Composition #1, 1968

Known for his innovative approach to materials and technique, Dave is more concerned with the formal qualities of his works than their narrative potential. Combining oil paint with wax or encaustic to create heavily textured surfaces, as in Composition #1, he often incised them with abstracted calligraphic markings. Dave grew up in the small village […]

Faceless Divinity, 1968

Ambadas Uttamrao Khobragade (known as Ambadas) is celebrated in India as a visionary abstract painter. Applying layers of paint on canvas, he created richly textured, semi-sculptural works. The artist offers no narrative and avoids overt representation, instead directing the viewer’s attention to the painting’s color, form, and texture—as in Faceless Divinity, perhaps referencing female genitalia. […]

Krishna Dancing on a Snake, 1968

Here Ambadas (Ambadas Uttamrao Khobragade) depicts the story of Krishna, a Hindu deity identifed by his blue color, assuming the weight of the world as he stomps angrily on Kaliya, a powerful, poisonous water-serpent deity who had pulled Krishna into a river and tried to kill him. But after Kaliya and his wives began to […]

Exile, 1968

Kabas painted mostly maritime scenes, from tranquil depictions of fishermen to mythical odysseys in a dark, gloomy atmosphere. His figures often exude pessimism amid imagery situated between the quotidian and the fantastic. In Exile, a contemplative mood prevails. Sitting alone and wearing a fez—the traditional Ottoman headdress—the figure contrasts with the ship, which flies the […]

Untitled (from the Iron Butterfly portfolio), 1968

Iron Butterfly was a heavy-metal rock band of the late 1960s, best known for their song “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida,” with its eerie mixture of pounding bass, squeaky organ, and endless drum solo. Nicholas Krushenick appropriated the band’s contradictory name for this 1968 print portfolio, perhaps because it echoed his combination of hard-edged geometry with the gaudy look […]

Istanbul, 1968

In the later 1960s, Erbil introduced cityscapes—especially of Istanbul and the Bosporus—as a major theme. In Istanbul, seen here, he portrays an area of the city, possibly the Seraglio Point (Sarayburnu), from an aerial perspective—using strong, abrupt brushstrokes and mostly red and blue tones to delineate the landscape and the sea. Later he introduced perspective, […]

Symbols, 1968

Born in Lahore (then in British India and now in Pakistan), Dhanraj Bhagat is one of many accomplished sculptors worldwide who turned to wood, stone, and earthen materials in the 1940s and 1950s. Moving away from the British colonial legacy of academic naturalism, Bhagat was among a number of Indian artists, in particular, who turned […]

Colt 45, 1968

Pilaram was a skilled calligrapher who experimented with different forms of script, as in Colt 45. Difficult to decipher, the work points to the artist’s tendency to use letters and numbers as decorative elements rather than semantic devices—a common practice among Saqqakhaneh artists. Although this work may at first glance appear abstract, the figure of […]

Persian Odalisque, 1968

Multitalented, lawyer and diplomat Nasser Ovissi also studied fine art in Rome. This work’s title—Persian Odalisque—refers to the painting’s subject; an “odalisque” is a female slave who served the sultan’s wives and concubines. This choice of subject suggests Ovissi’s familiarity with the popularity of the motif in European Orientalist painting, which includes many well-known examples. […]