Gandhi sculp­ture is now a per­ma­nent ex­hibit at NGMA

The Sunday Guardian - - Artbeat - BY OUR COR­RE­SPON­DENT

As the na­tion launches year­long cel­e­bra­tions lead­ing up to the 150th birth an­niver­sary of Ma­hatma Gandhi, a bust of the Fa­ther of the Na­tion ooz­ing seren­ity fea­tures in a per­ma­nent sculp­tural ex­hi­bi­tion at the Na­tional Gallery of Mod­ern Art (NGMA) that has been mounted to pro­vide equal lime­light to the genre rather than just fo­cus on paint­ing.

“With his closed eyes, calm­ness pre­vails on his face which stands in com­mu­nion with the sig­nif­i­cant rep­re­sen­ta­tion of three mon­keys in a gar­landed man­ner en­cir­cling his neck,” NGMA direc­tor Ritu Sharma said of the bronze bust ti­tled Hey Ram”.

The ex­hi­bi­tion, ti­tled “Chehre”, opened on Tues­day and the bust, by the late S.G. Shrikhande, is NGMA’s art­work of the month.

Chehre mean­ing faces, fea­tures rarely- seen por­trait pieces cast in me­tal, stone and wood by noted In­dian sculp­tors.

Sharma said the works were part of the gallery’s per­ma­nent re­serves and are only now see­ing the light of the day.

“They were in stor­age for a long time. Since the medium of paint­ing has been gen­er­ally em­pha­sised, we are now ded­i­cat­ing one floor of our gallery to just to the sculp­tures,” Sharma told IANS.

“The sec­ond phase of this ex­hi­bi­tion, to come about in Sculp­ture ti­tled Hey Ram. an­other two months, would fo­cus on the non- por­trait sculp­tures,” she added.

Put to­gether by NGMA’s in-house cu­ra­to­rial team, the the­atri­cally-placed por­trait sculp­tures seem to be in con­ver­sa­tion with each other.

One dis­tinctly gets the im­pres­sion that a bronze por­trait by sculp­tor Ramkinkar Baij is in con­ver­sa­tion with por­traits by Sar­bari Roy Chowd­hury, Latika Katt, C. Dak­shi­na­murthy, Him­mat Shah, B. Srini­vas Reddy and D.L.N. Reddy.

“The way this ex­hi­bi­tion has been con­cep­tu­alised is as if they are in­ter­act­ing with each other,” Sharma said.

The ex­hi­bi­tion also show­cases in­di­vid­u­al­is­tic works of art by Bi­man Das, K.S. Rad­hakr­ish­nan, Ami­tava Bhowmick, Hemi Bawa, Soma Chakrabor­thy, Par­i­tosh Sen, C. S. N Pat­naik, Su­bodh Kerkar, Ashok Gaur, Bipin Bi­hari Goswa- mi, Jad­han Chan­dra Sen, M.K Puri, Suzanne Ben­ton, N.S Pradeep Kumar, Ak­bar Padamsee, Tarak Garai, Babita Chauhan, Shashi Arora, Pa­ban Kumar Dhibar, M. Mack Greene, V. K. Ra­jan, Pushp Be­tala, P.R. Daroz, Ajit Khakravarti and Ra­jesh Kumar Sharma.

NGMA, es­tab­lished in 1954, houses mod­ern and con­tem­po­rary works by artists and sculp­tors from In­dia’s ma­jor art move­ments. IANS

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