The origin of the project is the Kumar Collection, embracing the entire production, from the first early sketches of the Twenties in the last paintings in the late Sixties. Considered the largest collection outside India, for the first time subject of a critical catalog, the collection belongs to the manager, marketing professor and Indian collector Nirmalya Kumar, who studied the figure of Jamini Roy, bought many of his paintings and displayed them to the public for over ten years, in his beautiful home museum in London, Marylebone Street, with the intent of preserving its character of an ancient culture and encouraging the diffusion of Indian contemporary art.
Curated by Caterina Corni with the support of Alessia Borellini, the exhibition is part of the project “OrientArt” which aims at presenting the relationship between the Asian contemporary art and the ideological context in which it is included. The exhibition was created, designed and produced by the Museo delle Culture di Lugano in cooperation with various international institutions and in co-production with Silvana Editoriale that published the catalog. It’s edited by Alessia Borellini, Francesco Paolo Campione e Caterina Corni.
Of great importance is the collaboration between the Museo delle Culture di Lugano and Capitale Cultura International Sagl (CCI), the Swiss arm of Capitale Cultura Cultura. It is a project of communication and a modus operandi which includes three distinct functions: communication, marketing and development. The working group for communication is coordinated by the Director of MCL with the cooperation from the management of CCI. Periodically they define strategies and relationships with the most important economic partners. The primary goal is to “penetrate” the territory with a promotional campaign and audience involvement aimed at telling the inhabitants of Italian Switzerland and Insubric Regione that Lugano has a top-notch museum, not only equipped with modern services, but also able to develop cultural activities at a business level and internationally, by creating economic and social value within the area.
After an intense audience development process and a partnerships with private companies, in 2015 the cooperation has also focused on strengthening the mission of the MCL as an asset for private collectors. The collaboration with Nirmalya Kumar is therefore particularly important, also in consideration of the moving of the Museum from Villa Heleneum, Castagnola, to Villa Malpensata, in the heart of Lugano, already home to the Museum of Contemporary Art.
In the exhibition it is possible to admire 70 masterpieces (oil on canvas, tempera on paper, gouaches on paper and linen) made by the artist throughout his career, accompanied by about 30 wooden sculptures of the XVII-XIX centuries depicting some of the protagonists of Hindu mythology and traditional Kalighat art paintings and drawings. A series of photographic reproductions from the archive of John Irwin (1917-1997), curator of Indian art at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and a personal friend of the artist, enriches the exhibition together with a selection of photos of the ‘”India minore”. This is the famous report of 1939 made by Walter Bosshard (1892-1975), the photographer who was responsible for the construction of the iconic image of Mahatma Gandhi.
“Jamini Roy. Dalla Tradizione alla Modernità. La Collezione Kumar”
13 giugno – 23 agosto 2015
Museo delle Culture
Heleneum, Via Cortivo 24/28
6976 Lugano-Castagnola, Svizzera.
Catalogo Silvana Editoriale.
Il Museo delle Culture di Lugano