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Untitled (Head of a Man)

c. 1935-1940
Rabindranath Tagore, Indian (eastern India, Calcutta), 1861 - 1941
Rabindranath Tagore often portrayed abstracted, enigmatic faces of indeterminate gender. Eyes withdrawn, lips tightly sealed, they emerge silently from the still space that surrounds them. Tagore paired some with verses such as, "The pain has ceased/though its pathos lingers/like a still evening/at the close of a rain-cloud day." Parisian artists and critics readily appreciated Tagore's stark portraits, but they were met with puzzlement when he returned to India and exhibited them in Bombay (now Mumbai), where viewers had seen little western expressionist art....

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