Art Musings Present K.S. Rad hakrishnan’s New Solo in Mumbai

October 01, 2018


Mumbai: Art Musings is presenting a solo exhibition The Song of Small Things, featuring one of India’s most prominent sculptors K.S. Radhakrishnan which opens on October 10, 2018, at Jehangir Art Gallery. Radhakrishnan is recognized as one of the most significant figures of contemporary Indian art. The exhibition which showcases a new body of bronze sculptures continues till October 15 at the Jehangir, after which it moves to Art Musings from October 17 to November 23, 2018. The sculptor is showcasing his works in Mumbai after a gap of five years. His last solo exhibition in Mumbai, Terrafly was with Art Musings in 2014.

The Song of Small Thingsguards rare sentiments with tender care to remind us that the simplicity of childhood cannot be dismissed as a brittle page of an old diary as we strive to shape our dreams. Relocating such memories to another time using any form is not easy but the sculptor and his works sing forgotten ditties about things we did, things we loved and things that are extinct, with rare felicity. Capturing these experiences in intricate, sculpted forms, one as diverse as another but tethered to a common craving for memories, is a balance that we often fail to maintain between remembrances and reality. The exquisitely crafted compositions and the exceptionally canny use of free space are manifest emotions of a thinking mind that is painting pictures of the unheard and the unsaid.

The works featured in this exhibition do not abandon themselves to any particular mind-set and yet they are mindful, like breathing subconsciously in peopled space. The characters of the compositions are undefined but nimble in their human movement and strung together in their common spirit of joy. Stemming from bases made of things that were used everyday a long time ago, these sculptures grow like feelings, touching off sentiments that we all want to re-visit. Each twist, each bend, and each formation is a story in itself, abounding in sheer exuberance. The creator did not have a blueprint for these works. He shaped them with the blues of childhood that kept invading his senses every time he set out to build on memories. The child in him has truly shown the way. One thing is evident from his works – childhood has no history because childhood itself is part of every human’s history.

K.S. Radhakrishnan is recognized as one of the most significant figures of contemporary Indian art. He is a sculptor and bronze has remained his prominent medium for a long time. Radhakrishnan was born in Kottayam district of Kerala in 1956. After completing his under-graduation from Changanacherry, Radhakrishnan went to Shantiniketan in 1973-74 to pursue formal training in art from the prestigious Kala Bhavan of Vishwabharati University. There he was mentored and trained by two important figures of Indian modernism – Ramkinkar Baij and Sarbari Roy Choudhury. His sculptural talents were acknowledged at a very young age when he was awarded with the National Scholarship offered by Government of India in 1978. During these early formative years of his career Radhakrishnan was invited to be the part of many exhibitions at Lalit Kala Akademi and Birla Academy of Art and Culture. He completed his MFA in the year of 1981 and very soon was awarded with a research grant by Lalit Kala Akademi, Delhi to work in Garhi Village. This also gave him an opportunity to move to Delhi and explore the diverse artistic practices of the metropolis. Since then has had several solo shows including at National Gallery of Modern Art (Bengaluru), Centre des Bonds de Marne, LePerreux-Brysur-Marne (France), Lalit Kala Akademi (New Delhi) and Birla Academy of Art and Culture (Kolkata) amongst others. Among the numerous group shows at which his works have been exhibited are the National Exhibition at New Delhi (1980); Triennale India (1990); Salon International de la Sculpture Contemporaine at Nouveau Forum des Halles, Paris (1995); Hippodrome d’elongchamp, Paris (1996); Espace Michel Simon-Noisy le grand, France (1996); Beijing Biennale (2012). From 1980’s onwards Radhakrishnan has installed open air sculptures across the country and abroad including at the TMI foundation, Cotignac, France. The two major themes/motifs of his works are the male and female figures Maiya and Musui which represent the anima-animus, the primary anthropomorphic archetypes. These sculptures range from small-intimate scale to lofty dimensions. These works are his meditations on migration, history, nostalgia and memory which have a direct engagement with the public sphere. He renders a sensuous quality to his works by deploying extraordinary body movements of his figures. He has curated the exhibition Ramkinkar Baij - A Retrospective at National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai. He has written a book titled Ramkinkar’s Yaksha Yakshi which was released during the aforementioned retrospective. Radhakrishnan has been awarded K.C.S. Paniker Puraskar, Govt. of Kerala (2011). This is the artist’s 5th exhibition with Art Musings. Previous exhibitions with Art Musings include Terrafly, 2014; Liminal Figures Liminal Space, 2010. The artist lives and works in Delhi.