Posts Tagged ‘Amedeo Modigliani’

Amrita Sher-Gil – Greatest Avantgarde Women Artists of the Early 20th Century

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Struggling for days out of ideas as for many just “sit and wait” for their lockdown to end … Below is a riport/update shared for the rollinginbudapest readers to enloose a bit and enjoy the reading.

Riport based on … gain through Webniar on the Life and Art of Amrita Sher-Gil at the Indian Cultural Center in Budapest. During the Webinar several India art professionals joined the gathering and spoke about the legendary artist life. Amrita Sher-Gil, as a Hungarian and an Indian, a European and an Asian, belonged to both cultures, creating a synthesis between modern European and traditional Indian painting.

Amrita Sher-Gil was an extraordinary painter of the 20th-century whose legacy stands on a par with the Masters of Bengal Renaissance.

About the name of the Indian Cutural Center – Budapest … in 2013 a ceremony was held to name the cutural institution to be Amrita Sher-Gil.  At the time being, Ambassador Malay Mishra and art historian Katalin Keserü spoke about the naming Amrita Sher-Gil at the event, which also celebrated in time India’s 67th anniversary of independence. The culture center is just a few steps from the Embassy of India – Budapest.

A flashback to her early life and history: Amrita Sher-Gil born January, 30. 1913 in Budapest, Amrita’s father was an Indian Sikh aristocrat with a deep scholarly interest in Sanskrit and astronomy. Her Hungarian-Jewish mother Marie Antoinette Gottesmann was an opera artist. Throughout the short years Amrita Sher-Gil led a life as compelling and unorthodox as her art. The Indian artist spent her early life in a village of Hungary and at the age eight her family shifted to Shimla which was considered as a stunning hilly venue of India. Shimla was the place which marked the beginning of Amrita’s love for art and there she began receiving formal education on the subject of art from an Italian sculptor. The painter moved to Italy in 1924 and Amrita, along with her mother, followed him. Soon enough, she joined a Roman Catholic institution called Santa Anunciata. This was the place where she witnessed the miraculous works of Italian artists and got inspired from them. Showed interest and took formal lessons completing her formal studies at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris at the age of sixteen. Sher-Gil painted her airly Bohemian life in Paris, a series of self-portraits, which showed her grappling with her own identity caught between Europe and India. In Paris, she was greatly influenced by European painters like Paul Cézanne, Amedeo Modigliani and Paul Gauguin. Despite in 1929 her early success in Paris, she increasingly longed for India and finally returned to her home country in 1934, finding the inspiration she needed as she traveled around the country and reconnected with its people. At this point, was ways of seeing changes radically in India. This was the beginning of her life-long journey of trying to decode the traditions of Indian art. She deeply thought her new style diverged greatly from her previous works learned in Paris, but she realized that Europe belonged to the art likers of Picasso and Matisse while India belonged to her. The influence of Western painting traditions are apparent in her early works, most notably seem to evoke the poverty, sadness and monumental gravity of the people she saw around her.

One of her paintings  The “Group of Young Girls”  a powerful work done in earthy colors portraying three, young girls waiting pensively for their future received Gold medal at Grand Salon Paris – 1933., and also won a Gold medal from Bombay Art Society – 1937. 

Overall, on one hand, Amrita was passionate about everything life had to offer and on the other hand, she harbored a deep sense of melancholy. Amrita  Sher-Gil  was often referred as India’s Frida Kahlo.”The Two Fridas” play was introduced in the UK as storytelling through dance and music. (Writer’s note … Would be great to bring the UK’s preformance over to Budapest  Hungary!)

In the year 1938, Amrita married her Hungarian first cousin, Dr. Victor Egan. Afterwards, she moved to the city of Gorakhpur, where her paternal family resided, with her beloved husband. Later on, the couple decided to move to Lahore which was a part of the undivided India. Sadly, in the year 1941, Amrita Sher-Gill left the world and gone ahead.

Amrita Sher-Gill was the first and youngest only Asian artist. Her works show a considerable amount of influence from the west and her deep passion, along with a great sense of understanding towards colors, shows why the artist is considered remarkable even in today’s times.

The masterworks of this artist have been declared as National Art Treasures by the Government – India and a majority of her creations adorn the beauty of the famous National Gallery of Modern Art – capital of India.In addition to this, as paying respect to the great artist, there is a road by the name of Amrita Sher-Gill Marg in Delhi.

In 2001 the Ernst Museum Budapest held an exhibition on Amrita’s painting which were introduced  to the Hungarian art lovers for the first time in Hungary.

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary (2013) of her birth was seen on the fence at the Hungarian National Museum giant tableau 50 arts namely “exhibition fence.”  In January of the same year, was erected a marble plaque at her birthplace District I, Budapest: Szilágy Dezső Square. Also in 2013 UNESCO announced  to be the international year of Amrita Sher-Gil.

During her short but productive career, she influenced generations. Amrita left behind 175 substantial body of works of which 95 works are at the National Museum – Delhi and some are at private collectors. However, the artist has been overlooked for decades, only the past recent times receiving the recognition she deserves.

Update Aggie Reiter