MUMBAI: “It’s a day of celebration, Norblin has returned to Mumbai!” Rajeev Lochan director of the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), Mumbai said. Over 44 years after Stefan Noblin’s first exhibition was exhibited at the same gallery, NGMA welcomed ‘Stefan Norblin: A Master of Many Arts’, works of the polish artist with fun and fare.
The exhibition organized jointly by the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), the culture ministry and the Regional Museum in Stalowa Wala, Poland was inaugurated by Mr G.C. Goel, Joint Secretary Ministry of culture and Mr Janusz Wach, counsul General of the republic of Poland in Mumbai on Tuesday.
The exhibition includes 60 paintings and many of his works are being displayed digitally. Norblin’s work is said to have no boundaries as he perfected the art of painting, sketching, interiors, illustrations, costume design and lot more. The emphasis is on Norblin’s work in India between 1941 and 1946. The fascinating life of this talented artist and its impact on the art he created started when he fled Warsaw with his actress wife Lena when war broke out in September1939, Stefan Norblin traveled through Romania, Turkey and Iraq. In 1941, he managed to reach the shores of India and even though his aim was to immigrate to USA, but he had to live in Bombay for few years before he could do that.
While he was in India Stefan Norblin, won patronage from royalties and he painted and designed interiors and furniture for the royal families of Morvi, Jodhpur and Ramgargh. It was, however, in Jodhpur where Norblin got his most significant commission in India — to design the interiors and paint murals for the Umaid Bhawan Palace. These have been restored, and some of them form part of the current exhibition.
Norblin inIndiadeveloped a new style inspired by Hindu mythology and elements previously unknown to him, including characteristics from Indian art that permeated his pre-existing European Art Deco sensibilities. “The great magnetism of this exhibition lies in the fact thatIndiaover time has witnessed the influx of foreign artists,” Mr Lochan said.
His work encapsulates captures and allows the visitor to relive the historical wars and victories of Indian kings or the wedding processions of Maharaja Umedh Singh. Noblin’s vast interest in subjects adds a diversity to the exhibition as he painted military officials and Indian Mythological characters with the a devotion that kept them true to their cultural. His very ‘Nordic’ style brought a unique new depiction of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata and its main characters. His work spanned a vast spectrum of styles and techniques, including frescoes, paintings, graphics, costume and fashion design, stage sets and interiors many of which are displayed at the exhibition.
A joint project between the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, the Embassy of theRepublic ofPoland and Maharaja Gaj Singh ofJodhpur has led to the restoration of priceless frescoes and the royal Throne Room is once again open to visitors. The team has also brought out a well produced book on Norblin, priced at Rs 200 and have filmed a documentary on his works which shall soon be screened.