Talking Heads | The Indian Express


Written by Vandana Kalra
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Published: November 19, 2018 1:23:24 am


The show contains a number of acquainted faces: from SK Bakre’s plaster bust of philanthropist and industrialist Sir Cowasji Jehangir to Ram Sutar’s bronze of Mahatma Gandhi, Sarbari Roy Chowdhury’s portrait of Ustad Ali Akbar Khan and Latika Katt’s bronze of Somnath Hore.

When Adwaita Gadanayak took over because the Director General of the National Gallery of Modern Art in 2016, he was launched to its huge assortment. In the approaching months, he realised that it included a number of works which have hardly ever been exhibited. “The huge collection is meant to be shared with the public,” says Gadanayak. Much time was spent learning the gathering and in addition restoring works that had been wrapped and saved for years. A sculptor himself, Gadanayak intently monitored works belonging to the medium. Now, he intends to exhibit them in a collection of exhibitions within the coming months. “Unfortunately, the medium has not received its due. Sculpting is an expensive and labourious process that requires a lot of commitment from the artist. Many youngsters are not adept at it because they find it grueling,” says he.

So the primary exhibition designed to satisfy the aim, “Chehre” befittingly has on the entrance a sculpture of Rabindranath Tagore by Ramkinkar Baij, thought of one of many pioneers of contemporary Indian sculpture. “He was a visionary, a true master and modernist,” says Gadanayak. Talking concerning the showcase, he provides, “The art of modern portraiture in sculpture can be seen majorly from the colonial times, but with this exhibition a focus is drawn on the individualistic creativity of the artists rather than a particular academic style. It is interesting to study the distinctive style of each artist — for instance Ram Sutar has a lot of detailing, whereas in Baij’s work the personality of the person also comes through. We have attempted to curate the exhibition in a manner where the portraits seem to be talking to each other.”

The show contains a number of acquainted faces: from SK Bakre’s plaster bust of philanthropist and industrialist Sir Cowasji Jehangir to Ram Sutar’s bronze of Mahatma Gandhi, Sarbari Roy Chowdhury’s portrait of Ustad Ali Akbar Khan and Latika Katt’s bronze of Somnath Hore. Baij’s bronze portrait of Abanindranath Tagore additionally options within the exhibition, as do a number of portraits of Baij himself — if in Chowdhury’s 1965 bronze his options are chiseled and ringlets of hair stand out, in Tarak Garai’s 1989 work, the grasp is older and visibly haggard. “In a distinctive style, Baij experimented with unconventional material such as concrete, gravel and cement, looking to the rural landscape and tribal communities for subjects,” reads a panel that summarises the apply of sculpting in India. If we’re instructed that the 50s have been “marked by experimentation with wood and stone, in which the essential character of the solid block was retained”, within the subsequent twenty years “the sculptors celebrated the spirit of humanism and their work was also infused with a sense of the spiritual that is reminiscent of classical sculptural styles”.

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Incidentally, the sculpture of the month is Baij’s bronze titled Perambulator, with a mom carrying her baby. He can also be represented in “Roopantar”, one other exhibition devoted to hardly ever seen sculptures from the NGMA assortment. On show is his horse head in cement. Right on the entrance of this exhibition is SK Tutu Pattanaik’s Dadi Ma Ki Kahani that invokes childhood recollections, and SC Ahuja’s aluminium’s Musician. Ishwar Chandra Gouta experiments with terracotta in Putna Wadh. If Natraj Sharma’s Standing Man in fibreglass and wooden stands tall and appears into the eyes of the viewer, a plaque on Pushp Betala’s 1983 metallic work — with portraits of three males — reveals the work was priced Rs 4,000 in 1983, indicative of the artwork market again then.

Gadanayak shares how extra exhibitions shall be curated to showcase sculptures from the NGMA assortment. He additionally plans to fee new work. “I want to promote public works. I also want to commission young artists, conduct workshops with them, invest in the future,” says Gadanayak. The bigger goal is to make artwork much less intimidating for the lots. “Cafe Lota is going to open in the premises in a few months. More interactive sessions on art and workshops are also being planned. We want to help people understand and learn about Indian art. They should feel proud of our art that has also received global recognition,” says Gadanayak.

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