Five Kerala artists display works inspired by Marxism

New Delhi, Nov 26 (IANS) Five artists from Kerala have brought to the national capital an exhibition on a generation inspired by Marxism, history of change and resistance in Kerala in the 1980s that is on display at the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art here.

“Pond near the field: Five artists from Kerala”, which will run till March 30 next year, brings together drawings, prints, collages, and diaries of K.P. Krishnakumar, K.M. Madhusudhanan, Surendran Nair, C.K. Rajan, N.N. Rimzon.

These artists the almuni of the College of Fine Arts, Thiruvananthapuram.

Rebelling against the outdated ideals of modernism and teachers from older generations, the artists, along with fellow students, were involved in a series of long-­drawn strikes and agitations against the college authorities.

This exhibition focuses on a generation inspired by Marxism and followed the idea of a commune. Some of their attempts are now considered monumental in the history of modern art such as the formation of the Kerala Radical Painters’ and Sculptors’ Association.

The show articulates this radical mix of political understanding, comradeship and artistic ambition.

Presented together for the first time, these 200 works push one to look through and analyze the shared vocabulary, conceptual premises and the wit and humour in them.

C.K. Rajan’s “In Search of Utopia” (1989-­90) series, painted onto the back of flattened ­out cigarette packets, hints at these utopias and aspirations of the group of ­idealists.

Similarly, K.M. Madhusudhanan, through his “The Logic of Disappearance: A Marx Archive” (2014) series of 60 drawings, confronts India’s film history, colonial period and contemporary war politics, with influences from Marxism and Buddhism.

The exhibition also includes other artists’ diaries from the early 1990s that provide insights into thought process and sketches of some important sculptural ­installations.

 

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