Thursday, February 7, 2013

Mapping Ram Singh Urveti's career graph

One of the prominent names from the domain of Indian tribal art drawing the art world’s attention is Ram Singh Urveti. Born in 1970, like most other tribal artists, he had had no formal education in art. In fact, when he happened to paint on canvas for the first time, colors haphazardly spilled and spread.

It was neither a very encouraging beginning nor a very memorable experience for him, as the artist stood gazing at the work, wondering where it all had gone wrong. However, it was Jangarh Singh Shyam's mother who soothed his frayed nerves and calmed him down. Her prophetic remark then was: "The way the colors have spread over this canvas, your work will also spread all over the world." And how right she was, as it didn’t take long for him to create an indelible impression on the art world!

In fact, Ram Singh Urveti imbibed and honed artistic skills under Jangarh Singh Shyam. It was just a matter of realizing his potential and he did so with aplomb. His extraordinary career was set on the path of excellence after he received a mention in the 41st National Exhibition by the Lalit Kala Akademi (LKA). This was in 1998, which marked the beginning of a success story, as he subsequently received many honors like the South-central Zone Cultural Centre Award for Tribal Art (1998) and the Kalidas Award in 2001. ‘The Night life of Trees’, his collaborative documentation done along with Bhajju Shyam and Durga Bai, received the Bolognaragazzi Award from Italy.

 An expert practitioner in a wide variety of mediums for more than a decade and a half, his work has been displayed in prestigious exhibitions like ‘Chamatkar’ courtesy CIMA art gallery, Kolkata; ‘Eternal Voyage’ and ‘Pravah’ courtesy the Indira Gandhi Museum, Bhopal; ‘Artists from Madhya Pradesh’ courtesy Bharat Bhavan in New Delhi, to mention a few - apart from a series of solo and joint show, including the ‘The Ancient & The Contemporary’ recently held at the Institute Of Contemporary Indian Art (ICIA), Mumbai.

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