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Philip Rawson

Philip Rawson wrote the text for a brochure accompanying an important solo exhibition by Balraj Khanna, one of the artists involved in the important initiative, IAUK (Indian Artists United Kingdom). The exhibition took place at The October Gallery, London, 16 April - 10 May 1980. The exhibition was documented with a folded A4 size brochure that featured a text by Philip Rawson and two monochrome reproductions of Khanna’s work - Affluence (no date given) 60 x 50 inches (in this instance, width apparently preceded height), and Festival, 1972, 72 x 144”

From the brochure: “One of the interesting things about the work of Indian artists who do not live in India is that it escapes some of the pressures which bear on artists who have stayed there. Certain kinds of nationalism, and, in particular, a great deal of anxiety about the development of a true ‘Indianness’, still agitate the Indian art community, and many leading painters are so infected with a romantic view of their own traditions that they feel a kind of obligation to set up as spiritual gurus to the world without any other claim to that status than their own desire for it. To exploit traditional imagery abstracted from older Hindu or Buddhist theology or folk arts seems to give them a certainty about what they are doing which is not arrived at in terms of the eye and their formal intelligence. It is even difficult for painters as good, say, as Bhupen Khakkar to escape some degree of self-consciousness in their references to and thoughts about the Indian scene.”

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click to show details of Balraj Khanna: Paintings - brochure

»  Balraj Khanna: Paintings - brochure

Brochure relating to an exhibition, 1980