"The Romanticists` explanation of creativity convinced me so that the painterly skills seemed to me to be more in the realm of technique as in the case of craftsman and the creativity implied what a painter could be beyond this. That is why how a poet or literary person sees the world around him, gets involved with experiences of life and how they effect his emotions, are according to me the sort of situations that a `feeling person` encounters, contributing to the making of the creatively endowed artist."---Ratan Parimoo. Ratan Parimoo is reckoned as one of the most prominent art historians and painters in modern India.
To Ratan Parimoo the life of an artist is full of imagination, where an individual stays with the feelings and experiences that he or she has gathered from life. This notion is reflected through his paintings. Viewers can feel the urge in order to express the world as he conceptualises it. Ratan Parimoo has served as the Faculty of Fine Arts, in M.S. University, Baroda. The subjects of his teaching were Art history and Aesthetics. The genre or style that is reflected through his paintings cannot be bracketed. He floats smoothly from one form of manifestation to another.
Ratan Parimoo was born in 1936 in Srinagar, Kashmir. Illustrious artist Naina Dalal is the proud wife of this celebrated painter. Ratan Parimoo obtained his graduation in Fine Arts from the Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S. University, Baroda in 1955. Afterwards he obtained M.A. in (Fine) Creative Painting, Post Graduate Diploma in Museology under M.S. University, Baroda in 1957. Ratan Parimoo obtained his graduate degree in History of Art from London University in 1963. He obtained Ph.D. in Art history from M.S. University, Baroda in 1972. He has ornamented the esteemed posts of- Lecturer in Art History, Faculty of Fine Arts, Baroda 1959; Reader and Head, Department of Art History and Aesthetics 1966; Professor in Art History and Aesthetics from the years 1966 to 1978; and also the Dean, Faculty of Fine Arts, Baroda from the years 1975 to 1981.
Apart from these posts, Ratan Parimoo was also the member of Executive Board, Lalit Kala Akademi, Delhi from the years 1981 to 84; Member of UGC Panel Art History/Museology in 1982; Executive Secretary, Indian Association of Art Historians from 1982 to 88; Member, UGC Pay Scale Revision Committee in 1985; Member, Central Advisory Board Museums, Government of India in 1987; Member, History of Science, Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi from 1993 to 95; Member, UGC Panel for Art History/Fine Arts from 1994 to 97; Member, Art Purchase Committee, National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi from the years 1998 to 2000; Member, Programme Committee, National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi from the years 2002 to 2005.
Throughout his professional career he has exhibited his creations in various solo and group exhibitons. The worthy exhibitions are-- 1958 First one-man show, Srinagar; 1972 Retrospective Exhibition at Rabindra Bhavan, Delhi; 1973 & 1975 One-man show, Mumbai; 1976 One-man show, Delhi; 1979 One-man show, Ahmedabad; 1999 Retrospective Exhibition at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai; 1999 Retrospective Exhibition Part II, at Cymroza Art Gallery, Mumbai; 2000 Retrospective Exhibitions, Ahmedabad, Baroda; 1955 onwards National Exhibitions of Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi; in the years 1956,57, 58,59 Baroda Group of Artists Exhibitions in Bombay; 1962 South Asian Artists, Durham, U.K; in the years 1964,1965 & 1975 Joint shows with Naina Dalal at Mumbai, Delhi and I.P.C.L., Baroda; in the years 1975,1976 Alumni Exhibition, Faculty of Fine Arts, Silver Jubilee, Mumbai, Baroda; 1990 organised and exhibited with eight Baroda artists, CMC Ltd., New Delhi; 1991-92 Artists Against Communalism, Delhi; 1992 Birla Academy of Art, Calcutta, Silver Jubilee Exhibition, West Zone; 1995 Bharat Bhavan Biennale, Bhopal; 1995 Tribute to Husain on 80th Birthday, Aurodhan Gallery, New Delhi; 1996 Contemporary Indian Painting, Bombay Art Society, Mumbai; 1997 Major Trends in Indian Art, Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi; 1997 Participated in Artist`s Camps: 1996 Pavagarh, 1976, Srinagar, Kashmir.
Some of Ratan Parimoo`s creations include-- Woman with Matka, oil on board (Exhibited, National Exhibition of Art, LKA, New Delhi); Habba Kadal, oil on board, 1957 (Exhibited, Baroda Group of Artists, Mumbai); Lotus Valley, digital print (original with Air India, oil on board); Baroda Station I, oil on board; Marriage Procession, oil on canvas; Baroda Station II, oil on canvas; Still life with Kashmiri objects, oil on canvas; Kashmiri Family, oil on canvas; Rice Fields, oil on canvas; Kingdom of Cards, oil on canvas; Dal Lake, oil on canvas; Baroda Station III, oil on canvas; Baroda Zoo, oil on canvas; Tongas, oil on board; Composition (Scarlet Pearls), oil, sand, encaustic on board; Composition, encaustic on canvas; Bio-morphic Forms, oil on canvas; Fear, Despair, Death (Fear: Dragon`s Visit), oil on canvas; Self Portrait as Icarus Transformed, oil on canvas; Sea of Eyes, oil on canvas; Dromedary as Nemesis, oil on canvas; Dromedary as Nemesis, oil on canvas; Penumbra, oil on canvas; Road of Nirvana, oil on canvas; Water Buffaloes, oil on canvas; Dance of Death II, oil on canvas; Mahishasuramardini, oil on canvas; Encounter with Nothingness, oil on canvas.
As a recognition to this outstanding talent, numerous laurels have been conferred upon Ratan Parimoo, like-- Cultural Scholarship for Painting, Govt. of India 1957-59; Commonwealth Scholarship to study in London for the years 1960-63; obtained First prize in Painting, Annual Exhibition, J & K. Cultural Academy in 1966; Rockefeller 3rd Grant to study and travel to USA in 1974 and Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship 1991-1993. Ratan Parimoo in a widespread way has written and published many articles and books on classical Indian and Modern Indian art as well as in films. His main aim was to evolve a new direction in art historical studies. Some books written by him are-- `Paintings of the Three Tagores` (Published in 1973); Studies in Modern Indian Art (Published in 1975); Life of Buddha in Indian Sculpture (Published in 1982); Sculptures of Sheshashayi Vishnu (Published in 1983); The Paintings of Rabindranath Tagore (Published in 1989); The Pictorial World of Gaganendranath Tagore (Published in 1995); Studies in Indian Sculpture (Published in 1999); Ceaseless Creativity, Paintings, Prints and Drawings, edited by Gauri Parimoo Krishnan, published in 1999.
The creations of Ratan Parimoo embellishes places like-- Hermitage, Leningrad; National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi; Punjab University, Chandigarh; Air India, Mumbai; Shyamal Builders, Vadodara; Gujarat State Lalit Kala Akademi, Ahmedabad; Sahitya Kala Parishad, New Delhi; Madhavan Nair Foundation, Cochin; Cymroza Art Gallery, Mumbai; Welcome Group of Hotel, Vadodara.