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Print - From the North II

From the North II

  • Object:

    Print

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1988 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Mistry, Dhruva (Mr.) (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Etching on paper

  • Museum number:

    IS.104-1999

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The series of prints titled 'From the North' was inspired by Picasso's 'Vollard Suite' (1934) and 'Minotaurmachy' (ca. 1947). With these series of prints Picasso was reinventing himself through his creation of a personal set of cultural metaphors, which provided more than just a series of images but were based on notions of transformation, where for example, the bull becomes human. This artistic creation has the capability itself to stand as something 'real'. Mistry was also inspired by a wide range of other sources - Islamic, Corinthian, Egyptian, Indian, Assyrian, mythological and religious, all of which are equally apparent in the hybrid creatures we see in his work.

In ‘From the North’ Mistry depicts the mythological creatures called Reguarding Guardians. They draw their inspiration, primarily, from the Vedas, a religious treatise of Aryan origin which contains the sacrificial hymns to their gods whom they regarded as Guardians of the natural world. The main deities were Indra, the thunder god; Agni, the fire god; Varuna, the god of the sky and regulator of the universe, and Suma, the god of creation and the life-giving fluid drunk by all the deities.

All the Guardians have human heads and animals bodies which are winged. This series is also inspired by ancient Assyrian art, which Mistry was able to study at the British Museum. The Assyrians decorated their palace entrances with monumental guardians of the gateway in the form of enormous winged bulls with human faces. In this series we find the Guardians depicted with the bull's attributes: human heads with have horns. This image is derived from the Minotaur legend of ancient Crete and Picasso's modern recreation of the myth in the Vollard suite (1956).

In this print we see a nude minotaur and a nude female figure on what appears to be a beach. On the ground, we see some of the artist's tools, including a hammer and a scalpel. Behind the nude woman, reminiscent of the artist's sculpture 'Reclining Nude' (1988), we see a man at sea followed by a stormy cloud. On the left hand corner, the artist has included his modernist sculpture 'Diagram of an Object' (1990). To emphasise the surreal and playful nature of the print, the artist has added a small toy train and a curtain floating in the stormy sky.

Dhruva Mistry was born in Kanjari, (Gujarat) in 1957. He studied sculpture at the Faculty of Fine Arts, MS University of Baroda (1974-79), graduating with distinction and a gold medal. He went on to gain an MA at Baroda (1979-81) and then came to Britain on a British Council scholarship to take an MA in sculpture at the Royal College of Art (1981-83). Mistry has since gained international recognition and many prizes. He was elected Royal Academician in 1991 and was the first Indian sculptor to be made Fellow of the Royal Society of British Sculptors in 1993. In 1997 he returned to Vadadora and in 1997 was appointed Professor, Head of Sculpture and Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Baroda. He was awarded an honorary CBE in 2001.

Mistry's work ranges from huge public commissions to maquettes and wall reliefs, related in part to Hinduism and Buddhism, but also encompassing influences from the West - Egyptian and Cycladic art and European traditions of figurative sculpture.

Physical description

Two nude figures, male and female, at the beach with man in boat on horizon. On the left hand corner the artist has included his modernist sculpture 'Diagram of an Object' (1990). On the ground, we see some of the artist's tools, including a hammer and a scalpel. Behind the nude woman, reminiscent of the artist's sculpture 'Reclining Nude' (1988), we see a man at sea followed by a stormy cloud. To emphasise the surreal nature of the print, the artist has added a small toy train and a curtain floating in the stormy sky.

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

1988 (made)

Artist/maker

Mistry, Dhruva (Mr.) (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Etching on paper

Dimensions

Height: 25.3 cm, Width: 20 cm

Object history note

Purchased from artist. Rp 96/2187

Historical context note

Dhruva Mistry was born in Kanjari, (Gujarat) in 1957. He studied sculpture at the Faculty of Fine Arts, MS University of Baroda (1974-79), graduating with distinction and a gold medal. He went on to gain an MA at Baroda (1979-81) and then came to Britain on a British Council scholarship to take an MA in sculpture at the Royal College of Art (1981-83). Mistry has since gained international recognition and many prizes. He was elected Royal Academician in 1991 and was the first Indian sculptor to be made Fellow of the Royal Society of British Sculptors in 1993. In 1997 he returned to Vadadora and in 1997 was appointed Professor, Head of Sculpture and Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Baroda. He was awarded an honorary CBE in 2001.

Descriptive line

From the North II by Dhruva Mistry, print, Essex, 1988.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Contemporary Art in Baroda, ed. by Gulammohammed Sheikh, Tulika, 1997.
Dhruva Mistry Sculptures and Drawings, Kettles Yard Gallery, October 1984, Cambridhe

Materials

Ink; Paper

Techniques

Etching (printing process)

Subjects depicted

Boat; Books

Categories

Prints

Production Type

Limited edition

Collection

South & South East Asia Collection

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