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N.N. Rimzon

Indian Contemporary Artist
Born 1957, Kakkoor, Kerala, India
Lives and works in Kerala, India

N.N.Rimzon is one of the internationally acclaimed artists whose symbolic and enigmatic sculptures reveal the human complexities and distress in a hostile environment that is man's own making. His artistic vocabulary is rooted in symbols derived from the rural landscape of southern India. His charcoal and pastel drawings revolve around motifs and meanings central to his sculptures.

Education

1989

Master of Arts (Sculpture), Royal College of Arts, London

1984

Master of Arts (Sculpture), Faculty of Fine Arts, Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, India

1982

Bachelor of Fine Arts (Sculpture), Government College of Fine Arts, Thiruvananthapuram, India

1980

National Diploma in Sculpture, Government College of Fine Arts, Thiruvananthapuram, India

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LIFE AND WORK

UNDERSTANDING N.N. Rimzon

Rimzon's oeuvre depicts human entrapment and hostility

N.N. Rimzon was greatly influenced by the political upheaval that accompanied Indira Gandhi's emergency during the mid-1970s. This led him to move away from narrative painting and experiment with conceptually motivated sculpture. His art epitomizes the human complexities and distress in a hostile environment that is man's own making. For example, in The Inner Voice, a sculpted nude figure in fibreglass, is displayed with its back against the wall and surrounded by a semicircle of cast iron swords. This sculpture evokes the eternal duality of violence and materiality contra human aspirations.

Rimzon's earlier work seem to reflect the concerns emanating from a leftist background in Kerala; his later work reveal postmodernist nuances in their attitudes, but the socio-radical concerns continue to be an important notion.

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N.N. Rimzon, The Inner Voice, 1992, resin, fiberglass, marble dust, and cast iron, 456 cm (dia.)

Rimzon uses his personal language to construct works along with a narrative suggestion

Born in the Indian state of Kerala, Rimzon’s artistic vocabulary is rooted in symbols derived from the rural landscape of southern India: the village compound, the palm tree, the temple, the forest pathway and the handmade canoe. He depends on innate classic art forms of aesthetic emotive and symbolic nature, along with personal, contemporary, even ad hoc ones. His cardinal motifs repeat in related configurations, their meaning dependent on context and title’s implication.

N.N. Rimzon, Devotee on the Roof, bronze and wood sculpture, 21 x 200 x 10”

His sculptures bring out the intrinsic connection between religion and violence

He had a way with three-dimensional form from the very beginning, he states. His metal, fiberglass and stone sculptures have won him international acclaim. His sculptures are arranged in an installation-like space and exhilarated by various differences and contradictions of size, colour, setting. Its connectedness with other forms, sensations and thoughts, is set off by a lyrical proximity, which the artist calls the experience of a dream.

Rimzon, much inspired by Ram Kinkar Baij, German realism and expressionist figuration, exaggerates and then distorts his figures. There is also an emphasis on dense, rounded volumes evoking the breathing innervations of animated beings simplifying and abstracting the shapes.

N.N. Rimzon, The Tools, 1993, resin, marble dust, fiberglass and iron, 78.7 x 157.5” (diameter)

His drawings revolve around motifs and meanings central to his sculptures

Rimzon always draws along with sculpting. His drawings are not mere preparatory sketches; they are, as in the sculptures, reflective of the artist's distress with contemporary universal issues of violence and disharmony. The absence of figures in his drawings represent an oppressive silence or alienation while presence of symbols and motifs like a felled tree, the sword, the earthen pot, the egg, the shell, the stone and the mountain relate to its iconography and  actual roles.

Charcoal and oil and dry pastel drawings include elementary outlines, which are rough, intimately touching the raw nerve, suggesting the environs permeating dense atmosphere emblematic of ancient imagery. The strokes on flat paper consider structure, volume and mass through silhouette contours, surface, concavity and desolation.

N.N. Rimzon, Tree Mother, 1997, charcoal on paper, 12 x 18”

Bibliography