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Home / Art and Culture / Padma Bhushan Somnath Hore: Gems from the oeuvre of India’s master printmaker

Padma Bhushan Somnath Hore: Gems from the oeuvre of India’s master printmaker

Born in 1921 in Chittagong, (now in Bangladesh) Padma Bhushan Somnath Hore is an undisputed master of printmaking in India. And some of his rare works are on display in the Delhi. Titled Somnath Hore — Ecstasy in Suffering, the exhibition showcases 30 soul-stirring prints.

art-and-culture Updated: Jan 30, 2020 10:22 IST
Ruchika Garg
Ruchika Garg
Hindustan Times, Delhi
Born in 1921 in Chittagong, (now in Bangladesh) Padma Bhushan Somnath Hore is an undisputed master of printmaking in India.
Born in 1921 in Chittagong, (now in Bangladesh) Padma Bhushan Somnath Hore is an undisputed master of printmaking in India.

Born in 1921 in Chittagong, (now in Bangladesh) Padma Bhushan Somnath Hore is an undisputed master of printmaking in India. And some of his rare works are on display in the Capital. Titled Somnath Hore — Ecstasy in Suffering, the exhibition showcases 30 soul-stirring prints from the 1940s to the 1980s. “This exhibition showcases the significance of printmaking as an art medium, and attracts audience through the temptation of the works of the great master at the Indo-Bangladesh printmaking show,” says Rajiv Savara, a lawyer and CA. The works displayed at this show are from the personal collection of Roohi and Rajiv Savara, who have been collecting artworks for past three decades. Rajiv adds, “Since 2003 Hore’s works have made and continue to make one’s blood freeze.”

The late Hore’s works explore etching, lithography, printmaking and intaglio from the pre-modern and modern Indian art. This collection has never been displayed before due to the sensitive nature of works on paper. The rarity of these works makes it a must-see for art aficionados.

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Shruthi Issac, curator and director, Collection Museum Initiative: The Savara Foundation for the Arts, says, “These prints can only be displayed publicly for a limited period of time. We feel that the young art collectors of Delhi will benefit greatly from this exhibition.”

It’s also Hore’s birth centenary next year, which makes this show a tribute to his innovative techniques and masterly use of the line to transcend the subject matter — such as to evoke the desired emotional reactions in printmaking — which set him apart from his contemporaries and inspire artists till date.

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Issac adds, “Among the gems on showcase in this exhibition is the National Award-winning Birth of a White Rose, the earliest work of the artist completed under the tutelage of Safiuddin Ahmed called Santhal Dance, the mystical etching and aquatint on paper titled, The Baul Singer, his iconic paper pulp prints, the Viscosity Print on paper titled The Ninth Symphony and three large exquisite woodcuts on Nepalese paper and rice paper.”

Check out the gorgeous prints at: Somnath Hore — Ecstasy in Suffering Where: Open Palm Court, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road On till: Jan 31 Timing: 10am to 7pm Nearest Metro Station: Jor Bagh on Yellow Line and JLN Stadium on Violet Line.

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