7 Jan 2020

A Journey Into The Past

Nostalgia in Stone

Manjunath Wali’s recent series of paintings depicts landscapes around prominent heritage sites, primarily those located in and around Karnataka, capturing their essence. He brings alive these landscapes that have withstood the passage of time, imprinted with narratives from a distant past.

All works in this series have been rendered plein air, on site, in an effort to represent the ephemeral atmosphere, the changes in light and colour, and effects of light and shadow prevailing at the place. The vulnerability of the monuments and the locations are evident in the rendering; the onsite painting emphasizing the immediacy and transient nature of the event and locale.

The artist’s hometown Vijayapura, and Gadag, where he studied art, are important historical places with several specimens of Chalukya and other significant articulations in close proximity, which kindled Wali’s interest in history and architecture. Combined with his artistic sensibilities, these have formed a recurrent muse for him. Wali’s fascination with these locales has resulted in repeated visits to Hampi which have materialised in this body of work and form a large part of it.

‘Nostalgia in Stone’ captures the paradoxes associated with the sites - the fragility and notions of (im)permanence of the monuments constructed in stone, and the associations with culture and heritage as tangible artefacts. Wali adopts a naturalistic approach, with a focal point, and illusion of details in the foreground, allowing the backdrop to diffuse and recede into the distance.

The soft, sentimentalized atmosphere and the play of light form a sharp contrast to the stone monuments that heighten their frailty and vulnerability. The numerous surviving ruins of Badami, Hampi and neighbouring areas - the Agastya lake, Hemakuta hill, Virupaksha temple, the watch towers, Lotus Mahal and the famous Garuda Shrine are some of the historical landmarks depicted in the paintings.

The morning light, the glorious sunsets and the afternoon shadows frolic amidst the ruins to render an enchanted image, recapturing some of the lost grandeur of the place. The sparkling pools of reflection from the water bodies, dazzling temple gopurams in the sunlight, the view from the watch towers, the glorious Garuda Shrine in the form of a chariot in the Vittala Temple complex that appears to be monolithic, offer glimpses of a magical past.

Wali’s body of work, a visual artistic documentation, is a significant attempt to emphasize concerted efforts required for conservation and preservation of heritage*.

*Excerpt from the catalogue text by Nalini S Malaviya

‘Nostalgia in Stone’ is on at Reves Art Gallery, Bangalore till 12th Jan 2020

All images are courtesy the artist

Please share this article using the social media widgets at the bottom and do subscribe to receive regular updates from Art Scene India.

For interviews, profiles, sponsored posts and to contribute articles, contact artsceneinfo@gmail.com

Also read, 

20 Dec 2019

Gandhi – Beyond Borders by K M Madhusudhanan

Artist K M Madhusudhanan’s solo show in Dubai is currently on at 1x1 Gallery, and it has melancholy and a sense of foreboding, as it explores the undercurrents of violence in today's times, writes Deepa Gopal

Gandhi IV, Gandhi – Beyond Borders by K M Madhusudhanan
Gandhi IV
K M Madhusudhanan’s was part of The Radical Movement, an avant-garde movement of the 80s, which has gradually acquired a disparate meaning than that it had at the time of its inception. It was formed as a student body that wanted to be united to fight against the injustice and aberrations of the system at the time. They had just finished their studies and it was a significant phase for them, and friendship was an important unifying factor; to stay united for a cause and they unwaveringly discussed contemporary art. The social aspect of such a group, at any point of time, has a strong rooting. Art is meant to be social and should influence the mass all the same. It resonated with the philosophy of The Third Cinema, an aesthetic and political cinematic movement in the Third World countries of the 60s and 70s and the ideas propounded by its makers like Fernando Solanas that decried capitalism and neo-colonialism and emphasized on topics like national identity, poverty, tyranny and revolution, class and cultural practices.

As you enter the spacious and aptly lit 1x1 gallery the air becomes grave, all you can but see are the dark frames oozing with the history of a colonial past interspersed with the current times threatening violence and abuse of power which is still current as it was a century ago.
Arrival, Gandhi – Beyond Borders by K M Madhusudhanan
A multi-faceted artist proficient in various mediums that seem to flow seamlessly into one another be it art, cinema that includes video art and feature film Madhusudhanan’s works are brilliant particularly for the colour scheme that strikes you - a mix of sombre charcoal works and dark tones with a touch of white, red and some light and fire. It has melancholy attached to it and a sense of foreboding, at the cusp of revelation. It does have the Hopperian feel of ‘something just happened or something is about to happen’ particularly in his newer series.

Refugees II, Gandhi – Beyond Borders by K M Madhusudhanan

Refugees II

The Gandhi series (2019) are 10 in total; Gandhi looks despondent and immersed in his own world, often his head substituted for a globe, a lantern, a clock while in some other works his limbs are substituted with a goat, books, weapons etc. They are loaded with symbolism as with his other works and we are meant to put the pieces together as we gradually move from one to another. One can see the recurrence of lighted bulbs similar to the presence of an almost invisible thread/wire that perhaps has a chance to manipulate to what it’s attached to. Refugees series from this year stands out the most.

Gandhi becomes a prominent subject in our times not only in India but globally due to several factors especially the prevalence of violence in our daily lives across media. From religious tugs, caste and creed, to amassing power and wealth; Gandhi remains the searing and indulgent spot and that’s what makes Gandhi a forever subject.

Madhusudhanan’s art is just not for the senses alone, it’s for the intellect as well. The artist is crystal clear when he says that everything we do is political whether it be in our home or in out street. Everything resonates to it and we can’t push it to the back drop.

Red Street, Arrival and Penal colony (2017) will unsettle you. Most of his works are multi-panelled where every section is a story on its own. Penal Colony though reminds us of Kafka’s title it’s a historical probe into the heart-wrenching tragedy, the ‘Wagon Tragedy’ that happened during the British rule in 1921 at Northern Malabar. It’s a reminder of the tortured death just like Colonization which was in itself a torture and a sport. The Archaeology of Cinema is placed diagonally opposite to where his movie History is a Silent Film (2008) plays. It reminded of lives that remained stuck in the mute net of forgetting. It was awarded the Outstanding Short Films from International Festivals, The Museum of Modern Art, New York in 2007. It was at this point that I noticed the artist enter the gallery in his black dress and I thought that he might as well have descended from one of his displayed paintings. People flocked around him to converse and discuss.

Homage to Ustad Bade Gulam Ali Khan 2-2018, Gandhi – Beyond Borders by K M Madhusudhanan

Homage to Ustad Bade Gulam Ali Khan 2-2018

One of the participants of 2014 Kochi Muziris Biennale, Whorled Explorations where he displayed The Logic of Disappearance - A Marx Archive, one can see a similar strain of works in charcoal in 1x1 gallery as well. If it was 90 frames in the nostalgia-seeping walls of the Aspinwall, it was 8 frames here along with an oil painted Ustad Bade Gulam Ali Khan at the pinnacle in Homage to Ustad Bade Gulam Ali Khan 2. One could not help but notice the microphones, gramophone and megaphone invoking the sound as the Ustad himself is in the mid-way of his gayaki not to forget that he himself had borne the brunt of Partition.

'Gandhi-Beyond Borders' is on at 1x1 Art Gallery till 31st Dec 2019

All images are courtesy 1x1 Art Gallery

Deepa Gopal is an artist and author of the art blog, HuesnShades, an award-winning blog, she currently resides in Dubai.

Please share this article using the social media widgets at the bottom and do subscribe to receive regular updates from Art Scene India.

For interviews, profiles, sponsored posts and to contribute articles, contact artsceneinfo@gmail.com

Also read, 

28 Nov 2019

Waves of Imagination by Humera Ali

Bangalore based artist Humera Ali presents her recent body of works in her second solo show at MKF Museum of Art. Employing abstraction as a tool to convey her concerns for nature and its conservation, Humera depicts landscapes as large expanses of textured colour fields. She says, “Unleashing years of latent creativity, the show is oriented from my love for nature that transforms my rendition in a natural leaning towards abstraction.”
Waves of Imagination by Humera Ali
Verge of Dawn

She attempts to capture the gentle gradients of the terrain, the glimmer of sunlight on land and water and the various movements observed in nature. “My brush strokes using acrylic medium are seen as ‘bold’ and pigments used as ‘strong’ while being inspired by pointillism and knife art as a medium and technique. Observing the veins of a leaf, the textures created in water on a pebble are details seen in my creations.”

Waves of Imagination by Humera Ali
Marine Collision
The lyrical movements, patterns and textures inherent in nature are translated on the canvas. “My series on water is to recreate the beauty of the sea in tranquillity or rippling waves on the sand as I observe and create forms through a rhythmic pattern. Every canvas translates into a meditative experience with the intention to take the viewer in a narrative that transcends into another realm of their imagination.” The tender approach to painting reflects in the serenity of the works and the light and shadow effects displayed through tonal variations.

Waves of Imagination by Humera Ali
The series of works aims to also emphasize on the need for immediate action in cognizance of rapid urbanization, climate change and global warming. “I use the canvas to express my intense feelings with a strong message to conserve nature as global warming has given rise to water levels with repercussions of land that is fast receding.”

She emphasizes, “this show is a plea to all who respect the vagaries and strength in nature to continue the movement of protecting our planet.”

Humera is a self taught artist driven by passion, she was later mentored by the Bangalore based senior artist JMS Mani. Her works are part of collections in South Carolina, Sydney and Canada. She also does community service by giving art therapy to children with chronic illnesses providing them with a healing touch.

Meet the artist on 30th November 2019, 4 pm onwards

Waves of Imagination by Humera Ali, from 30th Nov - Dec 18, 2019 at MKF Museum of Art, 55/1 Isha Villa, Lavelle Road, Bengaluru 560001

Timing 11-7 pm.( (Monday closed.) Contact +91 7373 887 557

All images courtesy the artist

Please share this article using the social media widgets at the bottom and do subscribe to receive regular updates from Art Scene India.

For interviews, profiles, sponsored posts and to contribute articles, contact artsceneinfo@gmail.com

Also read,

Sponsored post

23 Nov 2019

A Journey Through Art by Anand Bekwad

Anand Bekwad's visual travelogue captures the mood and atmosphere along with the architecture and social fabrics of the cities and heritage sites that he visits. The depiction, follows the evolution of cities along important river trails that have been the genesis points of religious and cultural centres. Bekwad paints these as vibrant landscapes filled with energy and life, attempting to capture their historicity and distinctive character.

A Journey Through Art by Anand Bekwad
Blue Banaras - acrylic on canvas
"The series - ‘A Journey Through Art’ brings together a journey highlighting the artistic learning, philosophy and process of various art forms and sensibilities of the two regions, fascinated by its ghats, river, the people the city attracted and its bylanes throbbing with energy. Anand Bekwad, known for his watercolours and acrylic tries to narrate the journey of water with different landscapes of Rameshwaram, Madurai and Banaras. Certainly been in his mind he aims at publishing ‘views’ of the city from ‘complete plates and finished watercolours. Capturing through vibrant splashes of colour, and fluid line-work both the liveliness and poignancy of a timeless pastoral visual text," writes Ruchi Sharma in the catalogue.
A Journey Through Art by Anand Bekwad
Banaras evening light - -acrylic on canvas
In this series of paintings, Bekwad has worked with acrylics on canvas, deviating from his preferred medium which is watercolours. The Northern Ghats and the temples from South India form focal points of depiction in these works. The Benaras series include scenes around the river Ganga, with its Ghats, temples along the riverbank and other architectural features. The stories of the past and those of the living merge seamlessly on the canvas to create vibrant stills.
A Journey Through Art by Anand Bekwad
Chethshingh fort - Acrylic on canvas

'A Journey Through Art' is on view at Kalakriti art gallery, Hyderabad, till 29th November 2019

Please share this article using the social media widgets at the bottom and do subscribe to receive regular updates from Art Scene India.

To contribute articles, please get in touch at artsceneinfo@gmail.com
Also read,

5 Nov 2019

Art Bengaluru 2019 – Festival of Contemporary Art

Art Bengaluru 2019 - Ongoing at UB City

Art Bengaluru 2019 returns in its 9th edition and brings together 21 reputed artists from across the world including USA, Netherlands, France and Saudi Arabia with almost 200 works of art. Spread across various floors in the mall, the art has integrated beautifully with the interior design and architectural elements. The works encompass a range of styles, genres and media - paintings, hand-blown glass sculpture, installations, video projects, 3D printed sculpture, photography, mixed media and digital art are currently on display throughout The Collection, UB City.

The launch of the almost month long festival on 2nd November was a spectacular affair with a scintillating musical performance by the Bangalore City Chamber Orchestra.
MajesticForest - Daan Oude Elferink (Netherlands) Art Bengaluru 2019
Majestic Forest - Daan Oude Elferink (Netherlands) Art Bengaluru 2019 

The curatorial premise extends its range from the previous year and focuses on storytelling and figuration primarily, at the same time it attempts to draw narratives from across the country as well as internationally. It plays with scale and space to enhance the viewing experience.

The ground floor comes alive with dramatic works by the well known Dutch photographer Daan Oude Elferink, which capture the glory of abandoned and long forgotten places. Buildings, relics and deserted industrial facilities narrate poignant stories of life gone by.
Title-MANTODEA_PRAYINGMANTIS-Size-137_cm_X_137_cm_X_9_cm - Haribabu Natesan
On another floor, Haribaabu Naatesan’s large format mixed media works made out of industrial waste and scrap are a comment on consumerism and urbanization. He elaborates, “I want my artworks to provoke people to think about the materials they consume; when they discard a cycle or computer, when they re-decorate their homes, they must be aware of how much junk they are creating.”

Masked_Reality_Interactive -  By artificial intelligence (A.I) and new media artist, Harshit Aggarwal
Masked_Reality  By Harshit Aggarwal
In the IT capital of the country, technology, artificial intelligence and data science and its application predominates and art created utilizing these concpets will intrigue the viewer. New media artist Harshit Agrawal explores the ‘human-machine creativity continuum’- the melding of human and machine creative agency. He uses machines and algorithms and often creates them as an essential part of his art process. He often juxtaposes traditional art media and tools along with machines and computation, creating a space to both direct, and be guided by the machine.
2018-BetweentheRealities- R M Palaniappa (02)
Between the Realities  R M Palaniappa

Do not miss senior artist R M Palaniappan’s exhibition at Sublime Galleria on the 8th floor, which features his collection of works that explore the line, its movement and spatial connotations. The notion of time and space, the experience of space and the materiality of the universe map imaginary trajectories of physical and psychological terrains. His interest in art, science and psychology meld effortlessly.
Watch out for art by the Bangalore based Pradeep Kumar D M, R Rekha Krishnamurthy and Venugopala H S. Also for works by Anil Ijeri, Anni Kumari, Chandrahas Y Jalihal, Hariram V Harsh Nowlakha, Sruthi S Kumar and Vijit Pillai. The other international artists include Afra Khan, Jordan Sitzer and Pierre Poulain.

Untitled - Pradeep Kumar D M
Untitled - Pradeep Kumar D M

Speaking about the evolution of Art Bengaluru, Ms. Uzma Irfan – Founder -Sublime Galleria & Director - Prestige Group explains, “Nine years ago, we had conceptualised Art Bengaluru as a dedicated festival for the arts. Ever since, it has been a trailblazer event, a celebration of art, culture and luxury, on par with the finest art shows across the globe. Our constant effort has been to put Bengaluru on the map of the international art world, and give India’s rich and diverse culture the global platform it deserves.”

Abhishek Naidu, Curator of Art Bengaluru elaborates, “A new generation of collectors are on the rise who are looking at platforms like Art Bengaluru to engage with some of the best emerging and established artists from India and beyond. Over the last decade, Art Bengaluru has played a pivotal role in forging spirited bonds between artists, galleries, art collectors and art enthusiasts, not only across India, but also in New York, Beijing, Paris, Amsterdam and other international locations. With Art Bengaluru 2019, we wish to further strengthen these bonds and boost the outlook for the Indian art market.”

There is a BIT of you in some BIT of me Acrylic on canvas 5X4 feet2018 - Anni Kumari
There is a BIT of you in some BIT of me byAnni Kumari

Incidentally, the festival will also feature over a dozen talks, workshops, curated walks and other art experiences, including a feature Film Bengaluru – an International Film Festival organized in partnership with the UNESCO MGIEP focusing on the theme, 'Kindness Matters' from 14 – 17 November 2019.

Upcoming is also a workshop organized by OnePlus for smartphone users which will be conducted by the well known artist, Pallon Daruwala, who will show people how to take great photographs on their smartphones. The workshop will take place on Saturday - 23 November 2019 from 10am – 1pm.

Art Bengaluru at UB City, Vittal Mallya Road, 11am onwards is on till November 30.

More details on Art Bengaluru 2019 here http://www.artbengaluru.in/

Please share this article using the social media widgets at the bottom and do subscribe to receive regular updates from Art Scene India.

To contribute articles, please get in touch at artsceneinfo@gmail.com
Also read,