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Folk Painting from India

Gond Paintings from Madhya Pradesh State

The Gond tribal community is one of central India's largest indigenous communities and their art is an expression of their everyday quest for life. The Gond art rendezvous with the belief that "viewing a good image begets good luck". This inherent belief led the Gonds to decorating their houses and the floors with traditional tattoos and motifs. However, Gondi art has since transposed onto paper and canvass with talented artists showcasing their skills. Language of the soul is expressed in the brilliant hues of Gondi art. The signature styles are the essence of this tribal art form and are intrinsically used to fill the surface of their decorative patterns and motifs. The allusiveness and individualism of each Gond artist is defined by these signature styles.

The fine lines, dots and dashes of traditional Gond Pradhan motifs were introduced to the world by the late painter J.Swaminathan, who discovered a talented seventeen year old Jangarh Singh Shyam decorating the huts of Patangarh in Madhya Pradesh. Jangarh's meteoric rise to fame was marked by his acclaimed exhibitions in Paris and Tokyo and ended on a tragic note with his suicide. The legacy of Jangarh is captured in the artistic brilliance and creativity of his family who he had mentored in this traditional art form, and thus came about the resurgence of a whole new generation of Shyams.
Selected Gond Artists

Rajendra Shyam
Rajendra Shyam depicts the Gondi tales in great detail on his canvases. His favourite colour is brown in all its shades. He has adopted banda, the rope used to bind sheaves of grain, as his signature infill motiff to provide texture to his forms.


Rajendra has exhibited his work at Nottingham's New Art Exchange Gallery, London in 2009. Raju in collaboration with Venkant Shyam also painted a 70kg fiberglass elephant, Udata Hathi as a part of the Elephant Parade Mela. His depictions of tales of deity Bada Dev have been exhibitited at Horniman Art Gallery London in June 2011.


Manoj Tekam

Manoj likes to detail all his paintings. He has worked under the watchful eye of Bajju Shyam. Born on 2nd February 1986, Manoj prefers to live in his village. After working with Bajju for a few years he moved back to rural life, he visits bigger cities only when he needs drawing material and look for buyers. He enjoys the tranquility of his village where he can work undisturbed.

Biographical information and photos above courtesy of Padmajaa Srivastra

Hiraman Urveti

The 31 year old artist Hiraman Urveti uses the Trishul as his signature motif. Originally from Sonpuri, Patangarh, now based in Bhopal. He has participated in various workshops and exhibitions organized by Trifed. He has also participated in an exhibition organized by Paramparik karigar Mumbai at Jehangir art gallery in Mumbai in 2011.


Rajendra Kumar Shyam

Rajendra Kumar Shyam upcoming Gond artist. Born on 20th July 1982, in Patangarh, he took to the traditional painting at an early age. He has participated in various workshops and exhibitions organized by trifed. He has also participated in “Gond painters camp”organized by lalit academy Kerala.

Biographical information and photos above courtesy of Padmajaa Srivastra


Gond Painting #5 - Wood-Cutters in the Forest
Rajendra Shyam - Patangarh, Madhya Pradesh State, India
c.2011
Black ink on paper
(14" h. x 11" w. )

$300 framed


Gond Painting #8 - Shivji and the Mahua Flowers (the stages of intoxication)
Rajendra Shyam - Patangarh, Madhya Pradesh State, India
c.2011
Acrylic on canvas
(48" h. x 30" w. )

In this painting the artist depicts the stages a person goes through when he is intoxicated. Once Lord Shiva was doing penance under a tree he felt thirsty; he looked around for water and found it in a hollow of the Mahua tree. He did not realize that the water contained fermented Mahua flowers. After sipping some, he was euphoric, felt light in the head and became very talkative and chirped like a parrot. He could not resist and had some more. The more he had the louder and aggressive he got, it was as though he had taken the persona of a tiger. By this time he had lost all his senses and could not stand and started rolling on the ground like a wild boar.

$3200


Gond Painting #13 - Deer and Bird
Anuj Tekam - Patangarh, Madhya Pradesh State, India
c.2012
Acrylic on canvas
(17" h. x 21" w. )

$750 framed


Gond Painting #14 - Reptiles and Prey
Rajendra Shyam Kumar - Patangarh, Madhya Pradesh State, India
c.2012
Acrylic on paper
(10" h. x 14" w. )

$320 framed


Gond Painting #16 - Tiger
Rajendra Shyam - Patangarh, Madhya Pradesh State, India
c.2012
Acrylic and ink on paper
(15" h. x 11" w. )

$400 framed


Gond Painting #17 - Beast with Prey
Hiraman Urveti - Patangarh, Madhya Pradesh State, India
c.2012
Acrylic on paper
(11" h. x 15" w. )

$300 framed


Gond Painting #18 - Wild Boar
Santosh Shyam - Patangarh, Madhya Pradesh State, India
c.2012
Acrylic and ink on paper
(11" h. x 14" w. )

$220.


Gond Painting #20 - Fish (#MTK-1302)
Manoj Tekam - Patangarh, Madhya Pradesh State, India
2012
Acrylic and ink on handmade paper
(15" h. x 11" w. )

$200.


Gond Painting #21 - Bird (#MTK-1303)
Manoj Tekam - Patangarh, Madhya Pradesh State, India
2013
Acrylic and ink on paper
(20" h. x 14" w. )

$360.


Gond Painting #22 - Tiger and Deer (#RSK-1301)
Rajendra Shyam Kumar - Patangarh, Madhya Pradesh State, India
2013
Acrylic and ink on handmade paper
(14" h. x 10" w. )

$200.


Gond Painting #24 - Wild Boar
(#RJS-1302)
Rajendra Shyam - Patangarh, Madhya Pradesh State, India
2013
Acrylic and ink on handmade paper
(14" h. x 10" w. )

$220.


Gond Painting #25 - Tiger and Tree (#RJS-1303)
Rajendra Shyam - Patangarh, Madhya Pradesh State, India
2013
Ink on handmade paper
(13 3/4" h. x 11" w. )

$220.



I Saw a Peacock with a Fiery Tail
Ramsingh Urveti
Tara Books, India 2012

$18.50 (Hardcover)


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