Gandhi sculpture is now a permanent exhibit at NGMA
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