K. G. Subramanyan’s dramatic War of the Relics, 2012, occupied pride of place in this show mounted as a tribute to the artist and teacher, who passed away in June 2016. As the title suggests, confrontation is a strong element in the black-and-white, acrylic-on-canvas work. Amid luxuriant vegetation where mythical creatures abound, men astride elephants and horses encounter battle tanks, while the desire-fulfilling cow goddess, Kamadhenu, faces off against a ferocious rhinoceros-like creature and grim-faced warriors cross swords. Decorative borders frame the individual panelsa nod to Subramanyan’s engagement with indigenous craft traditions during his stint at the Weavers’ Service Centre of the All India Handloom Board. The narrative emphasizes Subramanyan’s underlying message: Religious symbols and relics, originating as vehicles of peace and brotherhood, over time create
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