Room B
Illustrations by Mark McGinnis for Tagore's Gitanjali

Our featured artists:

HALL ONE: Thomas Shields
HALL TWO: Mark W. McGinnis
HALL THREE: Carl Grupp
HALL FOUR: Joel Strasser
HALL FIVE: Eyob Mergia
HALL SIX: Robert Aldern
HALL SEVEN: Jerry Aistrup
HALL EIGHT: Dick Krueger
Coming Soon: Mary Selvig, Richard Bresnahan

Gitanjali: 103 Small Paintings
A Project In Progress
Artist's Statement

Gitanjali XII

Left: Gitanjali XII

For larger view click on image.

Gitanjali is a book of poems by Rabindranath Tagore (Indian, 1861 - 1941). In 1913 Tagore received the Nobel Prize for Literature for this masterpiece. In August of 2001 I began reading the work of Tagore and soon came upon this book. I immediately knew that I needed to drop what I was currently working on and begin a series of paintings inspired by the depth and beauty of these poems. The book consists of 103 poems or"song offerings" (the translation from Bengali of the word "gitanjali"). The poems deeply and beautifully describe the human search for the eternal. My project will have one 9" X 9" acrylic on paper painting for each poem. I decided on the small size to harmonize with the very intimate nature of the poetry and to allude to the Indian miniature painting of past centuries.
Gitanjali IV

Right: Gitanjali IV

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To produce the Gitanjali project I have attempted to submerge myself in Tagore's world. I have been reading material from all areas of his diverse and creative career. The paintings are not meant to be illustrations of the verses, but images inspired by the poetry and my understanding of the creative mind behind them. This understanding is then merged with my own sense of aesthetics, my always-evolving painting technique, and my current interest in Indian Kangra style paintings of the late 18th century. I am hoping that the results may be at least somewhat worthy to be companions to this great work of literature. In addition to the Gitanjali exhibition I am also working on a related paper/slide talk that I will be presenting in the fall of 2002 at the 16th Annual National Conference on Liberal Arts and the Education of Artists in New York City. It will be titled "Remembering Rabindranath Tagore." This presentation will be a compilation and distillation of Tagore's thinking on aesthetics and art as reflected in his poetry, essays, novels, letters, short stories, drawings and paintings.
Gitanjali V

Left: Gitanjali V

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A revised version of this paper will be used as the introduction of the handmade artist's book version of this project. These handmade books are a new dimension to my artistic life. The first was produced in 2001 for my Buddhist Animal Wisdom Stories project. I construct these books using ancient Japanese booking binding techniques and materials. This age-old binding is combined with 21st century archival inkjet printing technology to produce books with hand-signed images that will be color-fast for 200 years. This phase of the project will take place beginning in the Spring and Summer of 2003. The exhibition of the 103 paintings will be premiered at Isaac Lincoln Gallery on the campus of Northern State University, Aberdeen, SD in March of 2003.

Mark W. McGinnis
May 2002
Gitanjali VII

Right: Gitanjali VII

For larger view click on image.

Recent Showings--2002- Buddhist Animal Wisdom Stories, Isaac Lincoln Gallery, NSU, Aberdeen, SD; 2002 -Designs of Faith, paintings & essays, St. John's University, Collegeville, MN; 2001 -Designs of Faith, paintings & essays, Mizel Museum of Judaica, Denver, CO; 2001- Elders of the Benedictines, portraits and interviews, Bede Gallery, Mount Marty College, Yankton, SD. Mark W. McGinnis - 1980-2000 - Major Projects showed at the Visual Art center, Washington Pavilion, Sioux Falls, SD.

Other shows in 2000 included Designs of Faith, paintings & essays, Steensland Art Museum, St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN, Elders of the Benedictines, Isaac Lincoln Gallery, NSU, Aberdeen, SD, Studies for Designs of Faith, watercolors, Nobles County Art Center, Worthington, MN, Watercolor Sketches from India, Student Center Gallery, NSU, Aberdeen, SD.

Call Mark W. McGinnis at 605-229-5898 or 605-626-2515. Fax: 605-626-2263. E-Mail: mcginnim@northern.edu
Gitanjali IV

Left: Gitanjali IV

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Gitanjali  XI

Right: Gitanjali XI

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Gitanhali XVI

Left: Gitanjali XVI

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Gitanjali XX

Right: Gitanjali XX

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Gitanjali XXII

Left: Gitanjali XXII

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Gitanjali XVI

Right: Gitanjali XXVI

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Gitanjali XXX

Left: Gitanjali XXX

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Gitanjali XXXI

Right: Gitanjali XXXI

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