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Avinash Chandra: painter from India

Article relating to an individual, 1961
Published by: The Studio
Year published: 1961
Number of pages: 4

image of Avinash Chandra: painter from India

Important feature on Avinash Chandra that appeared in The Studio magazine, Vol. 161, No. 813, January 1961. [Avinash Chandra: painter from India, pages 4 - 7]. The article was written by W. G. (William George) Archer, an  expert on Indian poetry, culture and art. He was born in 1907 and worked for the Indian Civil Service, from 1931 until about the time of Indian Independence in 1947. He was, subsequently, Keeper, Indian Section, Victoria and Albert Museum 1949- 59. W. G. Archer died in 1979.

This feature was a useful introduction to Chandra and his practice. It was illustrated with five reproductions of his then-recent work, one of which was in colour. Archer began his text with, “Avinash Chandra was born in India in 1931 and brought up in Simla and Delhi. He early showed a flair for drawing but it was not until 1947 when he entered the Delhi Polytechnic that he began to acquire a detailed knowledge of painting. At that time his main medium was tempera and in the works which he executed after he had joined the staff he expressed a youthful nostalgia for the trees and vegetation of the Punjab hills. His style was, at first, a continuation of that of Amrita Sher Gill, another Punjabi artist, but it is significant that he shrank from overtly portraying human figures and concentrated mainly on trees. He remained at Delhi Polytechnic for nine years. The atmosphere of Delhi, however, failed to satisfy him and in 1956, he came to London and settled with his wife in the comparative seclusion of Golders Green.”

This sympathetic and informative piece concluded with, “… Avinash Chandra must be hailed as one of the most significant modern Indian artists to appear since Independence. Yet his work is far from being merely Indian and just as Rabrindranath Tagore broke with previous styles, becoming in the process ‘naturally Indian.’ Chandra in the isolation of London has developed a type of expression which is Indian in spirit but also an original contribution to the modern movement. If Chandra’s morale can be maintained he may well become a major figure in modern art.”

The colour reproduction was City of Churches (no date given). The other reproductions were Moon and Houses, The Goddesses, Male and Female Figures, and Presences. All these four works were dated 1960.

Related people

»  William George (W.G.) Archer

Born, 1907. Died, 1979

»  Avinash Chandra

Born, 1931 in Simla, India. Died, 1991