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Progressive Artists Group: 6 Behtareen Kalakaar, Jo Laaye Bharat Mein Modern Art Mere Yaar!

Progressive Artists Group: 6 Behtareen Kalakaar, Jo Laaye Bharat Mein Modern Art Mere Yaar!

Progressive Artists Group

Progressive Artists Group was a group of 6 brilliant artists in Bombay. These kalakaars came together to redefine art with their distinctive styles. Their contribution led to the transformation of post-independence art, further becoming the pillar of Indian Modern Art.

1. Progressive Artists Group was founded in 1947 by 6 modern artists based in Bombay: F.N Souza, S.H. Raza, M.F. Husain, K.H. Ara, H.A. Gade and S.K Bakre. In other words, these were the founding members of the Progressive Artists Group.

Progressive Artists Group (PAG)

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2. The partition of India resulted in many losing their lives and homes. At that time, founding members, who were very accomplished in their respective arts, decided to set new and fresh standards in the country. They brought a revolutionary change in the whole art scenario of the nation.

3. Progressive Artists Group (PAG) focused on the “revival of the nation” approach of the Bengal School of Art. The group encouraged progressive style art. The aim was to flee from colonial influence.

4. The PAG lacked any particular style as a “group”. Nonetheless, it worked to combine Indian Art History with the prevalent arts of Europe and North America during the first half of the 20th century. These included post-impressionism, cubism and expressionism.

5. The enormous amount of work done by the Progressive Artists Group cannot be categorized under a single category. Each artist in PAG had a different mindset and unique artistic approach.

 6. Two most prominent artists of the Progressive Artists Group (whose names you might have heard) were S.H. Raza and M.F. Hussain.

 7. Hasan (‘H’ from S.H. Raza) was an unconventional artist who brought the influence and ease of Indian watercolour paintings into his work.

8. M.F Hussain, being one of the most respected artists in the country, beautifully mixed folk art, tribal art and mythology in his works. He was responsible for providing the taste of cubism through his art.

9. As all good things come to an end, the same happened with the PAG. By 1951, three of the founding members of PAG moved abroad. Souza and Bakre moved to London, whereas Raza moved to Paris. M.F Hussain also started travelling between Mumbai and Delhi frequently.

10. As a result of this, the group stopped functioning together. After some exhibitions, the group dissolved sometime around 1956.

Painting By PAG

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11. Each artist of PAG continued on their own and created powerful pieces of art. One of the significant members, Gade, went on to create his own group: Bombay Group of Artists.

PAG's Art

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PAG has left a long-lasting impression on the modern art scene of India. It continues to inspire many unconventional artists of India even today!

Blog Edited By Ritika Gupta

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