Dashrath Patel – SCHOOL

A Retrospective show

Page: 83 (65 illustrations)

Dimension:  11.5 x 8.5 in
Hard Bound – Montblanc extra white paper
Publisher: Emami Art

ISBN: 978-81-952617-5-8


The sleek, beautifully designed catalogue accompanying SCHOOL, eastern India's first-ever solo exhibition of Dashrath Patel, captures the creative essence of the veteran artist, designer, pedagogue, photographer and visionary, who shaped the path of Indian modern art in the post-independence era.


“Finally, school is about the best days of your life and those that I spent with him are really the best days of my life,” says Pinakin Patel, the eminent Indian architect who curated the exhibition in collaboration with Dashrath Patel Foundation, Alibagh and Emami Art, Kolkata. Presenting a collection of works from different phases of the artist's career, the exhibition traced the innate coherence within a diverse range of practices. The hardbound catalogue of SCHOOL offers a rich visual study of the exhibited works as each section of the book focuses on single medium that the artist worked in, including paintings, collages, ceramics, ink on paper, and his large body of photographs from the 1930s to 2000s. It is complemented with photographic images of the details from Patel's works, revealing the intensities of brushstrokes, the nuances of the colour palette, and the texture of the material. The curator's note embodies the ethos of visual communication that Patel upheld, breaking away from the conventional format of an essay. An insightful article by Shanay Jhaveri, Assistant Curator, South Asian Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, explores the myriad ways of seeing in the artist's photographic practices and, in essence, his entire oeuvre. It was no one other than his friend, Henri Cartier Bresson, who encouraged Patel to enter the world of Photography. Apart from being a prolific artist and designer, Patel was the founding secretary of the National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, currently the world’s longest surviving design school. During his 19-year tenure at NID, he held multiple positions. In addition, he envisioned numerous India pavilions for the international platforms, playing a crucial role in the way Indian Modern Art was represented to the global audience.


Even though each medium and its imagery were perfectly evolved, he resisted the need to formalise that particular body of work as ‘his style’, and risk being typecast or iconified. His work was his ‘search’ and he actively followed that ideology" - Outlook Traveler


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