It’s an annual fund-raising art exhibition that seeks to revive works by Indian masters.
And this year’s Master Strokes, which opens at Jehangir Art Gallery on Tuesday, is celebrating the Bombay school of painting and three Maharashtrian masters of landscape and portraiture.
“The exhibition, now in its eighth edition, is meant to let the contemporary art world know who there ancestors were and upon whose shoulders they stand,” said Suhas Bahulkar, a painter and co-curator of the exhibition, along with President of Bombay Art Society Prafulla Dahanukar.
This year, the exhibition will feature 60 works by Maharashtrian artists MK Parandekar (1877 to 1961, a native of Kolhapur), GH Nagarkar (1892 to 1956, from Vidarbha) and VB Dehadrai (1920 to 1996, from Nagpur), collected by Bahulkar from the artists’ families.
Parandekar’s landscapes depict the handsome use of perspective and transparent watercolour.
Nagarkar was a realistic painter with strong composition. Dehadrai’s works, largely landscapes, use bold colours and strong strokes.
“All three were JJ School of Art graduates and were acknowledged internationally in their lifetimes,” said Bahulkar. “It is a pity we are so bad at preserving the works of our Masters. Our hope is that this initiative will help create a proper record of artists from the past.”
The Bombay School of painting, a style developed by the students of the J J School of Art soon after it was established in 1857, is marked by perfect rendering, bold strokes and the use of transparent watercolours. The works were mainly portraits and landscapes.
“This exhibition celebrates three aspects of art — influence, experimentation and Indian identity,” said Bahulkar. “I hope this one will be an opportunity for the city to celebrate the art of the past.”
(Master Strokes is on at Jehangir Art Gallery, Kala Ghoda, from November 23 to 29, 11 am to 7 pm)