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The focal point of the art movement that emerged in Madras in the 1950s was the Government College of Arts and Crafts. However, neither was the art movement limited to this institution nor was it a monolithic entity as it accommodated strands that were varied in their manifestation. This was due to the presence of artists who were trained at this institution but had journeyed forth on their unique individual trajectories thereby adding different dimensions to the art movement. One such artist was K.Sreenivasulu....r>
A student of D.P.Roy Chowdhury, Sreenivasulu's training at the art college acted as the foundation for his creative explorations. While his academic training was a feature that he had in common with his contemporaries, his subsequent development was shaped by several factors. This included his experience in copying South Indian murals, his love for indigenous craft traditions, his exposure to the works of Jamini Roy, and his association with Kalakshetra, Madras. These impulses metamorphosed into artworks that were rooted in a native sensibility and expressed the rhythms of quintessentially Indian ways of life.

This exhibition features the works of Sreenivasulu largely from the 1950s. During these years, he took his prior engagement with folk art and other Indian pictorial traditions further and evolved a visual language that was shaped by these affinities. Some viewed this engagement with tradition as an absence of the contemporary spirit. However, one can assert that it was this very aspect that placed him in conversation with prevalent artistic and cultural currents: the evolving art movement in Madras that sought to explore Indianness alongside modernity, the pan-national craft revival efforts in the post-Independence years, and the atmosphere of an institution like Kalakshetra that framed the notion of tradition in relation to several art forms. Working in the backdrop of these factors, Sreenivasulu created artworks that appeared to be timeless visions of the past, but were actually manifestations of modernity that were anchored in, rather than ruptured from, the past.
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