Paintings, Sketches etchings and drawings by Jamini Roy, one of the earliest and most significant modern artist from India, are now being displayed at the National Gallery of Modern Art here in the Capital.
With strong and simple forms and vibrant colours, the Bengal-born artist popularised simple folk idioms and themes and ‘wanted to paint in a way that even the ordinary village person could understand his art,’ according to Rajeev Lochan, Director, National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA).
‘He was one of the distinguished artists who understood what living art forms were, and that is what folk art is all about. He imbibed it as a part of larger understanding and developed a language that was the language of its people,’ Lochan said.
To commemorate the 125th birth anniversary of the artist NGMA is showcasing around 200 of his artworks in a two-month long exhibition titled Jamini Roy (18871972): Journey to the Roots which began on 24 June.
The show also mounts photographs of the artist and explanatory wall texts, all organised thematically into six categories-Portraits, landscapes, copies of European Masters; Suite of paintings featuring Santhals; calligraphic brush paintings; Village community; Mother and Child; Birds and beasts; Epics, myths and folk cuts; Krishna Leela; Life of Christ; Sculptures; Drawings and sketches.
The collection has been curated by Ella Datta, who brought forward distinguished and selective works of Roy already present in the collection of NGMA and also includes borrowed works from the personal collection of art collector Abhishek Poddar and artist A Ramachandran.
‘Jamini Roy's art interested the peasants, villagers and adivasis. His dramatic use of vibrant colour and their depiction interested the natives. They connected more with the art,’ said curator Datta.
The inaugural ceremony also showcased a silent film on Jamini Roy. It was followed by another film on the artist produced by NGMA itself.
This is the second huge exhibition on Roy's works by NGMA which had in 1987 put up a show to celebrate 100 years of his birth.