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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

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

(b Scobje, Macedonia [now Skopje, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia], March 23, 1909; d 1993).

Turkish painter and printmaker. He studied painting at the Belgrade School of Fine Arts (1927–8) and at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence (1929–35), where he also worked on engravings. In 1935 he exhibited his work at the Academy of Fine Arts in Istanbul and in 1937 took up a position in a new printmaking workshop there, where he taught for many years. In 1948 Berkel studied book illustration and production with the French painter Jean-Gabriel Daragnès (1886–1950) in Paris. During the 1950s the style of his work progressed from linear geometric compositions, such as Bagel Seller (1952; Istanbul, Mimar Sinan U., Mus. Ptg & Sculp.), to include the first abstract calligraphic composition in Turkish art, Monogram (1957; priv. col., see Renda and others), exhibited in the Turkish Pavilion at the Exposition Universelle et Internationale in Brussels in 1958. In both his earlier figurative paintings and his later abstract works form takes precedence over colour, with a concern for composition and balance. He exhibited his work at the São Paulo Biennales 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

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

(b Najaf, 1944).

Iraqi calligrapher, painter, printmaker and writer, active in Paris (see fig.). He studied painting and calligraphy in Baghdad from 1960 to 1969, and in 1969 exhibited his work at the Iraqi Artists’ Society exhibition and at the French Cultural Centre in Baghdad. The same year he went to Paris and studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts until 1975. Thereafter he lived in Paris. Although influenced by traditional calligraphy, he developed his own calligraphic style, which incorporated painterly elements. In many of his works, for example Je suis le feu tapi dans la pierre. Si tu es de ceux qui font jailler l’étincelle alors frappe (1984; Paris, Inst. Monde Arab.), he employed proverbs and quotations from a range of sources. He also researched and wrote about Arabic calligraphy.

Article

Salima Hashmi

(b Simla, India, 1929; d Stafford, England, Jan 18, 1985).

Pakistani painter, printmaker, writer and teacher, active in England. He was born into a Kashmiri family of carpetmakers and grew up in Lahore. He received a diploma in fine arts in 1947 from the Mayo School of Arts, Lahore, and studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, London (1959–60). He was active in the literary circles of Lahore as a poet and short-story writer throughout the 1950s. Although trained in traditional miniature techniques, calligraphy and formal tessellated pattern making, in his early work he propagated a modernist, iconoclastic approach to painting, creating cubistic cityscapes and still-lifes in oil on canvas. Strongly influenced by Paul Klee, Shemza later drew on Arabic and Persian calligraphy in strongly linear works. In his ink-and-watercolour Untitled Drawing (1959; Lahore, A. Council Col.) the structure is geometric yet the forms remain fluid and rhythmic. He participated in the International Print Biennial, Tokyo (...

Article

(b Istanbul, Aug 5, 1906; d Ankara, 1974).

Turkish painter and printmaker . He studied at the Fine Arts Academy in Istanbul and worked as a teacher in Konya for a short period before graduating in 1930. The visit to Konya was his first to Anatolia, and it gave him the opportunity to observe the peasant and nomadic life. As a result Anatolian themes entered his work, although he used the techniques of Western painting. He was also inspired by East Asian art and by the Turkish miniature painting tradition. Upon graduation he went to Paris to continue his studies but stayed only a few weeks and returned to Turkey to teach in Sivas, where he rekindled his interest in Anatolian life. His works were exhibited in Istanbul by the D Group (founded 1933), which he later joined. In 1939 he participated in the tours to the provinces organized for artists by the Turkish government, returning from the town of Kayseri with a series of paintings. His individual style for depicting local scenes, which used well-defined forms in bright colours, became popular in Turkey, and the narrative element of his paintings related them to themes in Turkish folklore. Zaim’s aim was to develop a contemporary pictorial language to express life in Anatolia. He also produced etchings in the 1930s and linoleum prints in the early 1960s. His daughter ...

Article

(b Tehran, 1937).

Iranian painter and printmaker . He studied at the College of Fine Arts and the College of Decorative Arts in Tehran and began to exhibit his work early in his career, at the Biennales in Paris (1959–63), Tehran (1960–66), São Paulo (1963) and Venice (1964), receiving a number of awards. He first began to be influenced by Iranian Shi‛ite folk art in 1959, presenting it in his work in a distinctive way, with neither parody nor satire. He went to live in Paris in 1961 but continued to take a close interest in the development of art in Iran. At the third Tehran Biennale in 1962, held in the Abyaz Palace in the Gulistan compound, he exhibited canvases that consisted of geometric patterns of squares, triangles and circles, using colours characteristic of religious folk art, and covered with calligraphy to create a distinctive texture. It was on this occasion that the Iranian art critic ...