I arrived in Baroda to the news that its beloved Maharaja Ranjitsinh was no more. He was the second son of Maharaja Pratap Sinh Gaekwad (1939–1951), and came to the throne only in 1988. Known not for his flamboyant style like other Maharajas, Ranjitsinh was an art enthusiast…educated and trained as a fine artist. He was also a noted musician and was known to be a simple man, who drove his own car, take lectures in the M.S.University and also attend various art openings in the city. To sum it up, he was a gentleman and a personality Baroda will miss.The Faculty of Fine Arts, Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda, dedicated 2012’s annual fine art display in his honor.
The ‘Display’ is the Faculty of Fine Arts Annual Art Exhibition for the graduation batch of students. Young Artists from the Painting, Print Making, Sculpture and Applied Department showcase their works to the jury…and subsequently open this exhibition for the public. One usually finds art enthusiasts, whether commercial or academia, at this Fair…scouting for younger talent, or the next stars. Don’t be surprised if you are not the only one visiting an artist’s studio, as there are gallerists as well as curators doing the rounds. It’s usually a three-day celebration…though this time, due to the Maharaja’s demise, the Fair wore a solemn look.
Below are some pictures, and pardon me for not documenting the events in detail, of how it looked. Though the fair had a few sparks, I didn’t find any student whose work made me stop in my tracks. Compared to the last few years, and I’ve been coming here for more than 6 years…I would say that the work lacked originality. The brighter side is that it was extremely well presented and some of the students had a wonderful ‘display’. Look forward to it next year…after all, it is my annual pilgrimage!