Celebrating Rumale Chennabasaviah: A Soulful Journey at NGMA

The National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) Mumbai was filled with a stirring atmosphere as it hosted the inauguration of ‘Varna Mythri – Rumale Chennabasaviah’s retrospective exhibition, an ode to the master artist’s illustrious career. Rumale, a true luminary in the artistic realm, often likened to the Vincent Van Gogh of India, was more than just a painter. He embodied the spirit of a freedom fighter, a newspaper editor, and a dedicated public servant.

This momentous occasion marks the first time Rumale’s works have ventured beyond Karnataka to grace the city of Mumbai. The exhibition, organised by the Madhav Kabe family, is a heartfelt endeavour devoid of commercial intent, solely driven by the desire to honour and elevate awareness of the late artist’s legacy in Maharashtra.

The event, graced by Chief Guest Pheroza D. Godrej, Guest of Honour Ranjit Hoskote, and esteemed artists such as Brinda Miller, Prakash Bal Joshi, and Nayanaa Kanodia, Sanjukta Barik, among others, was a poignant reminder of Rumale’s multifaceted contributions. The event also saw in attendance Umesh Kumar Rustagi – Director, NGMA Mumbai, Sanjay Kabe, Shabala Kabe, curators KS Srinivasa Murthy from Rumale Art Gallery and Shruti Das from NGMA Mumbai, Shri Venkatachelapathi, among many others. The soiree also witnessed a soulful performance by Hindustani Classical vocalist Padmashri Padmaja Phenany Joglekar.

With 80 artworks and 3 prints on display, spanning cityscapes, landscapes, and spirituality, this retrospective at NGMA, Fort, until April 15, 2024, the Madhav Kabe family invites all to immerse themselves in the timeless beauty and profound legacy of Rumale Chennabasaviah. Additionally, rare artifacts, such as a photograph of Rumale with Mahatma Gandhi in the mid-1930s and a Tamra Patra presented to him for his participation in the freedom movement will also be on showcase.

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