* Copyright: Zehra R. Post * Website Creation: Zehra R. Post * Photography: Zehra R. Post
"Modern art conveys a new philosophy and language of its own. Modern artists have come to be represented as neo-traditionalists. A galaxy of artists in modern India belonging to different schools have appeared in different parts of India. Among the distinguished artists mention may be made of some celebrities like Jamini Roy, Amrita Sher Gil,...Satish Gujral, M.F.Husain,..Zehra Rehmatulla............"
"Zehra Rehmatulla..educated in Hyderabad, now paints in Rome, Like other artists among the best, Zehra too attempts to maintain in her works the grand traditions of India and at the same time profit from the conformity between art and real life that only the Occident can give. The highest pictorial tradition of India is that of the caves of Ajanta where the quality of the undulating line preceded the art of Simone Martini by seven centuries...and.. paintings of Zehra remind one of that tradition and reveal her poetic nature. ....Naturally, the problems that Zehra will encounter are the most difficult of today, nothing less than the synthesis of Orient and Occident, but she is ingenuous, has character and is very sensitive: she will certainly succeed "
(Translation from Italian)
PROFESSOR LIONELLO VENTURI Art Historian and Art Critic
"Among contemporary Indian artists Miss Zehra Rehmatulla of Hyderabad is one whose paintings of intense passions, genuine fervour and great originality have earned countrywide recognition.....Her art.... is characterized not by the impersonality of the classical, but rather by dynamic emotional expression. It is neither stylized nor ritual, but rather of the senses......When the emotion rises in intensity it can be conveyed by the human body, provided one knows how to make it speak without resort to words. The artist possesses this valuable secret and her paintings of this manner can fascinate the beholder....The pictures of love bear evidence of talent of a high order combined with a capacity to render emotion...she presents us with an intimate picture, free from intrusion of the artificial. From this attachment to the principle of sincerity of emotional life her art derives an authentic power which is worth our praise"
INDER JIT LALL Journalist, Art critic, "Trend" magazine. New Delhi
" I have known Zehra for many years and have watched her art develop and mature. She has
a remarkable talent and intellect and her works have an originality, sincerity and power that is
hard to find.
India always had Amrita Sher Gil. Now it has Zehra"
DR. M. S. RANDHAWA Curator Punjab Museum, Chandigarh, Author, Art Historian
(Introducing the artist at Embassy of India reception in her honor, Manila)
"She is absorbed in soul by the touching world of tenderness and pathos which life at
fundamental levels discovers to the discerning eye. Her brush is dipped in the immediacy and urgency of human sentiments, and the colours that she spreads with mastered wistfulness throb with varied life and light, a whole world of experience is gently but irresistibly caught in a single gesture. It is a unique feat of hers that...whatever foreign techniques she may have adopted,
she has molded them to her subject which in sense and substance is thoroughly Indian.'
Art Critic "AMRITA BAZAR PATRIKA", Calcutta
Contact: email: firstname.lastname@example.org
"Miss Zehra Rehmatulla has been working her way into a style ever since her return from Rome....last year she burst into passionate figures of considerable power, and this time she presents what may again be a transitional phase but what to my mind, undoubtedly proves her to be a painter of depth and intensity. She has suddenly blossomed out in a strong personal idiom of considerable beauty, and I hail this development with considerable pleasure. This is particularly so because her work now shows a depth, an intensity of passion, a genuine fervour. These works deal with the eternally human subject of lovers, some kind of late and modern descendants of the couples shown in passionate embrace in ancient Indian art, say Konarak and Khajuraho. Deeply felt, intensely passionate, these firmly drawn lovers are infused with a humanity one misses only too often in some of our more abstract moderns--though Miss Rehmatulla's manner is as contemporary as can be....
She may err occasionally on the side of anecdotal illustration, too much attention to subject matter, but she paints figures and houses with exquisite tones and admirable brush work (using some gravel to bolden the impasto). There is no doubt that she has much to say, that she knows how to say it: a splendidly trained draughtsman, she can paint a portrait and fill it with both likeness and pictorial intensity. In a strangely dramatic picture "Dwellings" kept in dull grey tints, she contrasts the miserable hovels of the poor with the great mansions of the rich.......Among the profoundly felt canvasses and perhaps the most burningly passionate picture of all is a single figure called "Prayer" that alone would make a visit worth while.
Miss Rehmatulla has always had the one per cent inspiration: it seems to me that
this time we have the 99 per cent hard work too! ...that she is a born painter with a great talent, I have no doubt".
CHARLES LOUIS FABRI Art Historian, Art Critic, Author
"Few painters anywhere today speak so eloquently through the human figure as Zehra Rehmatulla. With candor of statement and spare use of color, she confronts the viewer with his own most basic emotions. And both her palette and her draftsmanship are free of sentimentality........ One of her works, "The Artist As A Child" ("Moharram") is a classic specimen of Rehmatulla's mastery, embodying in superb proportion all those qualities which compound the power of her artistry and the individuality of the style...The chant of the composition and the low-key colors are charged with vibrance by the sudden upward thrust of a gold symbol from the center of the procession. The artist puts the final stamp of her genius upon this masterpiece with the piquant innocence of her own self-portrait as a child, half in, half out of the scene--a part of it but nearly detached from it by the child's gentle, almost puzzled gesture of prayer.
An economy of color, which prevents dissipation of mood, is characteristic of her work. And, however abstracted the finished canvas might appear, underlying every painting by Rehmatulla is draftsmanship of rare strength......Then, there is always light, white light. "Jama Masjid"...
"Basti II," ..."Mela At Khajuraho" (are) superb examples of this bold exploitation of large white areas of reflected light through which abstractions of human figures propel color in vertical and lyrical motion,... startlingly bold expanses of white light ...permeate the painting and the whole scene is diffused by the white glare of a summer noon...Human figures whose delineations melt into the heat and glimmer of light, become a counter rhythm to the masses of the composition, winding through and up its planes in irresistible movement.
These are some of the technical qualities of her painting which, integrated by her obvious sincerity and the equally obvious swiftness of an unerring knife, combine to create a unique and authentic signature of style.
Any effort to analyze the style of a major artist is full of pitfalls. After all the picking apart has been done, there always remain the elusive and indefinable qualities which integrate the elements of talent, skill , technique, and which comprise the artist's genius...."
EDWARD E. POST Publisher, Editor, Author
Critique at request of Dr. M.S.Randhawa for "ROOP LEKHA" Govt. of India's
Official Cultural Magazine published by All India Fine Arts & Crafts Society (AIFACS)