Jamini Roy: Journey to the Roots

Shradha Ramesh celebrates the 125th birth anniversary of Jamini Roy

 New York: The current exhibit ‘Journey to the Roots’ at the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), Delhi, evokes a sense of nostalgia. As the title notes, the exhibit celebrates the 125th centennial of Jamini Roy (1887-1972), one of India’s most celebrated 20th century artists. He is one of the pioneers of modern Indian art, who revolutionized the field and created a new visual language. A language that was more egalitarian and forthright.

I would like to quote the Cultural Minister Chandresh Kumari Katoch who described the artist in the best light: “Jamini Roy’s contribution in the growth and shaping of modern Indian art is well-established and enormously significant. His artworks have a particular appeal in the popular imagination because of their strong, simple forms and vibrant colours…” His painting style is an eclectic representation of both Western training and Indian inspiration. Seeing his style one might refer to him as modern India’s outsider artist. But there is lot more to the artist and his work.

Born in Beliatore, West Bengal, his repertoire evolved from classical British academic nudes and landscapes to scenes that appropriated forms of folk and calligraphic expression.

A student of Abanindranath Tagore at Santiniketan, Calcutta, he was trained in western academic styles. He later gained inspiration from Indian epics and episodes such as the Ramayana and Mahabharatha for his two dimensional paintings. His oeuvre was also strongly influenced by Kalighat Patuas, a popular painting genre from his region. This folk painting style is linear, with bold and vibrant colors. Jamini Roy had captured the essence of this traditional Bengali style of painting and incorporated it with his own modern sensibility.

The NGMA exhibit is an odyssey through the artistic explorations of Jamini Roy’s lifetime. A mellifluous blend of modern thought with traditional themes and indigenous brush strokes, his works speak volumes.

Krishna with Cow 2, Jamini Roy

Krishna with Cow 2, Jamini Roy. Image Credit: http://www.aicongallery.com/artists/jamini-roy/#/images/9/

To read more on the exhibit click here.

Art+Auction’s Power Collectors 2012: Kiran Nadar

Medha Kapur of Saffronart shares a note on Art+Auction’s 2012 Power Collectors List which features Indian collector Kiran Nadar

Art+Auction's Power 2012Every year, Art+Auction publishes its ‘Power’ list, spotlighting those individuals who have stood out in the art world over the year. This year, the nine-part list, which was released last week, includes experts from all corners of the arts: Auction Power, the Power of TraditionPower CollectorsDesign PowerPower DealersPower PatronsPower PlayersPower to Watch, and Power Personalities.

Being on Art+Auction’s Power 100 list, an individual shares only one characteristic with the fellow listees: distinction! So,how is who does and doesn’t make the list determined?

ARTINFO, under whose banner Art+Auction is published, canvas widely, soliciting contributions from all over the world to make sure the list is comprehensive. They aim to strike a balance between equally valid yet frequently competing areas of influence —weighing curatorial prominence against the character, agency, and the clout of individuals. Connections, magnetism, and leadership also play a role, especially when it comes to private collectors. A candidate’s future potential or ascendancy is also a quality they try to assess when considering for potential inclusion on the list.

The third of nine installments published by Art+Auction this year includes a list of individuals who are putting together groundbreaking collections: ‘Power Collectors.’ Among the top power collectors of 2012 is one well known name in India – one of the most important collectors of modern and contemporary Indian art – Kiran Nadar. Other collectors on the list include François Pinault, George Economou, Leon Black (who recently acquired Edvard Munch’s 1895 pastel version of The Scream for $120 million, the most expensive work of art sold at auction to date), and Len Blavatnik.

Kiran Nadar

Kiran Nadar with an installation by Subodh Gupta.
Image Courtesy: http://www.artinfo.com

Nadar established the KNMA (Kiran Nadar Museum of Art), India’s first privately owned museum, which has an illustrious collection of about 700 modern and contemporary works. In 2010, Nadar bought S.H. Raza’s 1983 painting Saurashtra for a record-breaking £2,393,250 ($3.5 million) at an auction house in London. In April 2012, Nadar unveiled her most ambitious acquisition yet — Subodh Gupta’s 26-ton, 30-foot-high Line of Control, first displayed at the 2009 Tate Triennial. Line of Control was installed at the central foyer of the DLF South Court Mall in Saket, Delhi. It took 80 man hours, about 3 dozen people, unimaginable logistical effort, and superb execution to erect one of the largest public sculptures in the country.

Saurashtra | S H Raza 1983

Saurashtra | S H Raza
Image Courtesy: http://www.knma.in/

Line of Control | Subodh Gupta 2008

Line of Control | Subodh Gupta
Image Courtesy: http://www.knma.in/

The KNMA possesses works by other artists including Tyeb MehtaNasreen MohamediM.F. HusainAnish KapoorArpita Singh, F.N. SouzaJamini RoyA. Ramachandran , S.H. RazaSubodh GuptaJogen Chowdhury, Krishen KhannaManjit BawaN. S. HarshaRam KumarRameshwar Broota, and V.S. Gaitonde among others. Some of the more noteworthy ones include Bharti Kher’s The Skin Speaks A Language Not Its Own, Rina Banerjee’s The world as burnt fruit and Akbar Padamsee’s Grey Nude.

The Skin, Speaks a Language Not Its Own | Bharti Kher 2006

The Skin, Speaks a Language Not Its Own | Bharti Kher
Image Courtesy: http://www.knma.in/

Grey Nude | Akbar Padamsee 1960

Grey Nude | Akbar Padamsee
Image Courtesy: http://www.knma.in/

The World as Burnt Fruit | Rina Banerjee 2009

The World as Burnt Fruit | Rina Banerjee
Image Courtesy: http://www.knma.in/

Kiran Nadar is married to Shiv Nadar, founder chairman of HCL Technologies and the Shiv Nadar Foundation.

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