Lady in a Pink Saree
Journey to the Roots (Loan)
Jamini Roy – ‘Journey to the Roots’.
20 March, 2015 - 30 April, 2015
On the occasion of Jamini Roy’s 125th birth anniversary in 2012, the National Gallery of Modern Art, Delhi held one of his largest retrospectives, titled Jamini Roy – Journey to the Roots. One of India’s most well known modernists, Roy famously rejected his formal fine-art training in the late 1920s and early 1930s in order to develop a unique style that borrowed from the idioms of Bengali folk art. His work is central therefore, to any discussion of ‘Indian modernisms’ and the movement from academic realism towards a mediated ‘nativist’ style.
The MAP collection has one of the largest holdings of work by Jamini Roy in the country, spanning the entire breadth of his career, and we were delighted to lend work to this exhibition, that attempts to map the evolutionary course of his aesthetic practice by highlighting the wide variety of his output.
Curated by Ella Datta, the exhibition housed over two hundred works in all, and was divided into thirteen themes ranging from Roy’s iconic paintings of doe-eyed women, to his Christ series, Krishna series, reproductions of European paintings and even a few sculptures in wood that he had made in his remarkable career that spanned over six decades.
Jamini Roy is easily recognised by his bright colours and bold lines, as also by his prolific presence in any major publication, exhibition or collection of ‘Indian Art’. “Once [the] artist Bhavesh Sanyal asked him that people say that you have opened a ‘karkhana’ or factory to which he said, ‘I want my paintings to be affordable and I want every Bengali household to hang my work. If I don’t increase the supply then how will it be available to people?,” recounts Datta on Roy’s comfort with reproducing his own works.
If not exactly a household name at large, Roy has in the decades that followed, certainly gained a certain kind of universal appreciation — popular amongst art historians and laymen alike. Analysing his life and work, and his significance to Indian art through its accompanying monograph, this exhibition grants its audience a unique opportunity to observe the breadth and scope of Jamini Roy’s oeuvre.
A large segment of Jamini Roy – Journey to the Roots travels to the National Gallery of Modern Art, Bangalore and opens on 20th April 2015. The exhibition that will stay on view till 30th April 2015, includes works loaned by MAP, and is a must-see for art lovers, students and connoisseurs alike.