T00724 Hills of Gold 1964
Inscribed 'Avinash 64' b.r.
Oil on canvas, 40 x 95 (101.5 x 241.5)
Presented by Dr and Mrs Gerhard Adler 1965
Prov: Dr and Mrs Gerhard Adler, London (purchased from the artist for presentation)
Exh: Indian Painting Now, Commonwealth Institute, London, January-February 1965 (38, repr.)
Lit: W.G. Archer, introduction to exh. catalogue Avinash Chandra, Hamilton Galleries, London, March 1965, n.p., repr.; Chandra material in the India Office Library, London
In his introduction to the Commonwealth Institute exhibition, W.G. Archer relates Chandra's work to the symbolic poems found in earlier Indian art and poetry: 'In Avinash Chandra's work sexual images play a vital role, but it is important to realise that they are almost always introduced as part of a much larger experience and in a wider context. They are symbols of exuberance, resilience, toughness and delight and part of their appeal lies in their constant blending with other poetic images: spires, trees, flowers, orchards, hills, moons and stars.' He developed the theme further in his introduction to the Hamilton Galleries exhibition (loc. cit.): 'During the making of the Monitor film on his work by BBC Television, Chandra began to introduce the female nude more boldly into his painting. He reverted, in other words, not only to traditional Indian attitudes but to a subject which accounts for some of the greatest Indian sculpture. He developed a more indolent and sumptuous line and while continuing to show great heads packed with teeming reveries, he began to delve into the body with almost surgical zest. At the same time he retained his Indian sense of men and women as part of Nature and of landscapes as human lovers. "Hills of Gold" is a blend of all these concepts. A giant nude, caressed by an invisible lover, is at the same time a red hill assailed by gusts of wind or banks of cloud. The nude has the solemn majesty of a long down; the hill something of the sultry glamour of a brooding enchantress.'
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.117