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The Art of Naina Dalal (Contemporary Indian Printmaker)

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Item Code: NAV216
Author: Ratan Parimoo & Gauri Parimoo-Krishnan
Publisher: D. K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Language: English
Edition: 2019
ISBN: 9788124609842
Pages: 208 (Throughout Color Illustrations)
Other Details 14.00 X 9.50 inch
Weight 1.80 kg
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Shipped to 153 countries
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Book Description


In this publication we have attempted to document almost the entire printmaking works of Naina Dalal (born 1935) spread over 59 years from 1960 onwards. This book in a way is something like 'oeuvre complet' of Naina Dalal in the printmaking media, viz. lithography, etching, collagraphy and linoleum cut processes. Naina is among the handful of women printmakers of India who have consistently dedicated themselves to printmaking processes. Born and brought up in Baroda and trained at the famed Faculty of Fine Arts of the M.S. University of Baroda, she is one of the earliest women students to have completed Master's Degree in 'creative painting' after seven long years of training (1952-1959). Thus Naina as on today is a fully Baroda trained and Baroda based senior-most woman artist. Married to a fellow artist, Ratan Parimoo, they left for London in 1960 when Parimoo received the Commonwealth scholarship, where they studied for three years, Naina took up lithography, Parimoo chose History of Art. Together, the young artist couple had opportunities to travel to Europe, visiting art galleries and museums in England, France, Holland- Belgium and U.S.A, receiving inspiration from European Renaissance and Modem Masters. With such exciting exposure they both returned to Baroda and Naina as housewife and mother of two daughters (Gauri, Gayatri), continued her journey as painter and printmaker. The book covers her journey mainly in the printmaking activities.

I have been a witness to her creative struggle, her energy, her perseverance in mastering techniques and above all in particular, the thinking, perceiving, imagining and creatively expressing, objectifying, through the media of print-making processes, which has been her life-time quest. While handling print-making was initially intended to widen her creative expression as a painter, eventually she evolved into a distinct creative personality as a lithographer, etcher and collagraph artist and so forth. The major essay of Nuzhat Kazmi very lucidly traces the stages through several decades of Naina's maturity and thematic range. Naina did not work in an institution but created her own facilities including setting up workplace at her own home. Not only she processed her own metal plates, built up collagraph blocks, cut her linoleum sheets, but also prepared the inks of required shades and consistency, besides pulled her own prints from personally owned printing press. She would turn from kitchen activity into the studio creative processes and back to household responsibilities with such an ease as if working on a metal plate and developing pictorial imageries was as natural, as spontaneous, as kneading dough Ramanavami 2019, Vadodara and rolling chapatis. Her plunge into the media of printmaking was unexpected yet intuitive. In 1960 when she decided to specialize in lithography under the British professor Henry Trivick, it was an experience as in the nature of fish or duck taking to water, realizing her innate feel for the black and white graphic imagery.

Gauri remarks about her mother that Naina is a prolific painter-printmaker, at ease with more than one medium. She has never sought beauty in prettiness, yet her graphics are charged with passion and sensitivity. Her passion for textures has led her to manoeuver the printmaking media, which she has explored to their fullest, mastering technical excellences, very few Indian printmakers have actually attempted. The vibrant Indian society has much to offer to a sensitive artist like Naina, whose subjects are at once reflective and victims of the society as she chooses to unveil. Naina is greatly influenced by the European old masters, German Expressionists, Symbolists and early 20th century artists like Picasso, Kathe Kollwitz and Emile Nolde.

It is quite a noteworthy phenomenon that ever since Naina began exhibiting her works from mid-1960s onwards, in solo shows and group shows, her works have attracted attention and also awards. Her exhibitions including those of lithographs, collagraphs, etchings and linocuts have usually been well received, i.e. a spontaneous acceptability by critics and connoisseurs (see the overview by Sumeet Chopra). Jagdish Shivpuri talks about Naina's approach to physiognomic distortion as one of her uniqueness. The feminist elements have often been recognized even though Naina may be called a 'silent feminist'. Nuzhat Kazmi has quite explicitly analyzed these aspects in her essay and also by Reena Avadhesh Mishra. The latter as well as Geoffry Eu of Singapore have drawn attention to Naina's deep interest in conditions of humanity. For Gunalan Nadarajan, the karuna rasa epitomizes Naina's printmaking works. We are grateful to all the distinguished critics of the lead essay and other articles. We also thank our book designer Smt. Malti Gaekwad and Shri Mahesh Padia for painstaking digital photography. The book is a tribute from the family to their distinguished esteemed elder member. We are thankful to Shri Susheel Mittal, Director, D. K. Printworld, for including this book among the publications of Indian Traditions.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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