Teach and tell: The gurus of art

Some of India’s greatest artists have also been teachers, but have they merely handed over a tradition or inspired fresh thinking?
Curated by: Kishore Singh
Published: Sep 10, 2016
Teach and tell: The gurus of art

Image by : DAG Modern Archives

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NS Bendre
(1910-92)
Taught at: Faculty of Fine Arts, MS University, Baroda
 
Along with Gulam Sheikh, NS Bendre was the kind of teacher who encouraged students from different backgrounds to join art classes, sometimes also organising or paying for their fees. Among those he encouraged to study art was MF Husain, whom he met in Indore, and Gulam Rasool Santosh, who was introduced to him by SH Raza. An inspiring teacher, Bendre was considered a great colourist and went on to emerge as the country’s best-known pointillist. His subjects were often pastoral and before he became a master of pointillism, he dabbled in cubism, expressionism and abstraction, fusing together European styles that he experimented with before finding his own distinct voice, which was based in an indigenous vocabulary that had been sparked by the early Santiniketan artists and also Calcutta-based Jamini Roy, arguably India’s earliest modernist.