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Y. K. Shukla Foundation


The life and work of Y.K. Shukla would seem to provide an exact illustration of the workings of the artistic spirit on the Indian art scene in the twentieth century. Most Indian artists of his generation underwent a transmutation or conversion, given an India in transition. This was a period of learning, the trying out of alien influences. A painful process, often ending on no conclusive note, but still an inevitable one. The academy had made its mark on the Indian urban scene, and till its perspective to space had been understood, mastered-and then rejected or adopted-there was bound to be a stalemate.

Eclectcism was the net outcome of this stalemate. Hybrid styles proliferated. Most Indian artists of the time vacillated between an earlier India's art of affect (or imaginative recreation of experience), and the exactitudes of the physical eye such as the academics represented. This distinction may well be expresed in terms of what may be called the subjective or the objective artistic intellects. The 'objective' intellect being one which is eminently impersonal, and the 'subjective' equally personal. The former disengaging itself as much as possible from its own prepossesions, striving to see and represent objects as they exist; the other viewing all objects in the light of feelings and preconceptions.

Of course it is needless to add that no artistic mind can be exclusively objective, nor exclusively subjective. But every mind and every culture has a more or less dominant tendency in one of these directions. We see this contrast in life as in art. The realist artist starts from nature upwards, proceeds inductively, starting from perceived reality and never loosing sight of it-even his adventurous flights correspond with the measurements registered by the laws of optics. The other sort of artist, as in the earlier Indian tradition, works his way from an idea downwards, proceeds deductively, starting from some ideal conception, and seeking in realities only visible illustrations of deeper existence.


A brief biography of Y K Shukla (by Vasudeo Smart)
What is the Y K Shukla Foundation for Art, Culture, and Heritage? (by Kartik Shukla)
Thumbnails of Works of Y K Shukla (currently 34)
Activities of Foundation: Plan for 2001-02
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