(This project was supported by Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath with a venue sponsor.)
The curatorial project will look at his work and will reinterpret it within the context of contemporary Landscape painting and the changing city of Bangalore. The exhibition will be a collaborative curation with young art historians – Sagar Shastri and Sumitra Sundar who will be mentored by Suresh Jayaram to curate this show.
The show will involve senior and established artists and a selection of other selected artists who have represented the city. We can also have an open call to accept submissions of paintings. This project will honor Rumale Chennabasaviah (1910 – 1988) who was a local artist and painted landscapes of Bangalore, he painted the diversity of Bangalore’s trees in the Urban Context. His work is an impressionist impression of the city.
This show was part of the 17th Chitra Santhe organized by the Parishath. The show opened on the 4th of January, to coincide with Chitra Santhe on the 5th of January 2020.
Landscape is content for a representation, which carries social, geological, or historical messages. Landscape is also considered as a medium of exchange and social practice expressing visual appropriation, identity and power. The representation of India in British landscape painting was a unique artistic achievement. For Karnataka, the modern becomes a showcase of the turn towards industrialization –construction and representation of dams across rivers like the Cauvery, and Tungabhadra. The Mysore state was a pioneer of Hydroelectric projects and also saw the emergence of the extensive landscape gardening enterprise of Gustav Herman Krumbiegel begin in the state. Landscape painting and photography became significant genres in helping with the push for the state’s potential for tourism.
Impressionism, being an important influence on some artists, is seen most strikingly in the work of Rumale Chennabasaviah. Rumale Chennabasaviah was a watercolour artist with a dedication to portraying the city, particularly its modernist buildings and verdant flora. His bold tactile strokes made his work look like impasto, which became a signature style. In the 70s and 80s, Rumale showed his keen interest to capture nature in the urban context of Bengaluru. The artist pushed the boundaries of landscape painting even further by making it tactile and moved away from the dominant colonial style. This show is an homage to his work and is seeing to reflect on the legacy he left to the State.
Landscape painting in India begins with the establishment of British Art Schools. Schools like the JJ School of art in Mumbai (then Bombay) ushered in this spate of Academic realism, which was also running in tandem with the courtly style inspired by the painter Raja Ravi Varma. The dominant influences on Karnataka Modern and contemporary artists in retrospect have been triggered by the National Modern trends/trajectories. Artists adapted International styles like surrealism, expressionism, abstraction. The patronage of the Royal family of Mysore has had a large impact on the way landscape painting in the state developed. Modernist frameworks have also influenced poetry and writing in Karnataka, but the most visual impact is seen in the range of academic style landscape and impressionist work of artists like Rumale Chennabasaviah. History tells us that Bangalore was planned, especially to showcase its botanical splendour. What we have today is a city that is constantly changing but a notion of nostalgia which is represented by the academic style of watercolour painting.
Locating this exhibition as a response to the oeuvre of Rumale Chennabasaviah marks the lingering influence of the Academic style of painting landscape showcases the ways in which landscape has been approached by artists in the State. Early Landscape artists were also preoccupied with the narrative of modernity – Pioneering hydroelectric projects patronized by the erstwhile Mysore Principality. The paintings and prints that are showcased in this exhibition are meant to mark the transition of Bangalore
Alaka Rau Babu Jattakar Badal Majumdar Bhavani G.S Biju C. Gurudas Shenoy J.M.S Mani Kamalesh Kantharaj N.
Madhu Kumar Manjunath WaliMurali Dhar Neeta Senacha Nilanjan Giha Nilesh B.W Nirupam Konwar Rohit Kulkarni
Rumale Chennabasaviah Rudragaud L. Indi Runjhun Kejriwal S. Kalappa S.S.Kukke Shrishail S. Kamate Spoorti Murali Surekha
V. Bhandary Vijay Nagvekar V.R.C Shekhar Rama Sharma Praveen Venugopal V.G