On the eve of the opening of the India Art Fair 2015, veteran artist Rameshwar Broota’s retrospective opened at the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA), Saket, Delhi, as a collateral event.
Titled “Visions of Integrity: Interrogating the male body” and curated by Rubina Karode, the exhibit presented a wide range of paintings of the artist done between 1963 and 2013.
According to Karode, Broota stands distinctly alone among the generation of artists, in seeking consistent engagement with the male body, over five decades of his art practice. “While the female nude seen through the male gaze, remained predominant in 20th century Indian art, the bare male body was largely represented by mythical and heroic figures.
For Broota, the male body has continued to be a site of investigation. Endless articulations of its anatomical structure, corporeal force and erotic potential has made him render the masculine power through self conscious rigour and restraint.”
Broota who joined Triveni Kalasangam’s art department as a teacher in 1967 credits it for his success as an artist. “Coming back to my studio in Triveni where I have been teaching all these years, it was the right kind of environment and the large space of the studio that almost impelled me to experience the pleasure of the physical space of large canvases?”
He also said the environment of the place where “while teaching, I learnt to how to teach; while painting, I learnt what I know about art today.”
Broota who wishes to communicate everything through the visual feel of his work has worked on several fascinating series of paintings over the years including MAN series, Metamorphosis, Traces of Man Ape & MAN series,and so on. His unique way of handling monochromatic colours on canvas and using blades to make minute hashings have won him many admirers.
The KNMA exhibit provides a fabulous opportunity to look at the whole body of work which has been collected by various individual and corporate collectors over a period. A book on Broota's life and work was also released on 28th January much to the delight of the large group of art lovers who had gathered on the occasion. Besides Broota’s retrospective, KNMA is also hosting a group show titled “Working Space Around Memory and Perception” which features ensemble of artists including Nazreen Mohamedi, Zarina Hashmi, Pooja Iranna, and others.