15 Nov 2006

Review of SG Vasudev's Paintings

I was at the preview of Vasudev’s exhibition of paintings last week (which by the way was very well attended with the city’s arty crowd turning up in large numbers). Here’s what I wrote for TOI, an excerpt…
The Vriksha (tree) has been a dynamic element in Vasudev's paintings and has also been a protagonist in some of his works. In this series too, the Vriksha and the mask like face are very much evident. In fact, his early paintings did not have the mask. In the present series, the themes in the paintings remain similar to the earlier works with a few changes. For instance, the protagonist is still a female in the ‘She’ series, but now she takes on a more complicated existence. An elaborate hairdo reveals complex detailing when you look at it closely, suggestive of a whole new world and a gamut of intricacies.

Image courtesy artist SG Vasudev
Now, the tree becomes a more dynamic form, it acts as a nurturer where birds find comfort but on the other hand it itself lives in fear of being destroyed. Vigorous brushstrokes blur the existence of the tree. In all his paintings the characters narrate a story whether it is about pretensions - holding up a mask before the whole world, female power or more serious issues about environmental concerns. The emphasis is on the narration and the works themselves are fairly abstract despite being figurative. On the other hand, the drawings on black canvas are a stark contrast to the paintings and are minimal and free from any embellishments.
Image courtesy artist SG Vasudev

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