might even look a little regressive. But this is deceptive. Though the visible trappings of modernism have been shed, his work still carries a vein of modernism deep within it. These anatomically complete figures, as we have already noticed, were born of a fragment—the lopped off head of Musui. And the body that is so readable is at the same time schematic, and too light and nimble to be real. The arms and legs are not only lean but also almost of the same girth. The figures (especially from the Freehold and Terrafly series) are so plastic, and their movements are so fluid, that they deny the reality of bones; and the sensuous flesh-
invoking modelling is stretched thin like skin over the meagre volume of the figures...”
R Siva Kumar’s informative essay on the sculptural journey of KS Radhakrishnan is an art historical gem useful for the serious lovers of art. Mapping with Figures is a highly focussed study on the artist’s works from the last fifteen years which offers an insightful account on the significance of KS Radhakrishnan in contemporary Indian art. It restores a sense of history, complemented with a fascinating background check on the formations of Radhakrishnan as an artist.
KS Radhakrishnan is a leading contemporary sculptor of national and international acclaim whose sculptures are exclusively executed in the medium of bronze. His intervention
in the revival of figurative tradition in Indian sculptural parlance with an emphasis on
the body has been acknowledged as a significant art historical milestone. Trained under the supervision of two important modernists Ramkinkar Baij and Sarbari Roy Choudhury, Radhakrishnan has developed an inimitable style which emphasise on fluid, dynamic, extra-ordinary body types using two characters Musui and Maiya. His works have been displayed in Triennalle India (1990), Hippodrome d’elongchamp, Paris (1996); Espace Michel Simon-Noisy le grand, France (1996), Beijing Biennale (2012).
R Siva Kumar, one of the foremost art historians in India, is professor in History of Art at Kala Bhavana, Visva Bharati University, Santiniketan. He is responsible for charting out a seminal scholarship on the modernist interventions of artists from Santiniketan.
His significant contribution to Indian art was heralded with his monograph Santiniketan: The Making of A Contextual Modernism (1997) which was followed by extensive studies and curatorial manuscripts on prominent Indian artists including Rabindranath Tagore,
K.G. Subramanyan, Benodebehari Mukherjee, Ramkinkar Baij and others. His significant publications include The Santiniketan Murals, 1995; K.G. Subramanyan: A Retrospective, 2003; The Paintings of Gaganedranath, 2015; and The Last Harvest: Paintings of Rabindranath Tagore, 2011.
• Foreword by Director, NGMA, Bengaluru
• Mapping the world with Human Figure by R Siva Kumar
• Biographical Profile
|Number of photographs
|26 b&w photographs
|Number of illustrations
|8 x 10" (203 x 254 mm), hc
|Date of Publishing
|Mapin in association with Akar Prakar, Kolkata and National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) Bengaluru