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Modern & Contemporary Indian Art (ASN0003) Modern & Contemporary Indian Art (ASN0003) ANGELA TRINDADE (1909 - 1980)
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From the collection of the artist's direct descent
Angela Trindade, the daughter of Portuguese-Goan artist Antonio Xavier Trindade, obtained her degree in fine arts from the Sir J. J. School of Art, Bombay, where she learnt the Western Academic mode of oil painting as well as the traditional aesthetics of Indian painting, excelling in both. She was awarded a post graduate diploma in mural decoration. Her early work was much inspired by her father's paintings, when she rendered still-life's and portraits.
In the 1940's, Trindade became part of a community of painters who worked towards the indigenization of the Christ story, a process long delayed due to the continued presence of European Colonialism. Along with Angelo da Fonseca, Cardinal Valerian Gracias and other artists like Frank Wesley, she dedicated a large part of her career to analyzing the problems surrounding Christian art at that time. The forerunners of the inculturation (the creative and dynamic relationship between the Christian message and a culture or cultures) movement, the group countered severe criticism to arrive at a comfortable aesthetic for the 'Indian' expression of Biblical stories. Trindade developed new techniques of narrative from her studies of Indian literature, using them in her paintings as well as murals in church interiors.
Trindade experimented with both abstract expressionism as well as cubism, in the wake of the growing interest in contemporary Western modes of painting. She also took ardent interest in Tantric art, and delivered lectures on the spiritual authority inherent in Indian art at schools, institutes and universities all over America, where she held successful exhibitions too. Though she received numerous awards and recognitions in her life, her highest honour was receiving the 'Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice', The Gold Cross from the late Holy Father Pope Pious XII for her contribution to the field of religious art.
In his 1996 essay 'Angela Trindade - Indian Artist', Dr. William U.Eiland, director, Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia, commented: “For Angela Trindade, one of India's Christian daughters, true understanding and real communication between Indian and European cultures occurred in the spiritual and aesthetic realms of art.”
Much of Trindade's initial work is characterized by controlled brushwork, subdued hues and muted backgrounds with meticulous detailing and blending of colour within the portraits themselves. She loved painting Indian subjects, though she painted numerous portraits of Americans and Europeans too in her constant visits abroad. 'Lady (Ms Gulab Shete) in sari with gold necklace' is a classic example of her early work, the treatment of the sari fabric, smooth skin and faint sheen of the metal varied to match the real. The expression of the lady in question - Ms Gulab Shete (Trindade's fellow student at Sir J.J School of Art) - is gentle and thoughtful and Trindade has captured her intent gaze focused at the viewer. 'Fruits I' is another one of her early works and though now coated with a patina of age, it displays her skill at capturing textures, each object and fruit a meticulous study of shaded colour and form (refer to Lot No. 4).