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Modernism In Pakistan Essay

749 words - 3 pages

The rise and spread of modernist art and ideas through the Middle East is congruent with the colonial histories of India. The influences of the West grew tired amongst Indian artists and they returned to Indian tradition and heritage. The rise of modernism gradually came about after experimenting and combining with the old styles and new ideas. The artist, Chughati, demonstrates some of these ideas through his seemingly self-orientalism by leaving his works unsigned and undated. As this is after the lost Mughal period, Chughtai continued to insert his modern subjectivity into the reworking of old techniques. In India, the Bengal school taught Hindu mythology through miniature styles like those of the Mughal. Ravi Varma was an artist during this time that mastered an aesthetic for Indian art through lithographic prints and later skillfully integrating Western oil painting techniques in with Indian subjectivity. His significance lies in his paintings of women as they are portrayed with distinguished femininity and grace. Lady in Her Dressing Room, dated 1873, serves as an example to his mastery in feminine portraits but more significantly the use of Western painting technique to create a sense of modern identity in Eastern art. The graceful pose, calm and understanding gaze of the woman preparing her hair in a dressing room demonstrates his style of painting women in a non-submissive manner. The idea of the influential West and push against colonialism, orientalism is exemplified through these Ravi Varma paintings because he was recognized internationally after winning a prize in the 1873 Vienna Exhibition. Using the recognizable portrait oil painting techniques with Indian subjectivity only then established a sense of modernity that was recognized worldwide. This is ironic but serves as further evidence of self-orientalism found in Chughtai’s work as well.
Chughtai is a prominent artist from this era because of his groundbreaking use of Islamic motifs in an Art Nouveau modernist manner. During this time, the level of modernity depended on social situations. Chughtai was heavily involved with progressive literary circles and sought to establish a unique aesthetic for modern art in India. To further illustrate this difference, one could use Allah Bakhsh. Bakhsh is distinctively known for his large paintings of folk culture and...

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