B. 1941

A graduate of the Delhi College of Art, Rameshwar Broota has been an art teacher for the better part of his career, joining as lecturer at his alma mater before moving on to Jamia Millia Islamia University and then Sarda Ukil College, before taking over as the head of department at Triveni Kala Sangam, a position he has held since 1984. Starting as a representational painter, Broota moved to the abstract before returning to more figurative works. His visual language bears elements of realism and expressionism.

Experimenting across styles, Broota’s main artistic concerns evolved around the crass materialism of society and the juxtaposition of the primitive man. The allegorical, grotesque, satiric representations manifested in the Gorilla and Ape series of the Seventies, where he critiqued the corruption and decadence among the political and social elite. Later, Broota moved to the realm of the timeless, exploring the opposing pulls of matter and spirit. The leitmotif of Broota’s imagery in his series Man, Faces, Scripted in Time is the Man who, collectively, represents mankind. His preference for painting the male nude arises from the suggestion of strength and force as symbolised by the masculine torso.

Browns, greys, blues, whites, and metallic tones of gold, silver and copper dominate these works. Around this time, Broota invented his scratching technique – an effect achieved by scratching with blades through layers of paint. Broota’s experimentation with cinematographic language resulted in some video art films produced from the mid-Eighties. His recent interest in photography has resulted in critically acclaimed exhibitions. Rameshwar Broota lives and works in New Delhi.