Monday, April 8, 2019



 ( THE JUDGEMENT..Oil on Canvas by Bhushen Kaul)

( Semi Impressionistic KASHMIR LANDSCAPE by Bhushen Kaul )
(MEMOIRS OF A SCRIBE by Bhushen Kaul)
( PARADISE LOST  by Bhushen Kaul)

                 ( Above Painting of Bhushen Kaul  sent by  Delhi based Artist Vijay Kaul  )

                                           ( Portrait of  artist Bhushen Kaul by Ravi Dhar )
 BHUSHEN  KAUL .....(Born 1948 )

Born at Sopore Kashmir , Bhushen Kaul belongs to a family that produced writers like  Hriday Kaul Bharti and  Umesh Kaul ;both happen to be his real brothers. His sister was also into theatre and drama and so was Ajit the youngest  who was actively involved with applied arts. From Sopore ,the family moved to Srinagar ,a city that gave them a new home  till 1990.

He  studied art and did post-graduation  from reputed M.S.  University, Baroda . He held  many  group exhibitions  and  many solos .His  exhibited his work in Bangladesh,Turkey, Cuba ,USA and many more countries. He exhibited it at Mumbai, Delhi Kolkata , Chennai and many more cities in India. I believe last exhibition he did at Jammu in the year  2015.
 There is  hardly  any art critic or connoisseur of art in the country who has not appreciated , written or commented upon his work. He has been a   friend ,philosopher  and guide to many apart from being  a  role model for his students at the  Institute of Music And Fine Arts, Srinagar  where he served for many years.

 Noted sculptor  Padamshri Rajendra Tiku  told me this  :

" He is a real Guru and a master . His paintings bear stamp of his  individual style. His sketch work is fantastic. I had the closest association with him and  thank god it remains so to this day. I will tell you an anecdote. Possibly in September 1973, when he was my teacher, he made some drawings on my sketchbook. He had not signed them. A few years ago when he came to Jammu, he visited my house and i brought the sketchbook for his signatures. He took no time to sign his   work. Sometime later, i went to a reputed framer's shop in Delhi to get all those sketches framed.  The framer, who happens to be an art  connoisseur , was highly impressed by these sketches. Looking at them , he told me :-
' Who has done these sketches? I have seen and framed sketches in  thousands  but not seen something like this. Can i keep them for one day? I will put them on my wall for one day and keep looking at them. '  I allowed him to look at these sketches for three days.  That is Bushen Koul. Besides being a learned and profound artist, Bhushen Ji (as we call him) has been a strong and eternal 'Pillar' of Systematic Art Academics in  the state of J&K. Having been a direct student of luminaries like N.S.Bendre, K.G.Subramanayan,Jyoti Bhatt,and Prof Parimoo,he very  earnestly introduced at the Institute of Fine Arts, Srinagar , an academic system on pedagogical structure like the Faculty of Fine Arts  ,M.S University , Baroda.Needless to say that a number of his students including me got highly benefited with the same.All of us here owe  debt  to Bhushen Ji.    "



 Noted columnist and writer ,Ravinder Kaul   told me this:-

 " He's an amazing painter. Many years ago the Institute of Music and Fine Arts,  teachers and students had put up an exhibition cum sale of their work at the Abhinav Theatre complex in Jammu. It was a stupendous success (why it was never repeated despite being a grand success the first time around remains a mystery that defies logic and rationale). I bought quite a few works of art in the exhibition which were being sold at amazingly low prices.After a month or so, as I was returning from Europe and had a stopover at Istanbul airport, I met Rajendra Tiku , who was returning from Israel after attending a camp over there. I told him that the only regret I will have in life is that I could not buy the works of Bhushen Kaul  and Rajindra Tiku in the exhibition as these had already been sold out by the time I reached the venue. I'm a great admirer of the creative genius of both these artists." 

Sometime in 2009  ,  he  exhibited his work in Delhi .Commenting on his work , Statesman newspaper  wrote this  :

" The sensitive artist has laid threadbare the heart lacerating experience of the tragedy that struck Kashmir------ Bhushen’s birth place. That he raises no accusing finger on anyone  makes it more unbearable Bhushen has been able to bring the widest scope to his personal predicament, privation, misery by raising it to the level of universal loss and therefore tragedy of immense magnitude. This as is well known, happens to poetic souls in all art forms. To unburden himself of a personal tragedy he had to understand and internalize its basic structure to handle it properly poetically. He had to internalize colour to colour it with the true content and quality of tragedy that had struck him so as to pour itself out in detached forms in order to secure them from petty particularization, lugubrious sentiment, maudlin emotion. What required was the constant application of severe controls on blending, choice and handling of colours. To have been able to open out his soul in such wonderful manner is a great tribute to him .The sensitive artist has laid threadbare the heart lacerating experience of the tragedy that struck Kashmir------ Bhushen’s birth place. That he raises no accusing finger on any makes it more unbearable."

And Times of India wrote this:-

" The most rewarding show in the town is that of Bhushen Koul. What catches your eye at first instance is the spontaneous interaction of glowing colours on his canvases. They are pleasing and lively without being sentimental. Also these colours are Bhushen's own, they carry no hangover of any other, tried and tested palette. "

And it was artist Bhushen Koul who saw talent in Zargar Zahoor , Delhi based noted painter from  the Kashmir valley   and advised him to go  to Baroda for proper training. About his Art, Bushen Kaul says this :

 “Experience enlivened and observed – that is my art .I reconstruct inexplicably exuberant feelings and look at them with pensive wonderment."

For sometime ,i would see him  quite often in Talab Tillo area of Jammu city .  Did he live there ? Can't say but he would be seen around Bharat Nagar or  street No. 7. I am told that after the unfortunate  death of  his wife , he has moved to Jaipur to live with his son  . From Jaipur , he keeps travelling to Mumbai where his another son stays. His children are well settled . Does he paint now? I don't know .Whatever be the case , he is the most talented artist around .He is also a recipient of  many State and National awards .A father figure who is least bothered about awards and publicity. And his work commands  respect and good  price in the world of art  collectors and connoisseurs.

Like Nadim's  poetry that carries  hidden  music, Bhushen's canvases convey abundance of romance in colours. Never ever have I found his colours  gaudy. Will we ever  recognise our own icons?

(Avtar Mota)

For photographs of five  Bhushen Kaul's  paintings , my sincere thanks to my friend Ravinder Kaul. Thanks to Padamshri Rajendra Tiku for some  other inputs.

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