[P.N. Choyal]

P.N. Choyal’s “Man,” 1993
During our time in Korea and India, we were often amazed at the quality of the art we found. The galleries along Insadong and Daehagno streets in Seoul presented ample evidence of a lively contemporary art scene. In India, too, galleries in Jaipur, Udaipur and Kochi displayed fascinating works that were at once grounded in Indian culture and fully engaged with the global artistic developments of the last century.

Today the New York Times profiles Tyeb Mehta, the first Indian artist to break $1 million at auction. Mehta’s art is fine and all, but I’m not sure it’s better than some of the work I saw in India (although those slabs of bright color would certainly work well in a corporate lobby). One of our favorites was the venerable P.N. Choyal, a Rajasthani artist born in 1924. Some of his work is a bit maudlin, but when he’s on, as in his paintings “Man” (pictured above), Goverdhan Giridhari and Towards the White End, there is a luminous intensity, almost a fierceness, and in person they can be overpowering and hard to look at, though harder to ignore.

While we’re at it, you might want to visit India’s National Gallery of Modern Art.

Also published on Medium.