For those who love the art of sculptures, you are in for a visual treat. On 9th January 2023, a renowned art gallery in Kolkata, Emami Art unveiled a major exhibition, The Crowd and Its Avatars, featuring sculptures of KS Radhakrishnan. He is one of the most notable contemporary sculptors who has successfully brought about a definitive resurgence in Indian sculpture. Much alike many of his contemporaries he is a figurative sculptor, but his affinity for modeling and bronze casting over new materials distinguishes him from the rest of them.
The Emami Art gallery has exhibited about 75 of his artworks including many never-before-seen ones. It is after 15 years that the celebrated sculptor returns to the city of joy with his most recent works. The collection has been curated by R. Siva Kumar and the exhibition comprises the installation of 50 life-size bronze figures titled The Crowd and many free-standing bronze sculptures, including his famous The Ramp — these are works, that have deep personal connotations for the artist.
Radhakrishnan was born in Kottyam district, Kerala in 1956. He was a student of sculpture at Kala Bhavan, Santiniketan, under the tutelage of Ramkinkar Baij and Sarbari Roy Choudhury, two legendary modern Indian sculptors. Recharging age-old sculptural process with a new sensibility, Radhakrishnan brings this singular challenge to modern Indian sculpture, which marks his stylistic individuality. He is a master modeller and prefers to work with hand in clay, capturing the essential rhythm of the human forms.
A rhythmic vitality lies at the heart of Radhakrishnan's sculptural imagination. According to the curator, R. Siva Kumar, there are three different categories in which we can divide his ouevre. First, the singular figures show the freedom of acrobatic movement of the body; second, the sculpture where singular and collective bodies meet; and the third is the interconnected web of small size human figures creating subtle rhythm. The exhibition showcases all of these three categories.
The human form is at the heart of Radhakrishnan’s sculptures. Since 1996, he has recurrently used two male and two female characters, Musui and Maiya, in his sculptures. The Crowd, with an equal number of male and female figures, repeats the faces of these two characters. However Musui and Maiya are not merely two characters but two lenses through which the scultpr looks at the universal, collective world.
This exhibition revolves around the concept of the crowd, the polysemic idea of the multitude, which he captures in over 75 bronze sculptures. Inspired by everyday experiences, his sculptures oscillate between the real and imaginary worlds, gravity and the freedom of flight. Rhythmic vitality is at the centre of his sculptural imagination
Richa Agarwal, CEO, Emami Art.
Radhakrishnan’s works will be on display at the Emami Art, Kolkata till the 12th February, 2023. It is a event, that is not to be missed.
You can find out more about the event here.
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