The boatmen rowing into a landscape with clear skies, the blue of the boat reflecting in the still water — the calm is unmistakable; reflective of the master painter Jamini Roy. Painted in the 1920s, the Post-Impressionist work belongs to a period before the Bengal artist moved to more rooted representations, observes Reena Lath of Akar Prakar Art Advisory. The gallerist suggests the oil on canvas is one of his rare works. “He was in his 40s when he gave up working with oils and renounced the sophisticated style which he acquired through his training as an artist under the British rule. Thereafter, he began using Indian motifs and materials from his observations of folk artists and craftsmen, the memories instilled from his childhood spent in Bankura district of West Bengal,” says Lath.
She is showing 17 works of the master in an exhibition. Spanning ’30s to the ’70s, these trace his evolution to Kalighat paintings, the bold strokes and flat colour application. “They are borrowed from collectors, who directly acquired from his studio,” says Lath.
The display varies from an Impressionist cat, from before he started painting them folksy to a disappointed Jesus looking down in a minimalist ink-and-wash on paper. The doe-eyed Gopini is in bright hues that Roy is associated with and Krishna is dancing to the tune of his own flute in a gouache. “It’s difficult to give the exact year these were made, since he didn’t date his work, but we have attempted to showcase his wide repertoire,” says Lath.
The exhibition is on at Akar Prakar Art Advisory, Hauz Khas Village, till January 6. Contact: 26868558
The story appeared in print with the headline Medium Rare
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