The Telegraph
Saturday , February 16 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Art tribute to Vivekananda

An exhibition of paintings and sculptures of Swami Vivekananda will begin at ICCR on Sunday to mark the 150th birth anniversary of the monk.

More than 200 works will be on display across five galleries at the Ho Chi Minh Sarani address till March 14, said Swami Chandrakantananda of the Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, which is organising the show.

The show, being supported by a culture ministry grant, has been titled Renaissance of India and the World: Life and Mission of Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda.

“Around 100 senior artists from all over India, selected by a committee, have contributed their works for the show. A concept note and a book on Swami Vivekananda were sent to them, not to dictate themes but for easy reference and inspiration. All the works have been created for the exhibition,” said Swami Chandrakantananda.

The artists who have sent their works include Dhiren Brahma, Krishen Khanna, Satish Gujral, Laxma Goud, Yusuf Arakkal, Thota Vaikuntam, Ganesh Pyne, Amit Sarkar, Jogen Chowdhury, Shuvaprasanna, Paresh Maity, Samir Aich, Subroto Gangopadhyay and Jaysri Burman.

Artist Arun Ghose, who has curated the exhibition, said Vivekananda had admired creativity in all its forms. “He was an ardent lover of visual arts and lost no opportunity to visit monuments, museums and private collections in India, Europe and the US,” he said.

While touring the country as an itinerant monk, Vivekananda encountered Mughal art and architecture in Delhi and Rajasthani miniatures and frescoes in the palaces and havelis of desert kingdoms. He came in contact with Raja Ravi Varma’s work at a palace in Baroda.

“Swamiji visited World Columbian Exhibition in Chicago in 1893. He later visited the Louvre and Rodin’s studio in Paris and the National Gallery in London…. He believed that true art was like a lily, which springs from the ground, takes its nourishment from the ground and yet is quite high above it,” said Ghose.