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The Revolutionary Artists’ Team and its Influence on Indian Modern Art

The combination of some of the most famous artists of India, the Progressive Artists’ Group (PAG), established in Bombay in the year 1947, modified the modern art conditions of the nation. The beginning associates were properly referenced as ‘heralds of a new dawn in the world of Indian art’ by recognized author Mulk Raj Anand. They pushed the traditional arts organizations of their periods and uphold a practical frame of mind. The consequence was a wonderful operation of Indian art historical record with modest designs like as post cubism, impressionism, and expressionism.

(The Founding Members of PAG – front row: F.N. Souza, K.H. Ara and H.A. Gade, back row: M.F. Husain, S.K. Bakre and S.H. Raza)

The Impetus

The PAG (originally composed of M. F. Husain, F. N. Souza, S. H. Raza,  H. A. Gade, K. H. Ara, and S. K. Bakre) emerged into being a while after August 14, 1947, when the partition of India unleash harm on mankind, with several sacrificing their lives or being moved. The separation is considered to have sowed the seed among the beginning people to established new criteria in the region, starting with art work.

Demanding the conventional art institution of their periods, the affiliates preferred to split aside from the revivalist nationalism created by the Bengal School of Art, and rather, encourage a modern style that was on par with intercontinental enhancements. The primary concept was to appear out of the colonial hangover and embrace a profane mind.

(Hindu Princess by F.N. Souza, 1949)

How It All Initiated

Absorbed by their wish to enhance the art organization of their periods,  Ara, Souza, Raza, and critic Rashid Husain got alongside one another on 5 December 1947. They depicted their discontent with the condition of the evaluating method of approach at events. By establishing an assessing panel, they anticipated to do away with the irrelevant assortment procedure, and hold in larger openness where growing capabilities could get a sensible podium to highlight their performance.

(An Exhibition of the Progressive Artists’ Group)

Souza, Raza, Ara, and Bakre (convinced by Ara) had previously made up their mind before to show off their work collectively. Souza wrapped in Husain, and Raza started Gade into the world of PAG and as a result, the team emerged into currently being. They originally select to keep to six people to avoid stylistic struggle.

(Tanga by M.F. Husain, 1950)

Eventually, on the other hand, PAG did broaden and recognized artists like as Manishi Dey, Tyeb Mehta and Ram Kumar grew to be affiliated with the team. By 1950, Mohan Samant, Krishen Khanna, and V.S. Gaitonde joined up with the group as well. Although the esteemed artist Akbar Padamsee was by no means a recognized member of the PAG, he founded a life time connection with its people.

(Betrayal by Krishen Khanna, 1950)

Diversified Types

It is challenging to crew the substantial system of work developed by the Modern Artists’ Team under one particular class, as each specialist was inspired by distinct moves and styles, and had an exclusive artistic strategy and temper. The PAG members often merged Indian themes and imagery for the western creative tactics such as European modernism, post-impressionism, cubism, and expressionism.

While K.H. Ara designed impressive watercolor and gouache artwork that was similar to folk and indigenous tribal art styles, F.N. Souza presented a non-traditional deformation of form and perhaps surprisingly amalgamated Goan folk art with European styles like as cubism. In form, a contrast, H.A. Gade, is regarded as amongst the first contemporary painters of post-independent India, who usually colored themes connected to landscaping.


(Rock Lifes by H.A. Gade, 1949)

Probably the utmost acknowledged associates of the PAG nowadays, are S.H. Raza and M.F. Husain. A cutting edge artist, Raza introduced into his works the fluidity of Indian watercolor artwork. He perfected various styles, in the beginning implementing an expressionistic style illustrating lyrical panoramas, later heading in direction of a contemporary type exhibiting powerful impacts of geometrical styles.

(Untitled Landscape by S.H. Raza, 1948)

M.F. Husain performed a lovely medley of folk art, tribal art, and mythology, and was accountable for delivering to the nation the most genuine essence of cubism by means of his works, that frequently had plangency of metaphors as well.

The only sculptor cum painter in the team, Sadanand Bakre evolved into well known for launching impartial visuals in Indian art that distinguish from the conventional style of using reality. His works were noticeable by their susceptible modeling, and unique appearance.


(Untitled work by K.H. Ara, 1950)

The Downfall of the PAG

By the year 1951, three of the important people of PAG shifted overseas. Souza and Bakre left for London, while Raza migrated to Paris. Husain also started commuting between Mumbai and Delhi. As a consequence, the team no longer operated together, and the limelight moved to their personal work. After recurrent events, the team dismembered a while close to 1956. The artists carried on on their individual accord, developing effective works. One of the associates, Gade even went on to make a team of his own, known as Bombay Group of Artists, in the delayed 1950s.

Although short-lived, PAG had a tremendous impact on the modern art field of India. The values and works produced by people of the PAG, continue to rebound in today’s art world.

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