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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

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

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 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

Eleanor Heartney

(b Bangkok, Feb 25, 1953; d Bangkok, Aug 25, 2000).

Thai sculptor and installation artist. Boonma studied at the Poh Chang Arts and Crafts School, Bangkok (1971–3) and went on to study painting at Silpakorn University, Bangkok (1974–8). He became a Buddhist monk in 1986 and his work explores a distinctively Buddhist art language. His early work dealt with environmental issues that came out of his concerns about the effects of industrialization on rural Thailand. Increasingly his work became involved with issues of illness and death as his own health faltered. He subtly melded natural forms, Buddhist architecture and ritual objects with a minimalist sense of structure inspired by his study of Western art. He fashioned sculptural objects based on Buddhist alms bowls, ‘painted’ with healing herbs and created walls and enclosures from stacks of hundreds of ceramic temple bells.

From 1991 Boonma’s wife struggled with breast cancer, until she succumbed in 1994. During this period the pair turned to both Western and Eastern tools to battle her disease, alternating chemotherapy with visits to shrines and offerings to propitious spirits. 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

S. J. Vernoit

(b Lölling, July 27, 1878; d Vienna, July 8, 1961).

Austrian historian of Byzantine, Islamic and Indian art. He studied art history and archaeology at the universities of Vienna and Graz and in 1902 completed his doctorate at Graz under Josef Strzygowski and Wilhelm Gurlitt, a study of the paintings in a manuscript of Dioskurides’ De materia medica (Vienna, Österreich. Nbib., Cod. med. gr. 1) copied for the Byzantine princess Juliana Anicia before ad 512. After military service (1902–3), Diez pursued further research in Rome and Istanbul and worked in Vienna as a volunteer (1905–7) at the Österreichisches Museum für Kunst und Industrie. From 1908 to 1911 he worked in Berlin at the Kaiser-Friedrich Museum with Max Jacob Friedländer, Wilhelm Bode and Friedrich Sarre. He was then appointed lecturer at the University of Vienna. From 1912 to 1914 he made trips to Iran, India, Egypt and Anatolia, which led to articles on Islamic art and architecture and ...

Article

Hasan-Uddin Khan

(b Pune, Aug 26, 1927).

Indian architect, urban planner and teacher. He entered the J. J. College of Architecture, Bombay, in 1947 but left for London in 1951 and took courses at the North London Polytechnic. After attending the eighth meeting of CIAM (1951) in Hoddesdon, Doshi moved to Paris to work for Le Corbusier; this formative experience influenced his subsequent approach to architecture and planning. In 1955 he returned to India to help supervise Le Corbusier’s work at Chandigarh and Ahmadabad, and in 1956 he set up his own practice in Ahmadabad. Early independent commissions included some relatively luxurious houses and subsequently several industrial buildings, but his first significant work was the Institute of Indology (1962), Ahmadabad. In this building a concrete frame structure combines the principle of the ‘parasol’ with a monumental verandah as a response to the hot climate of the region. In 1962 Doshi was instrumental in arranging for Louis Kahn to work in India, and he was greatly influenced by Kahn’s use of light, geometry and structure. Another important work of the 1960s was the first phase of the Ahmadabad School of Architecture (...

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

Milo Cleveland Beach

(b Bombay, 1902; d New York, 1971).

American dealer of Indian birth. Following the decline of the family textile business, his father, Munchersa Heeramaneck, became an antiquities dealer and shrewdly developed a speciality in Chinese ceramics. As a youth, Nasli was assigned to the New Delhi office, but in 1922 he was sent to Paris to study and open a branch. He soon moved to New York, which became the final location for Heeramaneck Galleries. In 1939 Heeramaneck married Alice Arvine, an American portrait painter from New Haven, and she became an active partner in the business. They were responsible for the acquisition of many great works of Indian, Tibetan and Nepali sculpture, Mughal and Rajput painting, Ancient Near Eastern and Islamic art, and Central Asian (including nomadic) art by major American museums. They also formed a comprehensive private collection of South Asian art, including superlative paintings and sculptures from the Himalayan regions, and a smaller collection of ancient Near Eastern and Islamic art, both purchased by the ...

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

Morgan Falconer

(b Dhaka, Dec 10, 1970).

British film maker of Bangladeshi birth. She studied at Manchester Metropolitan University (1990–92); the Rijksakademie von beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam (1997–8) and Middlesex University (1995). European avant-garde film has been a major influence on Islam, and her earliest work, dating from the mid-1990s, centred on the material character of film. These interests soon evolved into an examination of how the uncanny intersects with the everyday: Refuse (1996), a set of colour slides mounted on a lightbox, depicts the varied rubbish that was left under a tree over the space of a year. Her more recent work has returned to examining the formal language of film. In Stare Out (Blink) (1998; see Wilson, 2001), the negative image of a woman’s face is projected onto a screen until it disappears with a sudden flash, leaving the viewer with an after-image lingering momentarily on the retina; the work dramatizes the activity of visual memory and the way in which the brain processes information. In the companion piece, ...

Article

Barbara Stoler Miller

(b Nikolsburg, Austria [now Mikulov in the Czech Republic], 1896; d Philadelphia, PA, Aug 31, 1993).

Austrian art historian, teacher, and museum curator, active in India and the USA. Her published writings begin with her PhD dissertation on early Buddhist art (1919), written at the University of Vienna under the supervision of Josef Strzygowski. In 1921 she went to India at the invitation of Rabindranath Tagore (see Tagore family §(1)) to teach at his school at Santiniketan. She remained for 30 years as a professor at the University of Calcutta. During her tenure she edited the Journal of the Indian Society of Oriental Art, to which she contributed numerous articles on every period of architecture, sculpture, and painting, as well as on folk and contemporary art. Her researches culminated in The Hindu Temple (1946), which she characterized as ‘the sum total of architectural rites performed on the basis of its myth’. The work analyses the Hindu temple conceptually, locating its structural principles in ancient Vedic ritual and texts, as well as in Sanskrit treatises on architecture....

Article

John Musgrove

(b Karachi, June 28, 1942).

Pakistani architect. She graduated at Oxford Polytechnic (Dip. Arch. 1964) and worked in Britain and Germany before setting up practice in Karachi (1965). Of three early houses, her own and those for Commodore Haq (1967) and Naser ud-deen Khan (1969), all in Karachi, the latter is perhaps most characteristic in amalgamating the simplicity of vernacular dry-climate houses with a sophisticated interpretation of European modernism. In these buildings the two principal aspects of Lari’s work are already evident: the development of an appropriate modern style and a major interest in the socio-cultural aspects of housing, using appropriate technologies and self-help methods. The Anguri Bagh housing (1978) at Lahore, for example, was built mainly by unskilled labour and has shady streets, shared open spaces and screened balconies to supplement the limited enclosed areas. Similar patterns are maintained in other work such as the mud-brick barracks (...

Article

Marcella Nesom-Sirhandi

(b Kairana, India, 1937).

Pakistani painter. His father, the painter Abdul Basit, introduced him to miniature painting. He devoted much of his two years at the National College of Arts, Lahore, to an internship with Mohammad Haji Sharif (1889–1978), the last of the old-guard miniature painters in Pakistan. Naqsh’s first major exhibition was held in Lahore (1962); he then moved to Karachi.

Naqsh is among the most accomplished draughtsmen in Pakistan, equally skilled in pencil, pen and ink, watercolour, oil and mixed media. His early figurative work is slightly abstract, reflecting the influence of another mentor, Shakir ’Ali. Colour schemes are often monochromatic or bichromatic in brilliant blues and reds. Other paintings in lighter, more neutral tones suggest the influence of Karachi painter ’Ali Imam (1924–2002).

Naqsh claims no symbolism for his ubiquitous rendering of women and pigeons (usually in combination), depicted realistically as well as abstractly. In ...

Article

Marcella Nesom-Sirhandi

(b Rawalpindi, 1926; d Karachi, Oct 5, 1979).

Pakistani painter. Parvez started his career in Lahore, winning first prize in a 1952 exhibition at Punjab University. Most of his early works were still-lifes. His Cubist style was transformed into a non-figurative one during a London sojourn (1955–65). Whether by accident or design, Parvez’s paintings acquired a strong resemblance to the work of British painter Alan Davie; his 1968 exhibition at the Gallery International, New York, was billed (rightly or wrongly) as a homage to Davie.

Parvez’s volatile personality was mirrored in his art, which is active, explosive and colourful. By the 1970s Parvez’s colourful fragments, organic forms, circles and splashes had been transformed into looser, more refined aggregates of squiggles, dots and dabs. These playful forms emerged as bouquets overflowing from an assortment of containers, most notably wine bottles and beer cans, a contentious imagery in Pakistan. Among the few Pakistani painters to be lauded in London and to earn a living by the sale of his art, Parvez was among the most productive and influential Pakistani painters of his generation. Many of his best works have been collected by the artist–collector ...

Article

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

[Arab. taṣwīr, fūtūgrāfiyā ; Ottoman Turk. taṣwīr ; Mod. Turk. fotoğrafçilik ; Pers. ‛akkāsī, fūtūghirāfī

Term used to describe the technique of producing an image by the action of light on a chemically prepared material. Although used privately in France and England as early as 1833, the process was announced publicly only in 1839.

In January 1839 François Arago (1786–1853), a member of the Académie des Sciences, suggested that among the advantages the new medium presented was that the millions of hieroglyphs covering the monuments of Thebes, Memphis and Karnak could be copied by a single man rather than by scores of draftsmen, and in 1846 the English photographer and scientist William Henry Fox Talbot (1800–77) published a pamphlet with three prints of hieroglyphics for distribution among ar-chaeologists and Orientalists.

The Ottoman press reported the discovery of photography as early October 1839, and European colonial involvement in the Islamic lands of North Africa and West Asia ensured that photography was immediately brought there: for example, in ...

Article

Noémie Goldman and Kim Oosterlinck

Term for the return of lost or looted cultural objects to their country of origin, former owners, or their heirs. The loss of the object may happen in a variety of contexts (armed conflicts, war, colonialism, imperialism, or genocide), and the nature of the looted cultural objects may also vary, ranging from artworks, such as paintings and sculptures, to human remains, books, manuscripts, and religious artefacts. An essential part of the process of restitution is the seemingly unavoidable conflict around the transfer of the objects in question from the current to the former owners. Ownership disputes of this nature raise legal, ethical, and diplomatic issues. The heightened tensions in the process arise because the looting of cultural objects challenges, if not breaks down, relationships between peoples, territories, cultures, and heritages.

The history of plundering and art imperialism may be traced back to ancient times. Looting has been documented in many instances from the sack by the Romans of the Etruscan city of Veii in ...

Article

Marcella Nesom-Sirhandi

(b Muzaffarnagar, India, 1937).

Pakistani sculptor. The most prominent sculptor in Pakistan in the late 20th century, Sajjad pioneered the art form and gave it credibility. He had neither tradition to follow nor models to emulate since Pakistan, created in 1947 as a Muslim country, did not encourage three-dimensional art. At a young age Sajjad became interested in calligraphy and soon mastered the skill. He practised drawing and carefully observed signboard painters at work. He became a successful commercial artist, dabbling in film-making and painting. A restless soul, he spent three years travelling in Europe and Asia on a motorcycle. Sajjad was particularly fascinated by the wood-carvings of Bali, the Philippines and Japan, and by reliefs in wood by Paul Gauguin in the Musée du Louvre, Paris.

Sajjad took up sculpture in 1963. Thereafter his development fell into three phases. In the first phase his work was two-dimensional, consisting of figurative wood reliefs, often painted. In the second phase, especially from ...

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 (...