Cook writes that the work in the exhibition "doesn’t snap neatly into the mainline Western Modernist narrative of the artists of Paris and New York pushing toward ever greater abstraction, toward Minimalism, toward Conceptualism. Instead Indian art’s adherence to the figure, to psychologically-charged color, to symbolism, and to social engagement is more like art that emerged outside the Paris and New York mainstream—the post-World War I German Expressionism of artists like Max Beckmann, Romare Bearden’s collages of African American New York, London painter Francis Bacon’s tortured people, the flinty Yankee realism of Andrew Wyeth, New York painter Alice Neel’s diaristic scenes, the gonzo cartoons of Peter Saul in California and Jim Nutt and Roger Brown in Chicago."
Tauches writes the mandala's "complexity and repetition of detail are overwhelming. One's attention is repeatedly sidetracked, suspended, and sucked toward seemingly endless labyrinths and crossroads. Artists thus simulate a supernatural state, suspending time and reality. "
Stern writes: "As the show progresses, both chronologically and thematically, one sees the powerful influence of western painters like Milton Avery and Ben Shahn. What keeps this show constantly interesting is that the work is truly fresh, not a slavish imitation of the West. Throughout the exhibition there is a sense of the integration of Indian color and passion with Western composition and the intellect of Modernist thought."
Sultan writes that "many of the works [in the exhibition] we had assumed were painted by anonymous artists were in fact by well known masters, who were 'wonders of the age'. This is a very large show, some 220 paintings, and there is so much to think about – narrative strategies, compositional and spacial structures, revelatory details, refined form, sheer beauty – that I decided to focus on color."
Haber notes that "One who thinks of Indian art as static will be surprised... Gold and distinct fields of colors slowly lose their primacy, before reasserting themselves around 1800, but they animate scenes from the first. Profiles hardly preclude a fascination with individual psychology, and a horizon line opens onto skies deepened by stars."
Debu Barve remembers painter Jehangir Sabavala: "One of the prominent figures from [the] Indian art scene."
Barve describes Sabavala as a painter who was "known to work on his paintings for long hours... His style had a strong cubist influence perhaps inherited from his decade long academic stay in Europe in late 40s and early 50s... his paintings give a feel similar to that of Robert Delaunay or Lyonel Feininger."
Debu Barve profiles Indian abstract painter V.S. Gaitonde (1924-2001).
Gaitonde, Barve writes, "insisted on not being categorized as an 'abstract' painter, but a 'non-objective' one instead... Abstract painting in India was dominated by gestural figurative abstraction, and the common practice of ornamenting the ideas with ethnic references and cultural motifs. In such times, Gaitonde's richly evolved forms and luminous colors must have appeared 'outsiders' to some, and it is no wonder why Gaitonde himself must have preferred to remain detached from the established school of abstraction."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.