|Thursday, March 29, 2018||5:00PM - 7:00PM||108N, North House, 1 Devonshire Place|
Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) is known outside India primarily as the first non-European winner of the Nobel Prize for literature, but in India, he is considered one of the two most important architects of Modern India; the other being Gandhi. Besides transforming the cultural landscape, it was his mission to introduce India to the world and the world to India.
Painting played a special place in this endeavor. He began to paint only in his mid-sixties but he was a critical interlocutor on the Indian art scene from 1890s. While he recognized the importance of achieving political freedom, he did support cultural insularity in the name of nationalism. He encouraged Indian artists to engage with the realities of the world they lived in and to benefit from other cultures to enlarge their own creative possibilities. He first realized this this through the art school he founded in Santiniketan and later through his own work as a painter. This illustrated talk will present Tagore’s contribution to Indian art and his transformation from interlocutor to painter/exemplar.
Reception to follow.
R. Siva Kumar is an art historian, curator and the author of several books on the Bengal and Santiniketan Schools. Through his work has extensively remapped this important trajectory in modern Indian art. He is professor of art history at Visva Bharati, Santiniketan and currently visiting professor at Carleton University.
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