Ancestor at Work

KAB 2024

Medium: Oil on Canvas 
Dimensions: 21.5 x 32 in
Year: 1969

About the Art

In the final installment of this series, "Ancestor at Work" captures Tej Bahadur Chitrakar engaged in the ritual color coating of a wood-carved image meant for a temple or shrine strut. Typically, such images in struts are meticulously painted to depict the carved deities according to iconographical details. A 
yet-to-be-painted tympanum is seen resting on his left wall, and two struts are positioned on the right.

The artist incorporates familiar elements in each painting, such as earthen-colored pots, straw mats, and raw wool mats, sourced directly from his own household. Another consistent feature is the depiction of a dimly lit environment, where Chitrakar strategically places certain elements in shaded areas, creating a captivating dramatic effect. The source of light is always focused solely on the main subject.

Executed in the later stages of his artistic journey, these paintings stand as some of Tej Bahadur Chitrakar's most representative works. They showcase his matured taste for subject matter, an ability to fictionalize compositions, and, above all, consummate technical skill in rendering them in pictorial form. The execution of an authentic ambiance within the subject matter attests to the exceptional quality of these works.

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