Noted artist, writer and art historian N. Marishamachar (62) passed away on Wednesday morning after a cardiac arrest.
Besides being an artist, Mr. Marishamachar was a photographer, sculptor, printmaker and art organiser. His premature death marks the end of a colourful chapter in the history of visual arts. He wrote and published over 50 books in Kannada on visual arts.
The recent book he edited was on artist S.G. Vasudev, with write-ups by stalwarts such as U.R. Ananthamurthy, Girish Karnad among others.
His books have become unofficial textbooks for the Kannada-medium art school students, though his stint with teaching was brief. He was an exhibition officer and registrar at various academies, yet the art community in Karnataka came in search of the ‘person’ in him and not the officer.
Mr. Marishamachar, fondly called ‘Mari’ by his friends, began the first influential art group ‘Samyojitha’ three decades ago. His talents were so diverse that nobody knew what position he was in at any point of time.
Being Mari was an official designation in itself.
Along with Mr. Vasudev, he played a major role in setting up the original artworks of K.K. Hebbar at Venkatappa Art Museum. His Samyojitha made a lot of meaningful contributions by arranging art talks by doyens of modern Indian art.
Mari learnt art from R.M. Hadapad in Ken School, writing on art from K.G. Subramanyan and the art of turning publication into an industry from Kannada litterateurs. He collected artworks and books like an archivist.
Mari was conferred the K.K. Hebbar Memorial Award for his immense contribution in the field of visual arts in 2010. He is survived by wife and three daughters.