Scratched-out erring words and phrases gave birth to the painter Rabindranath. His aesthetic self was yearning to turn discord into harmony and death into renewal. And we see the emergence of rhythmic contours and characters in his lines.
Tagore took to painting only in his later life in the 1920s when he was already a name to reckon with in the world of literature. Although entirely untained, he emerged as a major artist in the Indian art scene with his thought-provoking innovations.
"I am hopelessly entangled in the spell that the lines have cast around me
.It is the element of unpredictability in art that seems to fascinate me strongly." - he said. From creating simple waves, he goes on to draw a captivating creature of hybrid anatomy suggesting brute force or the familiar Santiniketan trees and pathways.
A sense of drama is central to Rabindranath's paintings. The darkness in many of his paintings is not the darkness of the night
His self-portraits reflect a deeper psychological need - that of a creative person always in search of his self. But it is his landscapes, more soothing than his grotesques or human or animal figures that remain his best admired works.
"Limited in space" but "unlimited in diversity" - that is Rabindranath's Tagore's painting.
About the Author:
Born and educated in Kerala R. Siva Kumar came to Santiniketan to further his studies in fine arts. Presently a professor of art history at Visva-Bharati he has written extensively on modern art. Better known among his publications are known among his publications are books on artists associated with Santiniketan. Santiniketan Murals published by Visva-Bharati and Seagull Books and Santiniketan: The Making of a Contextual Modernism, a two-volume book on A Ramahandran and another on K S Radhakrishnan deserve mention. He has curated several exhibitions for the National Gallery of Modern Art. The exhibition entitled Santiniketan: The Making of a Contextual Modernism was published in a book form. Another exhibition, entitled K G Subramanyan: A Retrospective was also published as a book by the same name. R Siva Kumar also co-curated an exhibition on post independence Indian Art entitled Twisted Destiny for Singapore Art Museum. Presently, he is engaged in co-curating another exhibition on Benode Behari for the National Gallery of Modern Art in Delhi to mark the birth centenary of the artist.
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