Art Term

43 Group

43 Group was a modern art movement formed in Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) in 1943 by a group of young, pro-independence painters who were committed to promoting a Sri Lankan form of modernism

Lionel Wendt
[title not known] (c.1934–7)

There was no common stylistic technique that connected the artists of the 43 Group, except a commitment to free expression and an appreciation of post-impressionism and expressionism. Many of the members associated with the group were well traveled, had studied in Europe, and were frustrated by the reactionary approach to modern art back in Colombo. Salon style meetings were held at the house of Lionel Wendt a photographer and patron of the arts. In 1955 the group exhibited at the Venice Biennale, where they were championed as a radical example of modern Asian art.

The group disbanded in the mid-1960s as the political climate worsened in Sri Lanka and many members emigrated.

Artists associated with the 43 Group include: Harry Peiris, Justin Deraniyagala, George Keyt, Ivan Peries, Richard Gabriel, Aubrey Collette, L. T. P. Manjusri, W. J. G. Beling, George Claessen and their patron, the photographer Lionel Wendt.

  • Post-impressionism

    Post-impressionism is a term which describes the changes in impressionism from about 1886, the date of last Impressionist group show in Paris

  • Modernism

    Modernism refers to a global movement in society and culture that from the early decades of the twentieth century sought a new alignment with the experience and values of modern industrial life. Building on late nineteenth-century precedents, artists around the world used new imagery, materials and techniques to create artworks that they felt better reflected the realities and hopes of modern societies.

  • Expressionism

    Expressionism refers to art in which the image of reality is distorted in order to make it expressive of the artist’s inner feelings or ideas