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Walks that put art in context

Vikhar Ahmed Sayeed

The NGMA helps you experience another dimension in art appreciation



HOW TO OBSERVE:Perspective is important in landscape art.

BANGALORE: The National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) in Bangalore has a vast collection of nationally important and rare art. To make this artwork more accessible and popular, the NGMA organises Art Walks centred on different themes. These walks are useful for people who are looking to understand artwork in their contexts and to appreciate them better. “Experiencing Landscape” was one of the themes of an Art Walk held last week and Landscape Art is a genre covering the depiction of natural scenery.

“We will experience the landscape outside as well as inside the galleries,” said Tejasvi Jain, Assistant Curator at the NGMA, who led us through the walk. Perspective is important in landscape art, and we learned that through observing the massive rain tree outside the gallery from close, mid and wide angles.

Ms. Jain encouraged us to “feel” the landscape — the textures and the colours — in the vast and lush compound of the NGMA before we walked inside to the galleries. This brief exercise helped as Ms. Jain raised several questions about the interplay of the various elements and what they were doing to the landscape.

Powerful miniature

Raga Malhara, a Rajput miniature dating back to the medieval India, was first on our tour.

The brightly painted landscape — the monsoon, peacocks, a tumescent cloud showering rain, stylised flowers — in this miniature was used to heighten the emotions of the princess.

Abindranath Tagore's Daughter of the Soil, a dreamy, hazy and mystical work, showed how the painter has tried to capture the mood and the soul of the landscape. View of Mathura on the River Jamuna, an East India Company era lithograph, was a far more detailed work.

Gopal Ghose's work, which has redefined landscape art in India, was next on our tour. Chota Nagpur displayed abstraction showing how the artist has portrayed the psychological space of the landscape. D.P. Roy Chowdhury's Wild Animal in the Rocky Forest, was an experimental work that played with the elements of the landscape while three of Rabindranath Tagore's works showed different ways of rendering trees. Landscapes by Nandalal Bose, Nicholas Roerich and a khoai scroll by Benode Bihari were also discussed.

The walk was a fascinating introduction to the genre of landscape art. For details on this and other Art Walks NGMA offers, contact ngma.bengaluru@gmail.com or call on 22201027.

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