Sailoz Mookherjea (1906-1960), a pioneer of Modernism in India had impacted the art world and created a niche for himself in the Post-independence era in India. A sense of inspiration from the French masters and his own unique approach at creating art had created a stir in the art world as well as contributed to Modernism in India.

20 paintings will be showcased at Dhoomimal Art Gallery to pay a tribute to his legacy as a great artist at from 1-30 November.

Sailoz Mookherjea was born during the British era and studied Fine art at the Government College of arts, Kolkata under great masters like Abanindranath Tagore and others. His arts works are listed as National Treasures. His artistic career was short, but he left behind an enormous but little known treasure represented in his own personal visual language. Where Nandalal Bose was exploring the idea of mythology and rural Bengal, Sailoz chose as his subjects’ villages and urban areas in Northern India, including the old city of Delhi, Rajasthan and some folk elements. He did not work with any local technique but with oil colours, which had a unique style and application. His use of oil as a medium probably suited his temperament and may have been influenced by his training at the Government Art College and later in Paris, France. All these influences are visible in his works.

His works have a dynamic movement that takes the viewer on a long journey far beyond the surface or his paintings. He does not create static or frozen moments but a constant motion that remains just as moving years later. A deep fascination for the French Masters, he went on to develop his own unique approach at creating art. His use of colour creates an awareness of the timeless world suggesting action and emotion. Maybe it was the result of intense mediation, a highly developed spiritual consciousness and an understanding of the innermost self. The forms of his objects are always highly personal, inspired by his inner activity and an expression of his psychological state. His technique of applying colour and using brush scratches were not widespread practices but he discovered them on his own by looking inwards. He was not seeking to paint a particular traditional Indian subject using European techniques, but his own research reflects the exploration of language that was taking place in Post-independence India at the time. These works are not presented in a chronological order, nor do they propose a specific reading, but its an attempt to respect Salioz’s ‘Bohemain’ approach to allow the viewer to truly enter into his works. It’s a positive trial to create a sense of resonance to support the exhibition 

This exhibition is an opportunity to rethink the chronology of Modernity in Indian art through Sailoz Mukherjee’s works. It is also one of the events to mark the 30th Death Anniversary of late Mahendra Jain, the former owner of Dhoomimal Art Centre. 

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