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Works of sculptor Ramkinkar Baij, creator of RBI’s Yaksha and Yakshini, to be showcased in Kolkata

The Yakshini sculpture which stands guard outside the Reserve Bank of India building was made by Ramkinkar Baij (Pic. Courtesy wikimedia commons)

This coming March promises a treat for art lovers of Kolkata, the City of Joy, as the Union Ministry of Culture, the National Gallery of Modern Art and Archaeological Survey of India will present an exhibition celebrating the works of renowned artist and sculptor Ramkinkar Baij.

The show titled “Alpona” will be held at the Old Currency Building in the city from March 25 onwards and will include sculptures, sketches, watercolours and large oil on canvases. Earlier in January this year the exhibition, “Ghare Baire” organised by the Ministry in collaboration with NGMA and DAG gallery, showcasing art and artists of Bengal.

The coming exhibition’s theme is based on the daily life of rural Bengal, such as farmers returning from a hard day’s work or dust cloud arising in the horizon of homebound cattle; or factory workers relaxing with a light chat amongst each-other; or village guardian deities such as yaksha and yakshi being manifested in plaster.

Interestingly, among Baij’s several prominent works are the Yaksha and Yakshini guarding the Reserve Bank of India building in New Delhi and Buddha’s statue at Shantiniketan Campus. Born on May 25, 1906, Baij obtained a diploma from Visva-Bharati University at Shantiniketan after four years of study and later went on to head the institution’s sculpture department.

With the idea of supporting the main theme works of art of other prominent artists and sculptors which are part of NGMA’s core collection will be exhibited. Curated by the NGMA itself, the exhibition will also showcase works of art by artists from Bengal starting from its indigenous roots of Patuas and Kalighat images to forming of the serene wash styles of Bengal school and the eventual explorations of Shantiniketan. Also included will be site-specific installations presenting the indigenous art of Bengal.