APNA GAON (GOND ART)

RAM SINGH URVETI

Signed in Devnagari and dated '2004' ( lower centre)
Acrylic on canvas
172.1 cm x 480.1 cm   |  67.75 in x 189 in
2004
From the personal collection of T.A.Satyapal
StoryLTD Ref No: 55022

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Description

Gond is a form of Indian folk and tribal art named after the largest tribe of central India with the same name. The word Gond is a derivation of the konda word meaning green hill which consists of parts of Madhya Pradesh, Chattishgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Orissa. The inspiration behind Gond art is almost always nature and social customs represented through a repetitive patterning of dots and dashes. Each artist uses this patterning to create his or her own signature style while choosing colour schemes and subjects that are indicative of the communities they represent. The forest and its creatures are a major theme in Gond art. The community's myths inspire artists to create images with a certain "royal" character, which it is perhaps possible to interpret as an artefact of a time when the Gonds ruled much of central India. The largeness of each creature and tree, irrespective of the size of the canvas, is related to this and to the reality of a landscape once densely populated with wildlife with which humans interacted closely. Today, Gond artists are able to mobilize this history to create a wide variety of art that manifests specific forms of knowledge and experience, which they represent in identifiable pictorial styles. Gond art's repertoire of birds, animals and folklore are still a part of their animistic beliefs even as they travel far from home.

Ram Singh Urveti, a renowned Gond artist, is one of the popular names drawing the art world’s attention. Born in 1970, like most other tribal artists, he had had no formal education in art. In fact, when he happened to paint on canvas for the first time, colors haphazardly spilled and spread. It was neither a very encouraging beginningnor a very memorable experience for him, as the artist stood gazing at the work, wondering where it all had gone wrong. He received a mention in the Lalit Kala Academy’s 41st National Art Exhibition in 1998. Since then he has received many honours, including the 2001 Kali Das Award in Ujjain, MP and the South Central Zone Cultural Centre Award for Tribal Art, 1998. His book, “The Night life of Trees, Tara Publishing, Chennai, a collaborative effort with Durga Bai and Bhajju Shyam, was honoured with the prestigious Bolognaragazzi Award from Italy. An expert practitioner in a wide variety of mediums for more than a decade and a half, his work has been displayed in prestigious exhibitions like ‘Chamatkar’ courtesy CIMAart gallery, Kolkata; ‘Eternal Voyage’ and ‘Pravah’ courtesy the Indira Gandhi Museum, Bhopal; ‘Artists from Madhya Pradesh’ courtesy Bharat Bhavan in New Delhi, to mention a few - apart from a series of solo and joint show, including the ‘The Ancient & The Contemporary’ recently held at the Institute Of Contemporary Indian Art (ICIA), Mumbai.

The featured lot titled 'Apna Gaon' represents a significant chapter in the life of the artist.The lot depicts the hustle bustle of a village life that the artist vividly remembers as he thinks of his childhood.

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