Colours of the Thar come to life on canvas
Aug 26 2013
For Gupta, it seems to have been a rich journey, exploring her surroundings, the people and their culture during her various postings. Known for her realistic work, her style appears to be leaning towards cubistic forms in the current exhibition. The artist has several exhibitions and awards to her credit, the most recent being the Unnat Bharat Sewa Award in July 2013, Rajasthan Gaurav 2013 and Nari Pratibha Samman in 2012.
The 56th exhibition of the unique Sketch Club located at Kolkata’s Academy of Fine Arts, just got over. In this club, budding artists are able to develop their artistic abilities by sketching live models. Those who attend can learn from senior artists who conduct these classes from time to time. I had persuaded my parents in the late 50s to allow me to join these classes twice a week and can still remember the sketches and still life studies that I did at the time, under the tutelage of Rathin Maitra, noted artist and lecturer from the Government College of Art. My visit to the show thus brought on a deep sense of nostalgia and I wondered how many famous names might have taken advantage of these classes.
The Academy of Fine Arts, formally established in 1933 by Lady Ranu Mookerjee, initially operated from a room at the Indian Museum and Lady Ranu deserves our thanks for ensuring the creation of the impressive new academy building opposite the Victoria Memorial in 1962. The sketching classes were also her idea and functioned from a studio within the Mookerjee residential estate at 11, Harrington Street.
Incidentally, it is also important to note that the academy also runs an Artist’s Studio for the benefit of those with fulltime jobs and need to stay in touch with sketching.
(The writer is an author and a former art gallery owner)