7 Dec 2006

Review – Group show by Kolkata artists

In this group show curated by Akumal Ramchander, there is an attempt to bring qualitative works at reasonable prices. Amongst the sixty odd paintings on display, there is quite a variety in terms of themes, styles of painting and also the mediums that have been used. The artists themselves form an eclectic group where a couple of them are in their early 20s and still studying, while others are at varying levels of their careers.

According to Akumal, he handpicked these eleven Kolkata based artists and encouraged them to create works that are not mundane or conventional. The themes may be universal but Akumal guided them when it came to the final presentation on the canvas. The results are definitely interesting and fortunately the experiment has generally worked, where most of the works are a little ‘different’, however a few fall short of expectations.

The collection features figurative works of Buddha, Krishna, Goddess Durga, adolescent girls, still life – flowers, vases, abstract lily ponds, and a few landscapes. Atin Basak, Prabir Das, Sudipta Tewary and a few others are fairly well established artists and their works are worth seeing. Basak’s etchings on paper stand out for their sheer luminescence, the graceful compositions along with the clever use of colors create a wonderful effect. Sudipta Tewary’s charcoal drawings are also skilled and the human faces are full of enigma (incidentally Tewary is a self taught artist). Prabir Das zeroes on an unusual subject – owls, he presents them against theatrical backgrounds, combining unusual elements such as flowers and scarecrows along with them. In one of the works an owl is perched on a scarecrow in the middle of the night while bright yellow flowers gleam in the surrounding darkness - the effect is quite dramatic and startling.
Etching on paper by Atin Basak, image courtesy artist Image courtesy artist
Subrota Sen’s impressionist style lily ponds in large format are a delight to watch, not in the same league as Monet, but nevertheless very pleasant. Unfortunately, the smaller floral works are fairly dull and appear a little contrived. The still life paintings by Swapan Saha are also pleasing to the eye and the works in mixed media on board by Dhiren Shasmal, an illustrator and painter, have a lot of detailing. The other figurative works by Ashoke Ganguly and Milan Das, and abstracts by Aruava Mondal are also interesting. In the collection, the landscapes are a little disappointing and the colors are too garish. Overall, the show is worth a look. Prices start at Rs 10,000.

The exhibition is on till December 11 at Time and Space art gallery, Bangalore.
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