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the-south-asian.com                         7  August   2000

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                                                            page 4 of  4

Shantiniketan and the Origin of Modern Art in India.
(continued from previous page)

By Vijay Kowshik


From L to R: Rabindranath Tagore, Abanindranath Tagore,Nandlal Bose, Binodebihari Mukherjee


There was a period of stillness when Nandalal left Kala Bhavan. Nandalal, who was lovingly known as Master Moshai, was incapacitated during his final years; Binode da and Kinker da were disillusioned with the institution, which had been taken over by the Government a few years after Rabindranath passed away, though they kept up their intensity of work.

It was in 1967 that the quietude pervading the Kala Bhavan received a fresh and a positive stimulus. Dinkar Kowshik, who had been taught by Binodebihari and Kinker, took over as principal. He brought back into the curriculum the original philosophy on which the institution was created. This was the time when both Binode da and Kinker da came into their elements again - and he got some of the great minds in art to move to Shantiniketan. Somenath Hore, K.G Subramanyan, Sharbari Rai Choudhuri and others came to the institution to give it a new life and the original creative edge.

At the turn of the century, some of these Greats still reside and work in Shantiniketan. K.G Subramanyan (born 1924) is a painter experimenting continuously in various media. His works are sensitive, satirical, full of wit and have a strong individuality. He is an emeritus professor at Shantiniketan.

Dinkar Kowshik (born 1918), working with a deep intensity, is quiet and unassuming. His works are extremely sensitive and have a sense of character. The recent works convey feelings of joy, playfulness and calm. There was a period when his works conveyed severe tensions, though with an inner tranquility. With his conviction and grit he was able to bring Kala Bhavan out of its low period and the present group together. He is also a voracious writer and has a number of books to his credit.

Somenath Hore (born 1921) is an accomplished graphic artist turned sculptor. An extremely intense artist, his sculptures are moving and transmit his empathy to pain, poverty, hunger and grief - conveying a sense of shame and surprise towards the state of things.


Sitting in the ashram (Campus) of Kala Bhavan one can feel the creative energies flowing around and the deep and sincere interest of the students and teachers mingling in the interactions. Shantiniketan remains among the foremost institutions for creative art.





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