Prabhakar Barwe’s ‘interactive’ art retrospective opens in Delhi

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New Delhi, June 24 (IANS) After its first stop in Mumbai, the retrospective exhibition of artist Prabhakar Barwe (1936-1995) is currently open at the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) here. It, however, has more to offer than a regular painting and sculpture show.

Titled ‘Astitva’, the exhibition presents the works of an artist who carved his own unique place in Indian modern art. It is presented by the Bodhana Arts and Research Foundation. Open for the public till July 28, it divides Barwe’s life and practices into distinct phases.

The ‘Roop Vichar’, an interactive section, exhibits a selection of Barwe’s 52 diaries — displayed as diary pages, animated videos and facsimile reproductions of a few diaries. The section also features unique video installations that gradually reproduce some of his works from scratch.

“I walked through physical sketches and paintings of Barwe and then this animated video of his diaries caught my eye. Technology is a big part of our lives and I could see relatable, everyday tech in a traditional exhibition space, which is intriguing,” Sarthak Shukla, an exhibition visitor, told IANS here.

A creative workspace for visitors, that particularly draws in children, allows them to ‘stamp’ key paintings of Barwe onto postcards and take them as a souvenir.

Starting in 1958, the ‘Roop Tantra’ phase shows his works from Sir J.J. School of Art and their transition into Tantric traditions, a panel in the exhibition reads.

The next segment, the ‘Roop Artha’, traces the cognitive shifts in the mind of the artist, where his apparent bold and primitive palates shift into soft and dream mindscapes. This period is from 1972-1988.

The exhibition then moves on to the ‘Roop Tattva’, which shows his works from the late 80s to his last unfinished canvas.

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