India on a print

Jun 26, 2013, 10:47 IST | Soma Das

The Grand Print Making Show, currently underway at the Jehangir Art Gallery, celebrates a medium that is slowly gaining popularity across the country. On display will be original prints of artworks by more than 170 Indian artists spread across the gallery's three halls

Printmaking or the process of making art by printing began in India in the 17th century but it became recognised as a medium of art only in the late 1940s, via Raja Ravi Varma’s iconic works. The artist even started his own oleograph press and thus managed to reach households across the subcontinent. Later, in the 1950s, the Progressive Artists Group that included MF Husain, Tyeb Mehta, Akbar Padamsee and AA Raiba started a print studio and produced prints.

An original print of one of Gayathri K’s artworks

With an aim to revive and promote the medium, Jehangir Art Gallery is playing host to The Grand Print Making Show where you can browse through works by 170 artists from across India. Organised by the NGO Akhil Bharatiya Manav Vikas Sanstha and the International Creative Art Center, the event will feature artworks by the greats like FN Souza, Akbar Padamsee, Jatin Das, Madhukar Munde and Lalitha Lajmi. Some of the works have been sourced especially for the show.

Giving a preview on what the exhibition has to offer, curator Ravindra Mardia says, “Such exhibitions are rare in India. An earlier event was held in 1999 with about 40 artists while the next was in 2012 with nearly 100 artists. Though printmaking is popular in the West, it is still in a nascent stage here. Most art lovers who cannot afford expensive works by great artists invest in prints. Each limited edition print is made by hand, by the artist and is personally signed.

It’s the best way to start a collection of fine arts at reasonable prices.”

He adds that there is lot of confusion among the public regarding printmaking. “It is not like mechanical offset printing.

In the case of printmaking, each print is personally done by the artist and is limited edition, which is mentioned on each print,” he adds, emphasising that prints are an original work done via a creative process in which an artist can play around with colours, tints and tones to produce something totally new.
The exhibition will cover every nuance of printmaking including etching, wood cut, serigraph, lithograph and digital prints. The aim of this show is to encourage people to have a piece of heritage art in their home and to show people how they make for a wise and economical investment.

Till June 30, 11 am to 7 pm
At Jehangir Art Gallery,
Kala Ghoda. CALL 22843989
Cost Rs 5,000 onwards 

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