that he worked for the Mughal emperor Jahangir (reg 1605–27) early in his reign. The painting of a Young Prince Riding (Geneva, Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan priv. col.) has also been attributed to him. This is close in style to the painting in the Freer Gallery of Art, and the two share a competent but bland indebtedness to the work of Farrukh Beg. The equestrian portrait of Ibrahim ‛Adil Shah II, attributed to Muhammad ‛Ali by S. C. Welch, is now known to be a signed work of ...

Article

Marcella Nesom-Sirhandi

(b Rampur, 1916; d Lahore, 1975).

Pakistani painter. A seminal figure, Shakir ‛Ali introduced Cubism to Lahore in 1952. His style quickly became fashionable there, was adopted in Karachi and dominated the art scene for more than a decade (see Pakistan, Islamic Republic of §III).

Shakir ‛Ali first studied painting at the Ukil Brothers Studio in Delhi. In 1938, after a year in that city, he joined the J. J. School of Art, Bombay, which promoted the British system of art education—drawing from cast and copying Old Masters. From the school’s director, Charles Gerrard, Shakir learned mural painting and was introduced to Impressionism. He also learned about indigenous art such as that at Ajanta (see Ajanta, §2, (i)) and the modern work of Roy, Jamini and Sher-Gil, Amrita.

After receiving a diploma in fine art from the Slade School of Art, London, Shakir ‛Ali studied with André Lhote in France. Moving to Prague, he joined the School of Industrial Design and studied textile design. From Prague, Shakir went to Lahore, where he was appointed Professor and head of the art department at the Mayo School of Arts. In ...

Article

Indonesian, 20th century, male.

Painter.

Abas Alibasyah was a student at the fine arts academy in Yogyakarta where he trained with Hendra and Trubus. He developed a decorative style which he employed in abstract compositions.

Stöter-Bender, Jutta: L’Art contemporain dans les pays du “tiers-monde”, L’Harmattan, Paris, 1995....

Article

Anant  

Philippa Vaughan

(fl 1584–1611).

Indian miniature painter. Trained in the studio of the Mughal emperor Akbar (reg 1556–1605), he blossomed under Akbar’s successor Jahangir (reg 1605–27). Anant is known through two sole compositions in the Tīmūrnāma (‘History of Timur’; 1584; Bankipur, Patna, Khuda Bakhsh Lib., fols 182r and 206v, and, as colourist, fol. 115v)) and as a colourist in the first Akbarnāma (‘History of Akbar’; c. 1590; London, V&A, I.S.2. 1896.117) but eventually specialized in allegorical illustrations. The ‛Iyar-i danish (‘Book of fables’; c. 1590–95; Dublin, Chester Beatty Lib.) and Anvār-i Suhaylī (‘Lights of Canopus’; 1596–7; Varanasi, Banaras Hindu U., Bharat Kala Bhavan) were the prelude to his best work in the Anvār-i Suhaylī completed for Jahangir in 1610–11 (London, BL, Or. Add. 18579, fols 6r, 130v, 169r, 197r and 267r). Although he was capable of fine natural history studies, in this manuscript he concentrated on the symbolic function of animals to communicate the moral of the tale. The simple, open compositions reflect the studio style of the early 17th century....

Article

Indonesian, 20th century, male.

Draughtsman.

Anas is a member of the Decenta studio/gallery, which was founded by Pirous. Decenta contributed to the development of modern art in Indonesia, finding space for artists in various studios and organizing exhibitions. Anas draws on cloth.

Stöter-Bender, Jutta: L’Art contemporain dans les pays du “tiers-monde”...

Article

Ismeth Raheem

(b Jaffna, Ceylon [now Sri Lanka], Sept 26, 1869; d Colombo, July 2, 1910).

Ceylonese photographer. His family had practised photography for three generations. His grandfather, Adolphus Wilhelmus Andree (b 1799), was one of the early pioneers of daguerreotypy in Ceylon, and his father, Adolphus William Andree, had a flourishing photographic business between the 1860s and 1880s with studios in the capital Colombo and the provincial towns of Jaffna, Galle and Matara. At 18, he was already working as an apprentice in the studio of an American photographer at Chatham Street, Colombo, using the ferrotype process (see Photography §I). By 1893 he had established the Hopetown Studio, Slave Island, Colombo, which within a decade was one of the most fashionable and best-equipped in the country. Andree earned several awards at the Exposition Universelle, Paris, in 1900 and at the World’s Fair in St Louis, MO, in 1904. In 1901 the government appointed him as one of its official photographers to cover the visit to Ceylon of the Duke and Duchess of York....