Amongst his generation of artists, Rameshwar Broota, much like the solitary male figure in his imagery, stands distinctly alone in his consistent engagement with the ‘male body’ over five decades. While the female nude, seen through the male gaze, remained dominant in 20th century Indian art, the bare male body largely represented mythical or heroic figures.
For Broota, the naked male body has continued to be a site of investigation. Endless articulations of its anatomical structure, corporeal force and erotic potential has made him render the masculine power through self-conscious rigour and restraint, but in due course, has also led him to face up its fragility and transmutations. Broota’s ‘Man’ in his primeval presence goes through the ambivalence of body and being, spirit and matter, fragility and resilience. With the trepidations of age, time, death and disintegration, one encounters the presence of male vulnerability in Broota that pushes the heroic male to acquire an anti-heroic position. The exhibition highlights the seminal shifts in his practice: from social satire to quiet introspective themes, bright colours to a monochromatic palette and from the body to its fragments and counterparts. Using his own body as a terrain for merciless explorations of the 'self', Broota arrives at his ‘visions of interiority’.