Jangarh Singh Shyam (1960-2001) is one of the major artists of the Indian tribal art.
Jagdish Swaminathan, the renowned modern painter, theorist and founder of Bharat Bhavan, discovered him and promoted the talents of this outstanding artist. Located in Bhopal, the Bharat Bhavan is today one of the few museums in the world to exhibit on the same level contemporary artists from both dominant culture and minority cultures of popular or tribal origin.
The primitive arts have played a primary role in the history of modern art. The arts of Africa and Oceania have inspired the modern European masters such as Matisse and Picasso. Folk art has allowed avant-garde Russian liberation from the academic environment. Folk and tribal Indian arts have been claimed by many modern Indian artists as a source of inspiration to escape from predominant cultural colonialism and affirm their own identity. Since the 1980s, an international trend is growing toward the recognition of these sources as major arts, both from an intellectual and commercial point of view. Thus we can finally discover the historical figures of these art forms.
From his hometown, where he created murals paintings to his last works before his sudden death in 2001 in Japan, the work of Jangarh Singh Shyam has continued to evolve and surprise with creativity and mastery worthy of the greatest names of contemporary art. His early works show a rare primitive force, his last works show a fabulous graphic mastery. A feeling of intense vibration is the hallmark of his style, the cohesion of his work in constant metamorphosis, which reveals both the animist culture of the Gonds tribe, where he is originally from, and one of the foundations of Indian thought.
Jangarh Singh Shyam has been exhibited in numerous events including exhibitions "Magiciens de la terre" (Paris 1989) and "Other Masters" (New Delhi 1998). Gallery Chemould in Mumbai has dedicated a tribute in 2009. Recently, the Quai Branly Museum has exhibited wonderful selection of large sizes from the collection Poddar. In March 2010, at Sotheby's London in 2001 a work (acrylic on canvas 28x46 7/8 in.) estimated $ 5,000 - 7,000 sold for $ 13,750. In September 2010, a painting on paper from 1988 reproduced in the catalog of the "Magiciens de la terre" was auctioned at record price of $ 31,250. In 2011, the prestigious Fondation Cartier for Contemporary Art has acquired three paintings on paper by Jangarh Singh Shyam made in the late 80s and early 90s.
The work that will be presented in September 15, 2011 at Sotheby's New York is exceptional. It is an acrylic on paper mounted on canvas 60x84 1/4 in., created in 1988. This work, estimated $ 20,000 - 30,000 was created for the exhibition "Magiciens de la terre," Centre Pompidou Paris, 1989.
According to experts, the historical figures of Indian tribal contemporary art, yet underestimated, should ultimately perform with the greatest artists from Africa and Oceania. The gap in the price is huge. Thus to estimate the potential market, we must put in perspective the record for an Indian artist and for an Aboriginal one: $ 21,000 / Jivya Soma Mashe (the legendary artist of the Warli Tribe, India) and $ 2,400,000 / Clifford Possum (most renowned Australian Aboriginal artist).
Hervé Perdriolle is collector, art critic and curator. He was the art critic of the French movement Figuration Libre and participated in the first exhibitions in France including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring (1984) and Ravinder Reddy (2000). Since 1996, its main activity is to promote the "Other Masters of India" through the works of leading contemporary artists from tribal and folk Indian arts.
Presentation and contact > Hervé Perdriolle Gallery Paris