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'43 Group (art collective)

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'43 Group
Years active29 August 1943–
LocationSri Lanka
Major figuresLionel Wendt, Geoffrey Beling, George Claessen, Aubrey Collette, Justin Daraniyagala, Richard Gabriel, George Keyt, Ivan Peries, Harry Pieris, L. T. P. Manjusri Thero and others.
InfluencesSri Lankan art, European art, Charles Freegrove Winzer
InfluencedProgressive Artists' Group (PAG)

The '43 Group was a 20th-century modern art school established in August 1943 in Colombo, Sri Lanka (then British Ceylon).

The group was essentially an association of like-minded artists who had broken away from the Ceylon Society of Arts, led by photographer and critic Lionel Wendt, and originally included nine painters as key members (listed alphabetically): Geoffrey Beling, George Claessen, Aubrey Collette, Justin Daraniyagala, Richard Gabriel, George Keyt, Ivan Peries, Harry Pieris (the first and only Secretary of the Group), and the Ver. Manjusri Thero,[1][2][3]

The group were influenced by Charles Freegrove Winzer, to whom Keyt and Beling had been pupils.[4][5][6][7]

The paintings of the group constituted a historic break in Sri Lankan and, more generally, South Asian tradition. Art historian Jagath Weerasinghe wrote that the most significant achievement of the 43 Group was their localization of European modernist trends into a distinctively Sri Lankan modernist art.[8]

Lester James Peries became a later associate of the group.[3]

The Group also promoted Kandyan dance and other Sri Lankan dance forms.[9]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Modern Art in Sri Lanka (later known as L T P Manjusri). Albert Dharmasiri
  2. ^ Elements of an art lover Archived 2015-06-12 at the Wayback Machine, Ceylon Today, Retrieved 10 June 2015
  3. ^ a b Remembering a patriotic artist by Godwin Witane, Retrieved 11 June 2015
  4. ^ "Charles Freegrove Winzer". Art Ceylon. Retrieved 14 August 2020.
  5. ^ "George Keyt". Taprobane Collection. Retrieved 14 August 2020.
  6. ^ 43 Group: A Chronicle of Fifty Years of Art in Sri Lanka. p. 16. Winzer provided a window into a fresh and unfamiliar world of painting. He introduced them to the work of the Impressionists; to Pissarro, Manet, Renoir, Degas, Cezanne, Gauguin, Van Gogh; and Picasso and Matisse.
  7. ^ "GEORGE KEYT (1901-1993), Bhima and Jarasandha". Christie's. Retrieved 14 August 2020.
  8. ^ Turner, Caroline, ed. (2005). Art and social change : contemporary art in Asia and the Pacific. Canberra: Pandanus Books. ISBN 174076112X. OCLC 191935321.
  9. ^ Traditional dance in British Ceylon Archived 2016-10-22 at the Wayback Machine by Kamalika Pieris (The Island), Retrieved 22 October 2016