Lalit Kala Akademi and Nehru Memorial Museum and Library have brought to the Capital “The Making of the Modern Indian Artist-Craftsman”, a programme that puts together the works of the country's pioneering studio-potter, Devi Prasad.

“The importance of the exhibition lies in not just creating awareness of Devi Prasad's work as a potter, but reveals that he has been an important photographer, painter and designer. But perhaps most startling of all is that the exhibition reveals how his art practice went hand in hand with his work as a political activist in support of pacifism and his roles as a writer and educator,'' says a release issued by the organisers.

In order to bring together a narrative representation of his substantial career, the exhibition has brought together about 300 artworks, comprising photographs, pottery, drawings and paintings interspersed with panels of text drawn from Devi Prasad's prolific intellectual outpouring on art, education and politics.

Curator of the show Dr. Naman P. Ahuja says: “This formulation allows the pots he is so famous for to be viewed within the broader context of the history of his motivation and work as an artist; it brings to the fore the common theme that runs through all his work.''

The works in the show span 65 years beginning with some of Devi Prasad's earliest artworks – a selection of paintings made in Santiniketan in 1938 – and ends with a showcasing of some of the last (from 2003-04) that were made the last time he used his studio in Delhi.

Though he was trained as a painter by India's foremost modern artist, Devi Prasad has hardly ever shown his paintings in public nor has he exhibited the full extent of his prolific work as a photographer. “Devi Prasad's negotiation of the varied demands of urban markets and rural needs stems from a profound philosophy that believes that every man must realise his creative potential to be able to create a peaceful world,'' notes the release.

The exhibition is open to the public up to May 21 at Lalit Kala Akademi, Rabindra Bhavan, Mandi House.

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