Art in Uttarakhand
Garhwali Abstract Artists
Artists of Uttarakhand
B . Mohan Negi : An Abstract Artist, Cartoonist and Initiator of Poetry Poster
When art critics, literature historians will remember William Blake, Mervyn Peak, Amanda Mathews, Victor Hugo, Thomas Fundora, Wilhelm Busch, Rabindra Nath Tagore , Taras Shevchenko, Italian Agnolo Bronzino, Whyndham Lewis , Michelangelo Buonarroti , , Edward Lear, Leslie Gillette Jackson, E.E Cummings, Munio Makkuchi , Maularam, , they will also cite the example of B .M Negi for his visual art and poetry creations.
Contribution in Uttarakhandi Journalism and Literature
B Mohan Negi was born in village of Manyarsyun of Paudi Garhwal in 1949. After graduation, he joined postal department.
Though, B Mohan Negi creates poetries in Garhwali and Hindi as well but he is more interested in drawings . His main contribution to Uttarakhandi journalism and Garhwali language literature is to provide visual effects to the literature or reporting by his drawings, mostly abstract form .
Before the mergence of B Mohan Negi as an artist , before 1982 , there was no culture of providing drawings or visual effect to the literature among magazines, or newsletters of Uttarakhand. After emergence of B Mohan Negi in this arena, most of the magazines, newsletters request B. Mohan Negi for his paintings or drawings and without any hesitation , Negi obliged everybody.
Most of the Garhwali language literature creators use the drawings/paintings of Negi on the covers of their books. Now, B Mohan Negi is part and partial of Uttarakhandi literature and journalism. Mind! B Mohan Negi does not charge a single penny for his art
Mostly B Mohan Negi uses black and white line drawings for his abstract paintings or drawings. In his drawing , the audience find more of women and those paintings or line drawings remind us the paintings of Jackson Pollock, Marten Jenson , Howard David Johnson, James Abbott McNeill Whistler ,Wassily Kandinsky , Samuel Durkin, Helene Kippert, Harmony Nicholas Elena Ray Patricia Ariel, who could show the high emotions of women in their colour abstract paintings . There is struggle, winning spirit , loneliness, hope, sadness, in the women of B, Mohan Negi and audience easily connect himself with the emotion of woman in the drawings of Negi.. There is humour, there is bravery, there is pathos, there is fatigue, there joy, there is agile, there is detachment, there is Vastly (parenting) , and all humanly emotions in the thousands of paintings/drawings of B Mohan Negi. However, this author is still to see abhorrence in the drawings of Negi.
When this author had a telephonic talk with B Mohan Negi on 28th April 2010 about his statement on painting about Garhwali women in his paintings, he said “ In my mind, though a painting is nothing more than a painting itself but simultaneously my childhood spent in villages of hills come in the mind. By nature, I am poet . It's a touch of experiencing the conditions in Garhwali villages , the loneliness of Garhwali women whose husbands are gone to plains for service and their helplessness but with the struggling and winning nature of Garhwali women I try to visualize their all emotions and I feel it …and then paint …”
B . Mohan Negi said to me that he dreams a lot and it seems that unconsciously, Negi follows an artist Andrew Wyeth who said ,I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious”
Madan Duklan the editor of Hamari Chitthi , wherein B .Mohan contributes for each edition, says that apart Pahadi Aurat (woman of Hills), we may find Garhwal and its natural beauty in the abstract drawings of B.Mohan Negi and Duklan further says that when ever he sees the Garhwal’s geographical nature in the drawings of B Mohan negi , Duklan remembers the quote of famous French impressionist Paul Gaugun, “ Do not copy nature too much. Art is an abstraction." . Same way, when Manju Naithani Dhoundiyal (again one of the admirer of Negi’s drawing) sess the drwaing of Negi in Hamari chitthi, Uttarakhand Khabar Sar , Manju remembers the quote of American painter Wayne Thiebaud ,"A conscious decision to eliminate certain details and include selective bits of personal experiences or perceptual nuances, gives the painting more of a multi-dimension than when it is done directly as a visual recording. This results in a kind of abstraction... and thus avoids the pitfalls of mere decoration."
Girish Dhoundiyal , an admirer of B Mohan Negi’s creation, says that it seems that as if American expressionist Arshile Gorky (1904-1948), studied the drawings of B Mohan Negi who once, said, "Abstraction allows man to see with his mind what he cannot physically see with his eyes. . . . Abstract art enables the artist to perceive beyond the tangible, to extract the infinite out of the finite. It is the emancipation of the mind. It is an explosion into unknown areas."
Puran Pant Pathik (a Garhwali language poet and editor of Garhwali language weekly Garhwalai Dhai) says that the drawings of B.Mohan Negi are as said by American Expressionist Robert Motherwell “ The need for abstract art is felt experience — intense, immediate, direct, subtle, unified, warm, vivid, rhythmic."
No doubt, B Mohan’s most art works is in abstract form of art but there is realism in his art as said by Frank Stella ,” "Abstract paintings must be as real as those created by the 16th century Italians."
Initiation of Kavita Poster -Poetry Posters
If Lokesh Navani is credited for poetry movement in Garhwal , B Mohan Negi initiated Kavita -Poetry Poster Movement in Garhwal and Dehradun. The posters display the visual effects of poetries of various poets written on poster . This experiments and exhibitions became a source of popularizing modern Garhwali poetry in Garhwal
B Mohan Negi as first cartoonist of Garhwali Language
B Mohan Negi is first ever cartoonist of Garhwali language and Hilans a monthly magazine from Mumbai published his cartoon first time in the history of Garhwali language cartooning world. His cartoons deliver full image of villages and persons and speak the wholeness of the atmosphere. Being a soft person by nature, the language of his cartoon is very sober or soft in wordings but capable of attacking the wrong happenings in rural Garhwal. The readers may see geographical nature of Garhwal in his cartoons.
B Mohan Negi as Poet of Garhwali and Hindi languages
B Mohan Negi also creates poetries in Garhwali and Hindi. The subject of his verses are rural Garhwal.
Most of the art critics from Uttarakhand say that as Wassily Kandinsky, Jackson Pollock, James McNeil Whistler , John Constable ,J.M W. Turner, Camille Corot, George Braque, Pablo Picasso Paul Gauguin , Georges Seurat , Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cezanne, Andre Derain, Raoul Dufy, Femand Leger, Man Ray, Frontisek Kupka, Nataliya Gorchakov , Marry Callery, Mikhail Larionov, Kasimir Malevich, Piet Mondrian, Manilo Rho, Karel Appel, K Kabro, Kurt Schwitters, Marcel Duchamp, Fernand Leger, Hung Liu, Jacques Lipchitz, Robert Natkin , hiroshi Matsumoto, Max Ernst, Hilton Edwards, Diane Lifroy, Christine Maudy, Shane Garton, John D Graham, Monica Araoz, Feng Feng, Jhong Biao, Warawut revolutionized the art world by their abstract art works, B. Mohan Negi revolutionized Uttarakhand art world by his abstract art and B Mohan Negi popularizes tha abstract art by providing his black and white abstract art to local news papers, magazines and literature creative to publish on their books. Uttarakhandis will remember B. Mohan Negi for popularizing art among common people .
Copyright@ Bhishma Kukreti, Mumbai ,India 2010