Sunday, November 28

Baij’s unseen-520 now go virtual

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On the occasion of the 115th birth anniversary of Ramkinkar Baij, the National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi organised a virtual tour on Tuesday featuring 520 never-seen-before works of the Bengal master.

A student of Kala Bhavana in Santiniketan, Baij trained under Nandalal Bose and later joined as faculty along with Bose and Benodebihari Mukherjee, taking Santniketan to the pinnacle of modern art movement in pre-independence India. Baij is best known for his mammoth sculptures that adorn public spaces, especially because he introduced the use of cement, laterite and mortar while creating them. Mill Call, Santhal Family, Buddha and Sujata are some of his landmark creations.

NGMA, which has the largest collection of Baij’s works, put up for display his coveted sketch book with 182 drawings. For art-lovers, there were also 16 portraits, 149 life studies, 25 abstract and structural compositions, 112 nature study and landscape sketches and paintings and 35 sculptures to view.

“We have a total of 639 works of the artist, of which we displayed 520 today. Most have been displayed for the first time. We want artists to study the restless experiment that Baij did with forms — figurative and abstractive,” said Adwaita Gadanayak, director general of NGMA.

Art historian R Sivakumar, who teaches at Visva-Bharati, said: “People don’t get to see these works otherwise because they are not on display. However, they need to publicise such events better so that more and more people can be part of such virtual tours.”


Source: Times of India

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