Sunday, September 11, 2016

Progressives Versus Bengal School of Art and Classical European Art

The Progressive Art Group in India formed after independence was initiated by 6 painters including SH Raza, MF Hussain and others. They are best known for combining Indian subject matter with new artistic techniques such as post impressionism, cubism etc. 

Contrasting the Progressives against the Bengal School of Art : 

a) The concept of Progressivism emerges from the Age of Enlightenment in Europe which placed importance on industry, science, social organization, economic development as critical to human existence. The Progressives took a Marxist, anti imperialist world view and sought to relate art to the common lives of the people. Bengal school on the other hand sought to demonstrate the spiritual capital of the East and romanticized the idea of independence. 

b) The Progressives used vibrant colours, geometrical motifs, symmetry and rhythmicity in their painting whereas the painters of Bengal School worked with simple colours, revived past literary traditions in paintings, took art back to subject matter of ancient periods in an imitative manner without much creativity

Contrasting the Progressives against the Classical European Art

a) The progressives unlike the latter sought to break conventions by reimaging art form instead of sticking to traditions. For instance the latter focused on perfectness of human anatomy while drawing human figures whereas the progressive painter such as FN Souza portrait of Suruchi Chand defied convention 

b) The progressives used a variety of medium such as oil, watercolor etc whereas the classical mostly used oil colour c) The Progressives were more interested in reimaging art and taking it closer to the people whereas the latter treated art as elitist

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