|Exhibition - San Francisco 2000|
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Inside India, 1940-1975
Rare Images by India's Legendary Photographer
September l4-October 12, 2000
Media Contact: Louise Hanford, Hanford Associates,
San Francisco—India's tumultuous struggle for independence from the British, its traumatic partition, and the transforming urbanization of the following decades, were all captured by the pioneering Indian photographer Sunil Janah. A selection of these powerful and historic images will be on view September 14 through October 12 at the Kalart Gallery, 855 Sansome Street, 3rd Floor, in San Francisco.
Mr. Janah's work ranges from monumental historical events to the intimate joys and sorrows of individual people. More than 150 photographs—from revealing portraits of Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and other leaders, to urban riots, peasant uprisings and devastating famines; from the country's sacred architecture and classical dance to the hidden world of its remote tribes—are included in this remarkable exhibition.
Mr. Janah, 82 years old, was a formative influence on a generation of
Indian photographers. In 1972, he received the Padma Shri, a national
honor, for outstanding achievement in his
field. He has had one-man shows in many countries, including a first
major U.S. show in 1998 in New York City. That exhibition drew enthusiastic
crowds and widespread critical acclaim. Art in America called it
"a model for meaningful documentary"; The New York Times described his
unique pictures of the tribes as "an irreplaceable record of people whose
lives were later radically changed by development".
Mr. Janah first gained fame as a photographer when, as a young, idealistic leftist working for the People's War newspaper, his photographs exposed the effects of the devastating Bengal famine of l943-44. He went on to document the independence movement and the turbulent partition of the subcontinent into India and Pakistan. During this period, he met and worked with Margaret Bourke-White, the American photographer then in India on assignment for Life magazine. In subsequent years, Mr. Janah traveled widely in India, recording its timeless village life as well as its massive new industrial projects. He journeyed to remote parts of the country to photograph the tribal peoples. He also photographed in great detail India's ancient architecture, particularly the richly-sculpted temples of eastern India.
In the 1950s and 1960s, Mr. Janah's well-known studio in Calcutta became a stop for Indian politicians, artists, writers and intellectuals, as well as for visitors from the U.S. and Europe, such as Yehudi Menuhin, Martha Graham and W.H. Auden.
After spending most of his life in Calcutta and some years in New Delhi,
Mr. Janah moved to England in 1979 when his wife, Dr. Sobha Janah, was
appointed to a medical position in London. His son, a teacher,
and his daughter, a technology journalist, live in the United States.
Kalart Gallery hours are Monday-Saturday, 10-6, and Sunday, 12-6. Admission is free. For further information about the exhibition, please call (415) 693-9727. For additional information on Mr. Janah, please visit his web site at http://members.aol.com/sjanah.
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KALART GALLERY is the only gallery in the San Francisco Bay Area exclusively devoted to promoting contemporary art from South Asian nations with emphasis on art from India. Its purpose is to enrich this region with art from countries stretching from Tibet to Indonesia.
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(San Francisco 2000)
(San Francisco 2000)