Tagore's last verses finds fresh life in Paresh Maity art

Rabindranath Tagore
New Delhi, Aug 12: Seven decades after Rabindranath Tagore penned his last few poems, contemporary master Paresh Maity has interpreted them through a recent set of watercolours.

The verses, said to be the last written by the bard and published in posthumously in 1973 as "Shesh Lekha" were later translated into English by writer, poet and film producer Pritish Nandy. The 1941 poems have now inspired artist Paresh Maity's new watercolours, which are currently showcased in the national capital.

The 15 works of art organised by the Art Alive Gallery are being exhibited at the National Gallery of Modern Art till August 28, 2011.

"Rather than an ode to the End to me these texts appear an eager fervent invitation to a new subliminal beginning. In my works I have attempted to capture this keenness, this sublimity," says Maity who points out that he grew up studying the poet's work and finds it "immensely fascinating."

The artist who began his career with landscape scenery moved on to representations of the human form to his recent bold and graphic paintings that sport strong colour and unusual croppings.

Awarded the Nobel Prize for his "profoundly sensitive fresh and beautiful verse", the current exhibition say organisers is "an attempt to uncover a new Tagore, one hitherto unknown to readers, burdened by thoughts of impending cessation and yet unsurpassable in his calmness, in his eager admiration for and final willing submission in the hands of the unknown." 

Among the works being shown are "Forts in the Moonless Night" and the "There Comes the Moon", "The Raga of Spring" and the "In the Fifth year of Marriage".

The poems, considered by many to be some of the poet's finest works contains "a sense of serene melancholy" and reiterates a "triumphant theme that in death there is nothing to fear."

Maity says he drew inspiration from "not the obvious pall that stealthily hovers over the source of his inspiration but rather the mystical, surreal aspects of a poet's invocation to the ultimate unknown."

"After Pritish suggested I go through the poems and do artworks based on them, we planned to do the exhibition in January," says the artist.

Maity imbibes within his familiar landscape the intricacies of Tagore's words, bits of his own atmosphere, his chair, his window etc. The artist's works graze against and away from Tagore, moving simultaneously from the mundane to the transcendental.

Organisers say the exhibition is scheduled to travel to Mumbai and Kolkata later this year.


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