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India Could Have Done Without Modern Art

Unlike in the Western world, India has never had a historic necessity to experiment with a genre that has come to be known as modern art, according to renowned painter-sculptor A. Ramachandran.

“Ideally, our art should be advancing along a path that is well rooted in the country’s own visual culture,” says the Delhi-based septuagenarian. His first-ever exhibition of works in his homeland Kerala concluded here on Sunday evening.

The Padma Bhushan awardee says Europe had a reason to rebel against art schools that largely revelled in realism till the mid-19th century. “Then photography was invented. That invalidated portrait and landscape paintings. It was inevitable the art scene there changed.”

On the other hand, the Orient never had an art culture on parallel lines, he says. “We in India have for long seen a flourish of various schools of art, none of which resorted to realism.