AHMEDABAD: Ratan Parimoo is known to Amdavadis as the innovative former director of LD Museum, eminent art historian and former dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts at MS University of Baroda. But a book ‘The Conductor’ on his journey and an accompanying art show in the city puts him in a new perspective as an abstract painter.
“I feel lucky that at the age of 85 years, I’m able to display artwork that’s about 50 years old. In a way, it’s not just my journey, but also of the ‘Baroda Group’ that played a major role in pushing the boundaries of Indian art in late 1950s and early 1960s,” Parimoo told TOI. “N S Bendre, my teacher, taught us the basics of painting that laid foundation of the experiments. While some like Shanti Dave moved to Delhi and practised the abstract art, some branched out in other forms as well.”
He added that abstract expressionism of that period preceded the ‘official recognition’ of the form by the US in 1968-69 when the genre along with minimalism got global shows of the eminent artists. “In a way, we got a unique voice from Vadodara earlier than the West,” he said.
The ‘pure’ abstract, according to Parimoo, has elements such as non-recognizable subject, non-objective, non-figurative ideation, and colour and form are the main characteristics. Thus, the book describes Parimoo as a conductor of an art symphony where he composes his ideas, thoughts, emotions and feelings through arrangements of forms, colours and textures.