Saturday, July 22, 2006

Like every other style of art, every other genre, Pseudorealism is also not independent of the influences of the various other styles of art that previously existed or presently practised. In this present post and the subsequent ones we would bring in the commentaries made by various important art-critics in India who have taken a note of this emerging new style of art and have placed this new style in comparision to other important styles the world over.

Pseudorealism and Fauvism

In an important article in The Telegraph, part of which can be read on the net (1), art-critic Sumit Sarkar has given a scathing criticism of Devajyoti Ray's Pseudorealist Art. In this article the new style of art has been compared to the early twentieth century fauvist art particularly in reference to the use of colors. Fauvism the twentieth century art-style popularised by Henry Matisse used, like the present day Pseudorealist art, very bold colours, often without any consideration for the dimensions. This lack of dimensional conciousness gave the paintings a two dimensional flatness. But for Matisse and the likes dimension was not as important as the colors. Colors were used by Matisse and other fauvists to express mood and to that extent, colors were used as potential expressive tools.

Fauvism showed its influence in the art of many artists of India in the twentieth century. In the earlier paintings of Amrita Shergil we often see the use of very bright colors and bold patches akin to those of the fauvists. however in course of time Shergil's hues became more studied and milder. Yet it is often argued that Shergil was closest to the fauvists in India than probably any other artist of that reckoning.

Another artist of the yesteryear, where one can see the use of very bold colors is probably Jamini Roy. Yet Jamini Roy is never compared with the fauvists as his works were distinctly Indian and never emoted feelings that European fauvists did. In the same breath thus very bold paintings of present day painters like Manjit Bawa cannot be called Fauvist.

(Painting by Henri Matisse)