Rameshwar Broota in his studio at Triveni Kala Sangam
New Arrivals, 80in x 120in, Oil on canvas, year 2014
One wonders how Rameshwar Broota views his "Man" series of paintings now, 30-odd years after he completed it. These are among the numerous Broota paintings currently on display at the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (DLF South Court Mall, Saket), an exhibition called "Visions of Interiority". Broota has been sketching male nudes for a long time now; this is, in part, a response to his own ageing body.
At 73, Rameshwar Broota is having his retrospective ‘Visions of interiority: Interrogating the Male Body’ at Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA), Saket. Curator Roobina Karode has gathered more than 50 works of Broota from all over the country to showcase different phases in his artistic career between 1963 and 2013.
I had come to meet Rameshwar Broota. The contentment was not just because I had finally been allowed by my editors to interview somebody really out there at the top of the art pyramid of the country. It was also because talking at length to an artist who has built his career with great struggle without compromising with any external force whatsoever – and has still managed to make his way up – was an experience worth emulating for any creative individual.
With an artistic career of over five decades, the retrospective showcases the artist's works right from 1963. The exhibition includes works from various series created by Broota, including the Man Series, which delineates a prototype of a universal man, one who has withstood various trepidations and challenges put forth by time. Often dressed only in a vest, his nakedness is exposed to the viewer, but what is most overbearing is his loneliness and vulnerability.
Walking along the array of artworks that comprise Rameshwar Broota’s retrospective, presently on view at the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art in Saket, is a deeply thought-provoking experience. There are images from several of his standout series arranged in no particular order, almost as though intended to be absorbed together as one dizzyingly evocative whole. It is when the artist begins to talk about them that a sequence emerges and goes on to unveil the trajectory not only of his own thought process as an artist but also of his conceptualisation of man’s journey through the ages.
Studies of his own anatomy have become digital fragments on archival prints. But, the 1963 canvas is a far cry from his present-day personality. The self-portrait at the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA) has a lanky Rameshwar Broota. Student of Fine Art at Delhi College of Art, he stares at the mirror through the corner of his eyes. Now with brows thick, strands of white in his hair, he paints in oil.
Rameshwar Broota’s works describe the man who has withstood various challenges put forth by time. A selected collection of his works from 1963 till the present day is on exhibit at the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA).
Rameshwar Broota’s 1987 painting was among the top sales at the Sotheby’s Modern and Contemporary South Asian ArtAuction. The painting titled ‘Prisoner of War’ fetched 182,500GBP, more than the double of its high estimate.