THEER-A-THEER-A 1969, Pure Pigments Oil & Acylic on Canvas 81.5X360in | 207×914.5 cm
Born 1934 in Gothaya in Gujarat, India, Natvar Bhavsar studied at the Seth CN College of Fine Arts in Ahmedabad. At the same time he obtained a degree in English Literature from Gujarat University. Then in the early 1960s he decided to move to America and earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania after receiving a Rockefeller Grant.
Bhavsar attained prominence as an artist in India by age 19, working primarily in the Cubist vein. After moving to New York City, he became influenced by the freedom of abstract painting and the SoHo artist movement, where he had settled. His style evolved into abstract expressionism and color field painting, and his works often feature a hazy object (absent of direct lines or geometric shapes) in the center of a solid canvas, that projects an astral-like mass of color.
Employing some techniques from the Indian tradition of sand painting, Bhavsar paints in an improvisational manner, “soaking the canvas with acrylic-based liquid binders that absorb and hold the fine pigment powder. [He applies] the base using a sifting technique with a screen, during which layers of fine, concentrated pigment are sprinkled and drizzled over the canvas (or paper), which is laid out on the floor so that the artist can walk around the painting and work on it from all sides.”
Bhavsar has shown widely in New York where he has been a central figure in the art world and a long time resident – one of the few remaining original artists from the SoHo school – along with a plethora of gallery and museum exhibitions internationally. He has been exhibiting his works in solo shows since 1970. In 2007, the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University sponsored an exhibition of about 50 of Bhavsar’s works. It was the first United States University to hold a solo show of a South Asian artist.
Also a Guggenheim Foundation Fellow and an instructor of art at the University of Rhode Island, the artist is included in numerous public collections and institutions including the Philadelphia Museum of Fine Art, Boston Museum of Fine Art, and Metropolitan Museum of Fine Art. Recently he has participated as a Cultural Leader at the World Economic Forums in Davos, Switzerland and New York. Throughout his career, Bhavsar has been associated with a number of acclaimed artists, most prominently, Mark Rothko, Robert Motherwell and Barnett Newman.
Catalogue Five Decades
68 pages – softcover
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