Exhibition showcasing pioneer artists of Assam
Guwahati, July 23 (PTI): The pioneering role of 35 artists in setting the foundation of contemporary art in Assam and reflected in their distinctive art work has found a place in an ongoing exhibition here.
The month-long exhibition titled ‘Baraniyo-2017’ that concludes on August 10 showcases rare works by Assamese artists born in pre-independence era who played a significant role in establishing a distinct art movement in the Northeast in the post-independence period, says Gauhati Artists Guild (GAG) general secretary Kishore Kumar Das.
Most of the paintings and art works have not been maintained in a scientific manner and there was an urgent need to restore and preserve these in a scientific manner, he says.
“The art works on display are a rare collection and we appeal to the authorities concerned to come forth and help us in preserving these for posterity,” Das adds.
The highlight of the exhibition is an art work by the state’s cultural icon Bishnu Prasad Rabha wherein he portrays a group of young men and women dancing in gay abandon in a field, probably the Bihu in its earlier avatar.
The work has been done on paper with medium being tempera and the muted use of colour and form is indeed a visual delight.
Among the other prominent works on display are those by pioneers Jibeswar Barua, Sashidhar Saikia, Asu Dev, Abhayanand Duwara, Atul Chandra Barua, Padum Buragohain, Tarun Duwara, Prasenjit Duwara, Sobha Brahma, Pranab Barua, Hemanta Mishra, Lambodhar Hazarika, Madan Mohan Lahkar, Adya Sarmah, Ramesh Ghosh and Tapan Bordoloi.
The works of living artists, born in pre-independence era, displayed in the exhibition are Benu Mishra, Nilpawan Barua, Gauri Barman, Pulak Gogoi, Girish Chandra Bora, Kandarpa Sarmah, Sarat Barua and Sonaram Nath.
The works of Assam’s pioneering woman artist Hemangini Bordoloi, who donated her property and art works to the GAG prior to her death in 2007, along with those of trend setting sculptor Hela Das also finds a place in the exhibition.
Forerunners of art in Southern Assam’s Barak Valley Ali Baksh Majumdar, Birendra Lal Bhowmik and Mukand Debnath are also showcased in the exhibition.
Visual art in the early part of the 20th century did not have any visible presence in this part of the country but the close link with Bengal inspired a whole lot of young artists to explore new horizons in this field.
“Bengal school of painting had a profound influence on the early contemporary artists of the last century though some of them also drew upon local themes and established a distinct place for themselves,” says artist Deben Dewan, who curated the exhibition.
Artists in the early part of the last century mostly went to Calcutta’s School of Industrial Art, established by the British in 1854, which was later renamed as the Government School of Art in 1864 to hone their skills in the field of art but later many from Assam went to Santiniketan, Mumbai’s J J School of Art and Architecture and M S University, Baroda to acquire their education in the finer nuances of the various art forms.
Most of the paintings were acquired from the personal collection of the family members of artists, art collectors, Assam State Museum, Sonitpur district museum and others, Dewan adds.