India Modern: Narratives from 20th Century Indian Art, 2015, pg. 90.
Provenance : Originally from the collection of Burjor Poonawala, Mumbai, previously sold by Pundole’s.
Height of the figure - 6ft
One of the founding members of the Progressive Artists Group, Ara
evolved his trademark style, especially with his full-bodied nudes
and still-life paintings that are inexpressibly marked by a lifeaffirming
popular culture. He was a modernist for whom the form
and language of art preceded all other social and political
motivations. His art was intuitive, spontaneous and improvised, and
not deliberate or intellectual, intended on finding expression which
led to a peculiar eclecticism. He was the first contemporary Indian
painter to incessantly use the female nude as a muse and artistic
subject while remaining within the constraints of naturalism.
Ara dedicated the prime of his career to painting nudes and stilllifes,
juxtaposing the two in a manner of an artistic sleight-of hand.
He always stayed clear of the acceptable, the ordinary, and just as his
PAG counterparts did and preached. There was a marked steering
away from opprobrium and an attempt to arrive at a style in which
an impression of the subject was more important than an actual
representation. The body is well fleshed out with strong outlines in
places with an expressionistic reference. He renders the nude in a
Western master’s style for whom the delights of the nude lay in their
wanton voluptuousness. She is completely unrestrained with a
revealing face and calmness in her posture.