Between the Lines: Identity, Place, and Power

Sneha Sikand of Saffronart on Waswo X. Waswo’s private collection of Indian printmaking exhibited at India Habitat Centre

Untitled, Somnath Hore
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Fishing, Haren Das
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New Delhi: The Visual Arts Gallery recently exhibited Waswo X. Waswo’s private collection of prints. An avid collector of etchings, woodcuts and lithographs, Waswo’s prints range from a 1916 hand-coloured drypoint etching by Mukul Dey to works by newer artists like Durga Prasad Bandi and Kurma Nadham.

A photographer by profession, Waswo was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (U.S.A.). He went on to study photography in Italy, and after traveling extensively around the world settled in India in 2001. His collection of prints is not so much a historical or chronological evolution of printmaking in India, but more so a personal association with the imagery of the country he creates within his mind.

Villagers of Selaidah visiting Rabindranath Tagore, Mukul Dey
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The exhibit has been curated by Art historian, Lina Vincent Sunish who has carefully picked out the works which went on display from Waswo’s vast collection. The aim of this exhibit was not so much to delve into the technicalities of printmaking, but more so to emphasis on how the medium is used to depict images from everyday life.

There are over seventy-nine artists whose works have been exhibited as part of the collection. The art of printmaking emerged in Bengal which is why one sees several early works by Bengali artists, with later works coming out from other art hubs such as Baroda. The collection will be exhibited at the National Gallery of Modern Art, Bengaluru later this year.

Read more about prints on Waswo X. Waswo’s blog: Collection of Indian Printmaking



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