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    While the late 19th and early 20th centuries saw many artists drawn to the ‘oriental exoticism’ of the east, the work of Georges Gasté is unique. “Unlike many ‘oriental’ painters and photographers, Gasté stayed in India for 18 years in total. He lived with the locals and mingled his life and work in a very intimate way,” explains the curator of a new exhibition of his Indian photographs, Aude de Tocqueville.
    Making the cut
    Launching today at NGMA the exhibition is a collaboration with the Institut Français in India, anL'éléphant de la gare d'Orsayd will travel to eight Indian cities by the end of the year. Made up of 34 photographs, the final selection was curated from the 80 Indian pieces found in Gasté’s archives, covering the time up until his death in Madurai in 1910. Along with these will be colour reproductions of some of his paintings, copies of letters written by the artist, and a documentary film on his life.
    Everyday wonders
    “The selection displays some scenes that take place in the streets (at the market, in cities or villages), some religious scenes, as well as more intimate places where Gasté lived, such as Agra and Madurai,” shares de Tocqueville. “Their beauty rest in the union between an artistic look – as an excellent painter, Gasté had a real expertise in composition and light effects, and a sincere interest in everyday life,” she elaborates. One ‘emblematic picture’ is Terrasse de Sita (Sita’s Terrrace), which captures a young girl framed against the background of the Taj Mahal, taken on the balcony of the house in Agra that Gasté stayed in throughout 1906.
    Until March 27.
    At Palace Road.
    Details: 22342338
    Dobson Sippy


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