June 15, 2012


Dear Members,


Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) is lauded around the world as a poet, playwright, musician, and philosopher, yet few outside India know that he was also a highly regarded visual artist. The Last Harvest, produced to mark the 150th anniversary of the year of Tagore's birth, comprises more than sixty works on paper created by this versatile and prolific visionary, drawn from three collections in India.

Tagore began drawing and painting at the age of sixty-three with no formal training, although several members of his family were educated in art. His artistic practice grew from his habits as a writer and a poet; revision marks and scratched-out words on his manuscripts became free-form doodles. The constant working of Tagore's mind may be seen in the unfettered flow of lines, free choice of colours, and moods that are at times whimsical and at others pensive.

Tagore was the first Indian artist to exhibit his works in 1930 across Europe, Russia, and the United States of America, earning him critical acclaim in the West, where Expressionists and Surrealists were celebrating the subconscious and exploring raw sensations as a means of breaking from academicism and stylistic conventions.

The Last Harvest is divided into four thematic sections: The Discovery of Rhythm; Images of Nature; Theatre of Gestures; and Faces-Between Masks and Portraits. While Tagore's memories and impressions of nature generated atmospheric landscapes, he also discovered the human body and its movement through his contemplation of natural scenes. Many of his works are populated with agile figures that seem to sometimes acrobatically morph into various forms found in nature. Click HERE to view some of Tagore's artwork.

Tagore's paintings could not be compared to what was prevalent amongst Indian artists of his time. When shown in India for the first time, the paintings evoked perplexity, and were termed incomprehensible even by the modern Indian artists. His paintings and drawings even today remain fresh and thought-provoking while they continue to elude any kind of categorization under the narrow boundaries of "isms" of other modern art experiments. Through his paintings, like in his poems, songs, and literature, he searched for a unifying theme or universal truth that ran as a common thread through all his creations.

Don't miss the only showing of this exhibition in Canada!  

When: On NOW and until July 15, 2012
Where:  McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg

Organized by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India and the National Gallery of Modern Art as part of the commemoration of 150th Year Celebrations of Rabindranath Tagore.


This exhibition at the McMichael is presented in collaboration with the Consulate General of India, Panorama India and the Tagore Anniversary Celebrations Committee, Toronto (TACCT).


Click HERE for more information.   

This event is proudly supported by MyBindi.com.



The Last Harvest: Paintings by Rabindranath Tagore