Bengaluru’s gardens and streets are home to plants and trees from all over the world. A towering presence among the landscape artists of India who paid homage to the floral wealth of Bengaluru city is Rumale Chennabasaviah. More than any other artist of his time, Rumale celebrated the beauty of Bengaluru in particular, and the landscapes of Karnataka, in both water-colours and oil paintings, with striking originality and prolificity. So much so that Professor V.K. Gokak, the writer and Vice-Chancellor of Bangalore University, called Rumale the painter-laureate of the trees and blossoms of Bengaluru.
Rumale had studied art in the late 1920’s at Kalamandir School of Art and later at Chamarajendra Technical Institute, Mysore. Art was his first love but the calling for India’s freedom struggle and later for India’s nation-building was also strong. A man of many parts, Rumale sent out a message of sacrifice and love both for art and for the wide-ranging activities that he took up for his beloved motherland, India. His contributions spanned participation in the non-violent Gandhian freedom movement for India’s independence from 1930-1947. From 1947 – 1962, Rumale was involved in nation-building activities and helping leaders build the newly formed Mysore State when India became independent. In 1962, at the age of 52, Rumale left active politics and devoted himself to art till his untimely death in 1988.
On the occasion of the birth anniversary of Rumale Chennabasaviah, an art exhibition, series of talks and Art Park will be presented between 23rd to 28th September.
All events listed below are open to the general public.
|Venue||Date & Time||Event|
|Gallery, 2nd Floor||23 September | Friday |
|Auditorium||23 September | Friday |
6 to 7 pm
|Gallery, 2nd Floor||24 to 28 September | |
Saturday to Wednesday
11 am to 8 pm
|Rumale – Bangalore’s Flora through the eyes of an Artist|
|Ground Floor, 1st Floor and 2nd Floor Foyer||25 September | Sunday|
11 am to 5 pm
|Gallery, 2nd Floor||24, 26, 27 and 28 September | Saturday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday|
5:30 to 6:30 pm
|BIC Streams||28 September | Wednesday|
6 to 7 pm
|Rumale in Retrospect|
Art Park | 25th September | Sunday | 11 am to 5 pm | Ground Floor, 1st Floor and 2nd Floor Foyer
Art Park Bengaluru is a cultural initiative launched by Bangalore-based contemporary artists. The intention of the Art Park is to provide an opportunity for those interested in the visual arts to interact with artists, observe varied methods and techniques and develop a deeper understanding as well as knowledge about art by engaging in conversations. Hence, Art Park aims to bridge the gap between visual art and the general public by involving senior as well as young artists.
This is a special Art Park event for which 25 artists are invited to create watercolour landscape paintings, adhering to the expertise of Rumale. Visitors can view the paintings in progress and interact with the artists. Upon completion, the paintings will also be available for sale.
M.S. Murthy and Chandranath Acharya are the Chief Guests for the Art Park.
Remembering Rumale | 23 September | Friday | 6 to 7 pm | Auditorium
A series of short talks on Remembering Rumale by Chiranjiv Singh, MJ Kamalakshi, Pushpa Dravid, Mahendra D and Nazneen Banu with opening curatorial remarks by Suresh Jayaram.
Rumale in Retrospect | 28 September | Wednesday | 6 to 7 pm | BIC Streams
This session brings together three art historians – Shukla Sawanth, Pramila Lochan and Suresh Jayaram. The panel will discuss Rumale’s work in the context of landscape painting in Karnataka in general, with a specific focus on Bangalore and its fauna. They will engage in a discussion about Rumale’s subjective preoccupation, technique, and what made him unique alongside a consideration of his contemporaries.
Rumale – Bangalore’s Flora through the eyes of an Artist | 24 to 28 September | Saturday to Wednesday | 11 am to 8 pm | Gallery, 2nd Floor
This curated art exhibition presented by Rumale Art House focuses on Rumale Chennabasaviah, who was a celebrated painter of Bangalore’s Landscape and botanical diversity of trees. In the context of representing the urban Landscape, we see that Bangalore is known for the systematic cultivation of nature. This involved selection of species, acclimatization, and propagation, eventually handing Bangalore the title of ‘Garden City’. The identity of the ‘Garden City’ was difficult to retain in the process of transforming into an emerging metropolis, and the utopian vision had to be constantly recreated by the city to reclaim this loss.
The citizen was envisioned to be a disciplined, productive, and progressive member of society. The city was supposed to be designed to enhance these visions. Rumale Chennabasaviah was a passionate artist with a dedication to portraying the city, particularly its modernist buildings and verdant flora. His bold tactile strokes made his work look like impasto, which became a signature style.
In the 70s and 80s, Rumale showed his keen interest to capture nature in the urban context of Bangalore. The artist pushed the boundaries of landscape painting even further by making it tactile and moving away from the dominant colonial style. By relating to his own urban environment, Rumale was honest about his passion as a painter.
He had left behind all his political affiliations and aspirations to live in a changing city. His search for inspiration in the city gardens and homes was a spiritual quest to be alone amidst the diversity of flowers that connect the city to another global enterprise of plant migration.
Books and portfolios published on Rumale Chennabasaviah will also be available for sale during the course of the exhibition.
Curated by Suresh Jayaram. Inauguration by Chiranjiv Singh, MJ Kamalakshi, Pushpa Dravid, Mahendra D and Nazneen Banu.
Presented by Rumale Art House
Dr Pushpa Dravid is an artist. She received the Lalit Kala Academy Award in 2000. She completed her PhD in Fine Arts from Bangalore University and MA in Drawing & Painting from Vikram University, Ujjain. Her thesis on Nicholas Roerich and his Himalayan Paintings was sponsored by the Indian Council of HIstorical Research.
She has held various positions throughout her career including Chairperson of the Board of examination, faculty of Fine Arts, professor in the Department of Architecture, Member of the Post Graduate Board Fine Arts, Chitrakala Institute of Advance Studies, Member of the Board of Studies, faculty of Fine Arts, Bangalore University to name a few.
She has held many exhibitions of her work at India Habitat Centre, Delhi, Punjab Art Council, Chandigarh, Jehangir Art Gallery, Bombay, Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan, London, Lake Jackson Civic Center , Texas, USA, and Koret Art Gallery Palo Alto, C.A., U S A. amongst many others. Her has also been part of group shows at National Art Gallery, Bali, Indonesia, Berekfurdoi, Nemzetkozi Nagykum, Muvesztelep, Hungry, Manjunath Heggade Smaraka Exhibition, Dharmasthala and many more.
Chiranjiv Singh joined the Indian Administrative Service in 1969. He retired in 2005 as Development Commissioner of Karnataka and Additional Chief Secretary to Govt. of Karnataka. During his career he held various positions in the central and state governments. He was also on the governing bodies of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and Institute of Social and Economic Change, Bangalore, as representative of the Govt. of Karnataka.
He was a visiting fellow of the Queen Elizabeth House, Oxford University (1993-1994), and Ambassador of India to UNESCO in Paris, 1997-2000. Chiranjiv Singh was also President of the Alliance Française, Bangalore (2005-2017). Since his retirement he is associated with numerous non-governmental organizations working in the fields of rural development, environment, culture and arts.
For his services rendered to the state he was awarded the Rajyothsava Award in 2005 by the
Government of Karnataka. He was also awarded the knighthood (Chevalier de l’Ordre national du Mérite) by the President of France in 2015 for his contribution to Indo-French culture.
Prof. M.J. Kamalakshi received the Karnataka Lalit Kala Academy (1986) and the Rajya Prashashti 2015 by Government of Karnataka. She was the former General Secretary, Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, and has held other roles such as Principal, College of fine Arts Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, Chairperson, Board of Studies, Faculty of Fine Arts and Chairperson, Board of Examiners for Fine Arts, Bangalore University to name a few.. She is a Trustee on the board of Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath Trust.
Her work has been part of many exhibitions including shows at Karnataka Lalitha Kala Academy,
Silver Jubilee of Mysore Association, Bombay, and Rastriya Kala Mela, Kala Mahotsava to name a few examples.
Mahendra D is an artist, cultural adviser, and visual conceptualise designer. He is currently the Chairman of the Karnataka Lalit Kala Academy, Dept. Kannada & Culture. Through his career he has held other positions including District Advisory Member (2001), Neharu Yuvaka Kendra Sangatam, Govt. of India, Regional Advisor Member, Indian Council for Cultural Relation 2019, and Advisory Board Member (2014), National Gallery of Modern Art, Bangalore. He was also an Advisory Member, Karnakata Lalitkala Academy (2008), Dept. Kannada & Culture, Govt. of India.
He was awarded the 1999 Junior Fellowship award from Ministry of culture, Govt. of India, 1997 Award for painting from Dept. of Police, and the Merit Award from Association of Indian Universities 1997 – 1998 amongst others.
Nazneen Banu is currently on deputation to the Ministry of Culture, Government of India as the Director of the National Gallery of Modern Art, Bangalore, since November 2018. She has led the NGMA team to curate many exhibitions and outreach programmes, especially with underprivileged & special children, opening up the Gallery to make it more inclusive. Till date, more than 1,600 students from rural and government schools as well as NGOs have visited NGMA Bangalore and participated in art workshops, specially curated for these children and their teachers. She has also initiated restorations and infrastructure upgradation of works to conserve the legacy of the historical landmark such as The Manikyavelu Mansion.
Nazneen joined Indian Defence Service of Engineers (IDSE) under Min of Defence, Govt. of India, through UPSC Engineering Services Examination(ESE) in the year 2002. A post graduate in Electrical Engineering, she holds a Master’s Degree from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore. Her post graduate research work has also been published in the International Journal, IEEE.
In career spanning over 20 years, she has held various assignments in many departments under Min. of Defence. She has also handled strategic projects of The Army, The Air Force, The Navy as well as DRDO while being posted at Delhi, Bengaluru, Vizag and Pune.
She is the 2nd women officer to join the IDSE service in the history of independent India. She is also the first women IDSE officer to successfully shoulder the responsibility of extremely challenging and high pressure appointment as Garrison Engineer thrice in her career. Her professional achievements won her laurels and paved the way for more women officers to follow her suit.
She is also a founder member of Defence Infrastructure Planning and Management Council of India (DIPM) and was also on board BVB Gandhi Centre of Science and Human Values, Bengaluru as its Executive Committee Member from 2019 to 2021.
Chandranath Acharya was born in Puttur, Karnataka. He received his Diploma in Painting and Drawing in 1973 and his Post-Diploma in Graphics from Shantiniketan in 1981. He has received numerous awards including the Karnataka State Lalit Kala Academy award in 1979 & 1998 and the Kannada Rajyotsava Award in 2008. Chandranath has held seven solo shows in India and has been a part of several important group shows in India such as the National Exhibition of Art, Delhi in 1979, 1980, 1983 & 1984, and also the ’50 years of Independence’ exhibition, Delhi in 1997.
He has also been a part of group shows in Singapore, Hong Kong, Johannesburg and London. He has participated in numerous artist camps and workshops both in India and abroad. He lives and works in Bangalore.
Dr M.S. Murthy is an artist, muralist, sculptor, and author. He holds a Diploma in Fine Arts & Modelling from the Karnataka Chithra Kala Parishad and a Doctorate from the Kannada University, Hampi, Karnataka. His art practice ranges from sculptures and paintings to murals inspired by the Ajanta and Ellora.
He has served as the Chairman of the Karnataka Lalit Kala Academy from 2015 to 2017. His works can be found in several public and private collections in India and abroad, including the National Gallery of Modern Art, Delhi, Alliance Francaise, Bengaluru, and the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, Bengaluru.
Dr. Murthy has held several solo exhibitions all over India. He has also participated in State, National and International exhibitions. In 2003, he won the International Biennial Award from the Iran Academy of Arts; in 2006, he won the Karnataka Sahithya Academy Award for his essay collection DesiNagu. In 2010, the Government of Karnataka honored him with Rajyotsava Award for his achievement in the field of art. In 2017, Government of Karnataka Awarded the Lifetime achievement Award – Varnashilpi Venkatappa Prashasti. He was the Chief of Academic Council at the Jain College of Visual Arts, Bengaluru. He has presented papers at art seminars, curated art shows, and served as jury member for various state and national art exhibitions.
Prof Shukla Sawant is a visual artist and Associate Professor at the School of Art & Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She is a founder member of the Indian Printmakers Guild and serves occasionally as a visiting lecturer and faculty member at the Delhi College of Art and the National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi.
Shukla worked as a teacher and lecturer in the Department of Fine Arts and Art Education at the Jamia Milia Islamia in New Delhi from 1989 – 2001. She has had several group shows and collectives on national and international levels like the Ljubljana, Bradford and Norway biennales. Furthermore, Sawant was also a member of the working group as well as a participating artist in the 1998 Khoj program, which brings together artists from several different countries for a set of workshops and lecture programs each year.
Dr. Pramila Lochan is an art historian, researcher and writer by profession besides nurturing keen interest and practise in Hindustani classical music for over four decades. She is engaged in research, documentation and writing since 1992 in the area of ragamalapainting, mural paintings, ganjifa art, folk art, contemporary art and musicology.
Her contribution includes extensive study and documentation of Mural Paintings of South India (ongoing since 2002), conceptualization and coordination of digitisation and catalogue documentation of Ganjifa cards in the collection of late Kishor Gordhandas for IGNCA, N.Delhi (2009), co-curation in setting up an exclusive Gallery of Ganjifa cards for Heritage Village, Manipal (2009), study of ragamala paintings and documentation of puppetry in South India (1992).
Books authored by Pramila Lochan include Mural Paintings of Kancipuram : IGNCA: 2019, Kalamandira: A.N.Subbarao, Paradigms and Beyond, Kalamandira – 2019; Sarojini Devi-The Nightingale of India, Gandhi Centre of Science and Human Values, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan-2003; Contributory book chapter on Mysore Ganjifa and The Art of Playing the Ganjifa Game-A Narrative Compilation, ‘Splendours of Ganjifa Art’, Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, 2019; Myths and Legends of Melukote, IGNCA SRC, 2017; and chapters, research papers and articles for edited research volumes and journals.
She has published over hundred feature articles on visual art and music for The Times of India, Deccan Herald, New Indian Express, The Hindu, March of Karnataka, Bhavan’s Journal and for a cultural monthly Ananya Kalasinchana, featuring contemporary artists of Karnataka (Art and the Artist , 2015 -2020). Authored essays for art exhibition catalogues for eminent contemporary artists of India and interviewed well known artistes/ artists for All India Radio, Bangalore and for multimedia productions of IGNCA. She has conceptualised and coordinated several workshops, curated exhibitions, presented talks, attended seminars.
She holds a Ph.D and Masters degree in Art History (Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath), taught art history courses for undergraduate, postgraduate and for MPhil and PhD candidates at art colleges in Bengaluru. She was faculty and former Principal of Roerich Institute of Fine Arts, and senior researcher at IGNCA SRC, Bengaluru. She was a Member of Karnataka Lalitkala Academy (2008-11) and is presently GC Member, Lalit Kala Akademi.
Suresh Jayaram is an artist, art historian, arts administrator, and curator from Bangalore. He is the Founder, Director of Visual Art Collective/1.Shanthiroad Studio is an international artist’s residency and alternative art space in Bangalore. India.
He is currently involved in art practice, urban mapping, archiving, curation, and arts education. His keen interest in environmental and urban developmental issues influences his work.
He taught Art History at Karnataka Chitrakala Parishat, the College of Fine Arts in Bangalore, and later went on to become the Dean between 2005-2007.
He obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in painting from the College of Fine Arts, Karnataka Chitrakala Parishat, and Master of Fine Arts from the M.S.University, Baroda in 1992 in Art Criticism. His dissertation was on KK. Hebbar for which he received the Nehru small study grant, recently curated a show that focussed on Karnataka Modern Art at NGMA, Bangalore in 2017. He has published in many art periodicals and journals.
He received the Charles Wallace grant from the British Council, He set up 1. Shanthiroad studio in 2002 which is an international residency program to connect artists and creative people from different parts of the world to Bangalore. To create, collaborate and have conversations across cultures.
In the context of this show on Rumale, he has formerly curated a show about “Landscape painting in Bangalore” for a project supported by IFA. He authored a book “Bangalore’s Lalbagh a chronicle of the Garden and the City” in 2021.