Some years ago, I came across the artwork of Nandalal Bose at the Philadelphia Art Museum. Although he is not very well known in the US, he was famous in his native country of India. He was a main figure in the revival of Indian style art. Nandalal studied under Abanindranath Tagore (the name may sound familiar, since he was a nephew of the philosopher poet, Rabindranath Tagore.) Nandalal also knew Mahatma Gandhi, and was influenced by his philosophy and in turn used some of his art to promote Gandhi’s work.
The more I read about Nandalal Bose, the more I was amazed at the similarities in our thinking about art. Pramod Chandra described Nandalal’s philosophy, “In Hindu thought, God creates the world as an act of lila, or divine play, and Nandalal captured this underlying sense of joy in his paintings.” That is what I have been striving towards, moving away from realism and into expressionism, creating artwork that would make a person feel that joy.
Nandalal said about his work, “The Universe has come out of Ananda [supernatural delight],” says the Upanishad. This delight includes and transcends all joys and sorrows. All artists work out of this creative delight; this decides whether any work is creative or not… The purpose of Art is… to capture that rhythm of delight inherent in all creation, within their movement and measure. In this Art has some similarities with the spiritual quest. The spiritual quest drives towards the recognition of the essential unity at the center of the diversity of creation, of the One by which you know all. Art too moves towards the vision of this great One.”
For a lovely 5 minute video showing my artwork and talking about Nandalal Bose and our mysterious connection, click on the below link: