M.D. Muthukumaraswamy

M.D.Muthukumaraswamy is a Tamil writer, Director, National Folklore Support Centre, Chennai and Consultant at Sahapedia.

This image gallery presents the sculptures of visionary sculptor S.Nandagopal (1946–2017) chronologically. Evocative of Indian tribal and folk arts, his contemporary works were placed by Nandagopal in the prominence of deities, mythologies, animals, birds, hero stones, and pastoral and primordial conflicts. Hailed as a modern visionary in the ancient Indian tradition by many art critics Nandagopal made it his life's work to find an Indian idiom for modernist sculpture. In this gallery, we see Nandagopal's works in the 1960s following the visual process of a South Indian temple tower and adopting the iconography of the votive figurines. In the 1970s, Nandagopal's works achieve consolidation of frontality and linearity. In the sculptures of the 1980s, we see Nandgopal achieving incredible lyricism that is asymmetrical, visually arresting, and presenting dramatic conflicts.  From the 1980s onwards we see subtle changes in Nandagopal's artistry that bring about space-shifting mechanisms and strategies of mythologies to the sculptures. Animals, birds, trees and humans merge and engage in dramatic encounters. From the 1990s onwards Nandagopal's works take on a new phase—the narrative element. Nandagopal called them Frontal Narrative Sculptures. Nandagopal's series of brass, copper and silver pieces soar and leap into space as if they are drawings done in the air and they achieve exuberance and the power of grace. Whan expanded in scale Nandagopal's sculptures achieve monumentality and when reduced in size they become unique jewels.