1 Dec 2006

Review - Paresh Hazra

Paresh Hazra’s recent works are influenced by rural Bengal - the paintings are colorful and have a lot of folk motifs. This particular series is based on deities from Hindu mythology such as Krishna, Ganesha and Durga. Most of the works are in earth tones with golden highlights, and the result is quite stunning if over-embellished. The colors and textures in this series are toned down as compared to his last exhibition in the city.

Image courtesy Paresh Hazra
Born in West Bengal, Hazra came to Bangalore in 1981 as an art teacher at the Military School. In his early days, Hazra worked with watercolors using the wash technique popular in the Bengal School. Fond of experimentation, he constantly tried out different mediums such as watercolor, graphics, oil painting and mural. He recalls that when he was learning the fresco technique and egg tempera – where egg yolk, linseed oil and mastic varnish are mixed, he discovered his preferred medium. He writes, “…I completely transformed it (egg tempera technique) into my own way intending to bridge the traditional and contemporary themes and motifs of India.” He also experiments with the texture of surfaces by using bits of string, jute or gauze on canvas. Incidentally, egg tempera medium has its origins in Europe and a number of famous paintings by old masters were done in this medium till the fifteenth century. Once oils were discovered, artists found the freedom to paint outdoors and egg-tempera became less popular over the centuries.
There are a couple of abstracts in paper pulp and a few charcoal drawings also. The charcoal portraits are pleasantly minimalist and stand out amongst the profusion of colorful paintings.

The exhibition is on till December 8 at Right Lines Art Gallery, Bangalore.
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