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Recent Yantra [After original]

 
 
Shri Yantra

Shri Yantra

 
 
 
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Modernity & Ancient Geometry

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Neo-Tantra Art

 
 

Dipak Banerjee

[1936, Bangladesh – lives and works in Kolkata]

 
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“I am no tantric but gradually moved to the tantric mode of self-realization. I picked up tantric symbolic motifs like Purusa, Prakriti,Vishnu and Kundalini which presented the spiritual content in art. so the journey which began in Paris got its final direction in the lanes of Benaras.” 

Dipak Banerjee

 

Dipak Banerjee’s paintings seek to establish communion with the almighty.

 

Dipak Banerjee graduated from Government College of Arts & Crafts, Kolkata in1957. He went to France on a French Government scholarship. He also received a Norwegian government stipend and worked at the Alelier Nord, Oslo and worked there from 1976 to 1977. He was a teacher at the Faculty of Visual Arts, Banaras Hindu University from 1968 to 1996.The recent series of paintings by Dipak Banerjee deserves a much closer look due to his ability to draw the geometric accuracy of ‘tantric’ symbols with the unmistakable devotion of a Master in the tradition of Indian miniature painting. He knows the degree of exactitude needed to convey the thematic import adequately.His variation from cold precision to the warmth of freer flow of line and color in some of paintings in this series proves the strength of his remarkable control of his medium that, technically speaking, is of his own making. Like the proverbial imageLord Vishnu as the Universal ‘creator’, that he has painted as a pair of footprints as ‘Vishnupada’, Dipak Banerjee is today the undisputed leader and ‘creator’ of what was earlier known as the ‘Neo-Tantric’ school of painting in India.


 
 

Sayed Haider Raza

[February 22, 1922, Babaria, Central Provinces, British India – July 23, 2016, New Delhi, India] 

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“My work is my own inner experience and involvement with the mysteries of nature and form which is expressed in colour, line, space and light.” 

“Painting is something alive as human beings in its different manifestations… it is a vital process of becoming. Just imagine how fascinating it is that the seed contains the total inherent forces of a plant, of animal life, and so on and so forth. And that could be the same process in Form too! ”    1989

“When I paint the bindu I am aware that I am literally in the womb of time, with no disturbance of sound or sight and that I am creating a spark of divinity.” 

“The Bindu symbolizes the seed, bearing the potential of all life.”

Germination – “A painting grows gradually, organically. The bija, the seed, is the beginning of human life. This miniscule point which is energy condensed can grow from its embryonic form - to give birth to a whole series of paintings.” 

S. H. RAZA

 

5 elements by Raza

Black – Space

Blue – Air

Red – Fire

White – Water

Yellow – Earth

 

Dot – Space

Circle – Air

Triangle – Fire

Triangle down  – Water

Square – Earth

Sayed Haider Raza was an Indian painter who lived and worked in France since 1950, while maintaining strong ties with India.


 
 

Gulam Rasool Santosh

Ghulam Rasul Santosh [1929 Srinagar, Kashmir, India - 1997, New Delhi, India]

 
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“Painting to me is like poetry - timeless and universal.” 

“Black light of the dead
In the middle of it, I alone of a kind.” 


The Painter of Divinity

It is hard to believe that the people of Kashmir, who could have built such magnificent temples at Martand and Avantipur, could have lagged behind in the art of painting. But there exists some good work of pictorial art in Kashmir. Possibly, the cruel hands of Nature and Man destroyed it.

At present there are some talented Kashmiri painters who fill up this unfortunate deficiency very well. Among them are two artists, one male and another female - Shree Ghulam Rasul Santosh and Ms Kishori Kaul.

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G. R. Santosh Santosh was born in Srinagar, Kashmir in 1929. He took to many devotions-painting, weaving, papier-mache and then to kashmiri poetry. For two years 1954-56, he went to Baroda University on the Government of India Cultural Scholarship to study under Prof. N.N Bendra. He was awarded Padma Shree in 1977 and then in 1978 he published a selection of poems in Kashmiri.

He exhibited his paintings in India and abroad. From 1963-66 he gave exhibitions of his paintings in New York, Kabul, Tel Aviv, Los Angeles. In 1950 he had participated in a group exhibition of Indian artists in Eastern Europe. In 1959 he went to Canada, Zurich, Atlanta, Japan, South Florida, New Orleans, San Francisco, Honolulu, Hong Kong, Morte, Singapore, Cannes (France), Bulgaria, Germany and many other foreign countries.

In India he gave exhibitions in Kumar Gallery, New Delhi, Calcutta, Chemould Art Gallery, Bombay; Kanika Chemould, New Delhi; Pundole Art Gallery, Bombay; Bistidari, New Delhi; Portrait show, Gallery Chankaya; and in other galleries at different places.

Poem by Ghulam Rasool Santosh

Poem

It is said
When there was nothing
That, indeed, was everything. 
Around there was that eye as well
Where dreams of beginning
And the end, lay asleep
Lost within manifold dreams. 
That world of half sleep
Terrain of doubt between yes and no. 
Vision that, tired, returns
The eye, as wide awake yet somnolent looking, 
Does not cry, nor smile
There was no rival in love
No love rite either
Neither heart nor beloved. 
The illusion of Brahma broke
And the eye blinked
That which was not
Started happening all at once
The footfalls of silence became 'alaap' 
From the rhythm of breath
Issued the incantation of 'Shakti' 
The even 'answer' of ambrosial 'ni' 
Kameshwari, Kalavati 'ragini' awoke
The golden warp-and-weft of 'vani' was illuminated
The chain of time tightened moment to moment
That, which was nothing, became visible
The eye sees the light of day
Night is a dark fire, burning
The fire went out and a voice hailed -- 
Silence is that feeling of the unheard
Unseen truth : 
Call it dream
And you are the emperor of dreams
Call it mirror
You the fair visage
Call it a musical scale
You are the voice
Call it time
You are the moment
Call it the beginning
Then you are the end
You, the 'you' connected with the 'I'.

I go :
You will also return there someday
Where there is nothing
The nothing that is
Everything.

[Translated by Shanti Veer Kaul] 
Ghulam Rasool Santosh

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“The Universal mind (Brahman) manifests itself by its own will and when transformed in an artist's mind becomes self-creative. The individual mind of an artist has the potential to transform the visual concept into the materialised creative expression: a work of art.”

“My inclination is to go through the phenomenal world which in any case no one can avoid. Then, why not accept it with equanimity, this world of Maya, and try to sublimate some aspect of experience of life... I am convinced that pleasure is no sin. In fact, contentment is bliss. Sex is an act of life and I regard it as a symbol of all desire... Sex and desire are never regarded as an end in themselves but a means of self-realization. (It is a question of knowing and knowing before transcending its hold.)”

“That which activities the body (sareera) by the exhalation and inhalation (pran-apan) of breath is Tantra”.


 
 

Om Prakash Sharma

[December 14, 1932, Bawal, Haryana, India – ]

 
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“To create sublime art, one must live in the abstract.” 

“I saw [it as] abstraction on the highest level, you see, although, to me, every artist—right from the very beginning of art history—has been abstract.” 

He participated in the vital conversation regarding the various directions of abstract art in the mid-twentieth century. He recalls an illuminating dialog with Mark Rothko:

“He looked at my paintings and said that he dug my freedom of doing what I wanted, while he was confined to work within his own formulations. He elaborated and told me that he felt like a prisoner surrounded by the high walls which were erected by himself. I said that I greatly admired him because he had found a way to express everything he wanted to, by formerly reducing his images to a rectangle – the least symbolically loaded form. I aspired then, to explore the capacities of a medium by taking it to its very extreme.”

 
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Om Prakash Sharma


“Om Prakash has used his talents for the purpose of painting Ragas admirably. He has conceived the mood and the expression of different ragas in his own way and with his own feelings about them. I could see the Ragas in his paintings and therefore I think that they shall have a mass appeal.”

Pt. Ravi Shankar – Introduction to Ragamala Paintings, August 12, 1959.

 

“At the same time he belongs to India, where he is widely recognised and granted the most prestigious awards. His art is avant-garde and yet traditional, bold and gentle, both instinctive and rationally organised.

His paintings shining from inside with enormous energy are intricately detailed with geometrical clarity. His abstraction is quite mysterious. He is the one who can happily combine all the extremes due to his amazing ability to feel and create new kinds of harmony.”

Prof. Elena Serdyuk, Moscow State University, July 4, 2006 – Prague

 
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Shobha Broota

[1943, Delhi – ]

 
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“I have used the experience of contraction and expansion in numerous ways in my work, and life.” 

”My work is meditation - a journey in colour and movements. During meditation I see circles and colours within circles or spirals. If you watch nature you feel these forces, the geometry, vibrations are all there.” 

“For me, creativity is an exploration within my inner being, where intuitiveness and spontaneity takes me beyond the limits of my thinking-mind into no-mind.”


“We are all born...then we go through conditioning. We are taught to live in a certain way. Slowly we get bound by beautiful frills of life. We live blindly thinking this is it, but somewhere deep down, I knew this was not true life. It’s all made up of conveniences.” 


“Much is achieved when I live in silence. My work is a journey in search of my own self. It is the experience of space, color, expanse and movement, through which I travel into this mystical world. My work is geared towards a silent inner communication.”

“Sitting in silence before a blank canvas, I contemplate.” 

“My journey has been a progression from detailed realism to ‘essence-ism'.” 


“For me, creativity is an exploration within my inner being, where intuitiveness and spontaneity takes me beyond the limits of my thinking-mind into no-mind.” 

Shobha Broota


 
 

Biren De

[October 8, 1926, Bengal Presidency, British India – March 12, 2011, Kolkata, West Bengal, India]

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Birens painting has grown and is growing. 


“Sometimes it is labeled Tantric but I do not think it is tantric any more than what is painted today can be traditional. 

I think it is clear that each phase emerges out of the one before and is more profound.

 Though the struggle of the artist seems immense, it seems he is also more able to let some inner source beyond rationality dictate his direction. 

His art moves through him towards a more universal expression, which is elegiac and heroic. 

The deep reverberations of this music will be with us when all is still.” 

Jaya Appasamy

 

His paintings were characterized by symmetrical patterns of geometry and the presence of tantric symbols such as mandala, phallus and vagina, reportedly representing masculine and feminine energies of the universe.

 

Obituary: Biren De (1926-2011)

The world of Indian art lost a very fine artist on March,12, 2011. Known for his brilliance at Neo-Tantric ideology, Biren De was a proud practitioner. Biren De began his career as a portrait painter before moving on to figurative works. This phase lasted until the late 1950s when figures began to be substituted for freely floating shapes. By the 70’s he was fully absorbed in Neo-Tantric ideologies. The scholars of Tantric art were of the opinion that art is sadhana meaning that the act of creation is in fact spiritual practice.
 
Biren De used geometric forms and the juxtapositions of color and light to embody notions of shakti, or the pure energies of a universal life force. 

His technique of applying color to canvas brings the canvas alive with its translucency and near transparency, providing the viewer with a sense of immense tranquility and a mood of meditation. 

The presence of a ‘U’ shape and another upright shape, symbolizing the male and the female, the ying and the yang, opposites and balance. A number of his works also had the occurrence of the dynamic spherical form signifying the seed that is at the core of the universe.

Biren De’s paintings were concerned with uniting the “male” and the “female” principles.

His works explored the various ways the two could be combined, sometimes adding other fundamental shapes such as the circle or the square to complete the equation. 

He was greatly influenced by Tantric principles, which state that the “ultimate truth” is the union of Purusha and Prakriti – the male and female principles respectively. 

One cannot survive without the other, which is why the “ultimate reality” requires that the two should come together. 

Colour fields and concentration were art’s ability to express colour, light, and shadow. The result was an entirely new style of abstract expression through which he captured the subtle changes of space, nature, light and shade to create abstract and luminous worlds of vivid and spectacular majesty. 

De’s form of artistic expression was, on the one hand, a new historical development in the Neo-Tantric traditions of painting and lyrical shaded styles; at the same time, his work was the point where efforts to explore and fuse the styles of opposite codes converged in the most ideal way. 

De’s art was the pursuit of the ideal by a spiritual generation of seasoned thinkers.


 
 
 
 
 
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Monochrome Neo-Tantra Paintings

 
 
Laszlo Otto – Yantra-origo-metrum – Computer Graphics, 2016-18

Laszlo Otto – Yantra-origo-metrum – Computer Graphics, 2016-18

 
 
 
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Rose Window Painting

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Yantra

 

 
 
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Dasa Mahavidya Yantras – The Ten Great Wisdoms

 
 
 
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Shodasa Nitya Yantras – The Fifteen Nitya Yantras of Mahatripurasundari[centre]-The Sixteen Eternals

 
 
 
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Vedic Altar

 
 
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Vastu Purusa Mandala – Manduka Mandala – Paramasaayika Mandala

 
 
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Bhadra Mandala – Lotus in Square – Navapadma-Mandala [9 Lotus]

 
 
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Trisulabija Mandalam – Three Lotuses in Square – Tritrisulabija Mandalam [Seven Lotuses]

 
 
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Bhadra Mandala – Astalingato Badhra mandala – Square-Lotus

 
 
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