Laxman Narayan Taskar's paintings mirror the ideals of academic realism introduced by the British within their art education system. Indian artists were trained in naturalism, with lessons in soft effects of chiaroscuro and the three-dimensionality of the external world. History painting, perspective, and the copying of Victorian portraits became a vital ingredient within these art schools.
In 1898, Taskar joined the Sir J. J. School of Art, Bombay as an art teacher. Adopting the style of objective accuracy, formal order and an interest in visual narration, his paintings concentrated on 'slices of everyday life'. They became a tool for reflecting upon contemporary social reality, where he soon replaced mythological figures with common people in their local environments. Moods of festivities, celebration and local people engaged in rituals and routines were all lucidly portrayed by him through the use of vibrant colours. The women are often shown in familial or community settings, and rarely as private beings. In defiance of the academic norms of the time, Taskar is one of the few artists who painted subjects such as courtesans, staring confidently out of the frame, as opposed to the usually passive portrayals.
Despite the rigid academic discipline inherent in art schools, Taskar made several departures from his training in the transparent water colour technique. Sometimes, his oils adopt the lightness and airiness of his watercolours. The visibility of the pencil drawing underneath enhances the formal construction of the work, energising the outdoor atmosphere with a soothing lightness. Taskarís works were part of several collections, the most prominent of which is that of Sir Ganga Singhji Bahadur, the Maharaja of Bikaner.
Adopting the style of objective accuracy, formal order and an interest in narration, with objects and spaces modelled illusionistically, his paintings perform the social function of concentrating on everyday slices of life, generating attention on local imagery. When the artistic frame is constructed around places and events, it seems easier to discover its distinct local flavour, and that is the message that Taskars paintings send across to the spectator. There is a strong local aesthetic in Taskars paintings, and inspite of the rigid academic discipline inherent in the art schools, the artist made several departures from his training in the transparent watercolour technique. One can clearly locate this in his painting, Market Place, where within the framework of measured form and proportion, use of aerial perspective and focal strategies, forms move back and forth in the visual field. The presence of pencil drawing enhances the formal construction of the work, with the outdoor atm.
- J. J. School of Art, Bombay
Teaching experience :
- 1898 : Appointed as Art Teacher, J. J. School of Art, Bombay
- 2005 : Manifestations III, organised by Delhi Art Gallery, Nehru Center, Mumbai and Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi
- 2004 : Manifestations II, organised by Delhi Art Gallery, Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai and Delhi Art Gallery, New Delhi
- 1930 : Mysore Dussehra Exhb, Mysore
- 1935, 1933, 1930 : Annual Exhb., Simla Fine Arts Society, Simla
- 1939, 1938, 1936, 1935, 1933, 1929, 1930, 1926, 1925, 1909 : Annual Exhb., Bombay Art Society, Bombay
- 1927, 1922, 1904 : Annual Exhb., Madras Art Society, Madras
- 1935, 1933 : Simla Fine Arts Society, Simla
- 1930 : Mysore Dussehra Exhb., Mysore
- 1909, 1925, 1926, 1929, 1930, 1933, 1935, 1936 : Bombay Art Society, Bombay
- 1904, 1922, 1927 : Madras Art Society, Madras
- 1898 : Awarded Certificate for Elementary Architecture. Awarded Mayo Medal, Bombay
- 1898 : Awarded Certificate for Elementary Architecture
- 1895, 1894, 1889 : Awarded Art Certificate, Bombay
- Sri Bhavani Museum, Aundh
- Kerala Museum, Thiruvananthapuram
- Prince of Wales Museum, Mumbai
- Delhi Art Gallery, New Delhi