Basel: An exhibition of the late Indian artist Benodebehari Mukherjee, considered one of the pioneers of Indian modern art, will open Swiss city of Basel next week, according to the Delhi-based Vadehra Art Gallery.
Tragically, during his productive years, Mukherjee (1904-1980) lost what's essential for any artist - his eyesight. Undeterred, he kept on creating works of art, some of which will make their way to Switzerland in a presentation at the Art Basel show here.
This solo exhibition would bring together a rare collection of Mukherjee's papercuts, which were produced from 1957 into the late 1960s.
Mukherjee, whose legacy was crucial to the contextual modernism of Santiniketan, lost sight in his only functioning eye in following an unsuccessful surgery. However, this did not deter Mukherjee from continuing to create.
He continued to practice his art making drawings, papercuts, small clay sculptures, and even a large mural.
"He cut individual motifs or pictorial 'signs', defined by edge and surface, from pieces of coloured paper, and pasted them on boards. He had to limit himself to a few commercially produced coloured papers with which he had been familiar.
"To supplement the limited range of coloured paper, and to add subtlety and textural nuances to his work, he added newspaper, cord and fabric, and moved from paper cuts to collages," the art gallery said in a statement.
In his writings, Mukherjee reflected on how blindness alters one's perception of the world. He said: "Blindness is a new feeling, a new experience, a new state of being".
The Art Basel exhibition will revisit his works as markers of resilience, as representative of the grit and commitment that personified Mukherjee, and as an essential part of his unique modernist language, the statement said.
Art Basel would run in this Swiss city from June 11-16.
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