Artistic sensibility can be a part of your work even if you are not an artist: Subarna Patro, NGMA Curator

In Part II of our photo essay on NGMA’s 65th anniversary exhibition appropriately titled Itihaas, we feature more art works reflecting the growth of modern art in India, along with curator insights.

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India’s National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) is celebrating its 65th anniversary this year. In Part II of our photo essay on the celebratory exhibition, fittingly titled Itihaas (history), we showcase more works that represent the rise of modern art in India (see Part I of the photo essay here).

The Itihaas exhibition was conceptualised by NGMA DG Adwaita Gadanayak. Along with its regular exhibits, NGMA Bengaluru is showcasing over 100 sculptures along with paintings and drawings. This show will wrap up at the end of July; see also our coverage of earlier shows featuring Dhanraj Bhagat and Balan Nambiar.

The current exhibition showcases the works of artists such as Ramkinkar Baij (plaster and bronze), Sankho Choudhuri (marble), Kewal Soni (bronze), DP Roy Chowdhury (‘huddled labourer’), Chintamoni Kar (elliptical wood sculptures), Sarbari Roy Choudhuri (bronze), Fredda Brilliant (works on Nehru and Gandhi), and Amarnath Sehgal (bronze).

Other artists are Pilloo Pochkhanawala (lead), Uma Siddhanta (bronze), PA Mangudkar (marble), Prodosh Dasgupta (bronze), and Shirin Lal Virjee (bronze bust of actress Win Min Than). There are also linocuts on display, by Sudhi Khastgir.

Some of the artworks in the original exhibition at NGMA Delhi in 2017 were too large and heavy to be brought to Bengaluru, says Subarna Patro, Curator of NGMA Bengaluru, in a chat with YourStory. He has no particular favourite in the collection – all works are his favourite, he jokes.

The gallery attracts over 200 visitors a day on some occasions, according to Subarna. NGMA Delhi has over 18,000 works in its collection, with around 2,000 at NGMA Mumbai and 500 in NGMA Bengaluru. NGMA chose Bengaluru as one of its hubs due to its central location in South India, he explains.

Many sculptors today are also taking up painting, he observes; it takes up less space and can involve less time and cost. “Art is a respectable profession in its own right, but even if you are not an artist you can bring out artistic sensibilities in all your work,” he advises.

Now, what have you done today to pause in your busy schedule and see how to bring even more creativity into your life and work?

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Also read: Support traditional and folk arts, don’t just learn about them: Sankalita Das, Secure Giving