Showing posts with label Art Review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Art Review. Show all posts

22 Apr 2007

Art Review - Chandana Kankaria

(By Nalini S Malaviya)

Chandana D Kankaria is back in the city to present her recent works. Her watercolors are once again inspired from nature, although a few larger works portray the city skyline, and interiors of homes. The artist offers, “You can’t hide or conceal anything when you work with watercolors. They are transparent and every stroke – whether right or wrong is visible to the naked eye”.
painting by Chandana
Most of her paintings are pleasant, and delicately rendered in soft shades. The artist has good control over the medium and is able to play around with light and shade effect, and colors. However, in some of her larger works what strikes a discordant note is the linear disproportion of skylines. Buildings that appear to be inclined at an angle create a visual conflict. The cityscapes bathed in brilliant hues form a large part of the collection. Then there are a bunch of balloons, drapes in a room and sidewalks with colorful umbrellas. The colors though are sometimes too bright and could be toned down for a more refined impact. The smaller works are based on nature and are beautifully evocative and follow a subtler color palette. The works have a cultivated air of romance and a pleasing ambience. Overall, it forms an appealing collection.

Chandana is a fine arts graduate from Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath and has a penchant for watercolors. She has held a few solo shows in Bangalore and Chennai. An avid traveler, she finds inspiration from old buildings, pilgrimage places and nature.

The exhibition of paintings is on till April 26 at Time and Space art gallery, No.55, Lavelle Road, Bangalore - 1.

(Published in FT, Bangalore)

8 Apr 2007

Expression of Joy - Mandana Painting

(By Nalini S Malaviya)
These monochromatic paintings on paper are outstanding examples of tribal art done by Meena women from Rajasthan. Intricate designs of animals, birds and other motifs have been painted in exquisite detail. White pigment on brown paper has a stark yet delicate effect that resembles lacework, at times. A tree surrounded with parrots, tiger, peacocks and lotus flowers have been represented through linear drawings. Geometric patterns have also been used to fill up space and add decorative value. The result is quite stunning, especially because some of the works have been done on very large panels. What is also interesting is that most of these paintings are a result of group efforts yet it is impossible to detect any blemishes or oversights.

Mandana-Painting-Folk and tribal art, India
The Meena tribe is an ancient tribal group living in the eastern part of Rajasthan. The art form called ‘Mandana’ is practiced exclusively by women. For them it is an expression of joy on festive occasions. It is done on the mud walls of houses and traditionally, colored glass, beads, mirrors and stones are also used to decorate these paintings. The conventional art form is created using white chalk and brushes made of khajur or bamboo sticks. The end of the stick is crushed to form fine bristles. The mandanas are painted on walls and floors. Often, geometric patterns are painted on walls, while representational forms of animals, birds, plants and flowers are painted on the walls.

The exhibition titled ‘Joy of Creativity’ is on view till April 10 at Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, Kumara Krupa Road and at Time and Space Art Gallery, # 55, Lavelle Road, Bangalore.
(Published in FT, Bangalore)

1 Apr 2007

Art Review - Surjit Khuman

(By Nalini S Malaviya)

Surjit Khuman in his first solo show in the city presents his recent works - a bright colorful world that resonates with fantasy and childish naivety. Titled ‘Dream World and Spicy Thoughts’ the paintings are a delightful blend of color and metaphorical nuances. He combines the innocence of children with a dash of mischief and humor in his choice of imagery. Pictures from National Geographic move him to create his own fantasy world where the protagonists are suspended as if trapped in time. Looking amused, bored, anxious, and even dumb they seem caught in a vividly colorful world that is far removed from reality, yet is inspired by ordinary activities. Tourists, deep sea divers, a cricket umpire form some of his subjects who look dumbstruck, awed and completely bored within their environments. A dream like quality permeates his works as he recreates scenarios with imaginative twists. An element of incongruity and humor creeps in his paintings as he places his subjects in unusual settings and juxtaposes unrelated objects to make his point.

painting by Surjit Khuman painting by Surjit KhumanSurjit has returned to painting after a gap of several years and has taken off from where he left. He has experimented with reverse painting and hopes to utilize printmaking techniques with painting mediums in his next show. He has done BFA (painting) and MFA (print-making) from M. S. University, Baroda.
There are thirty paintings priced between Rs 30,000 and Rs 60,000.

The exhibition continues till April 10 at Renaissance Art Gallery, # 104, Westminster,13, Cunningham Road, Bangalore - 560 052

(Published in FT, Bangalore)

27 Mar 2007

Art Exhibitions (Bangalore)

(By Nalini S Malaviya)

Eleven artists from Gulbarga, now residing in Bangalore come together with their recent paintings in one of the exhibitions at Chitrakala Parishath. Titled ‘The Journey Within’, the paintings are varied in nature with abstracts, figurative and surreal works. “At the outset this is an exhibition showcasing the prevailing contemporary trends and beliefs of my fellow artists from this region,” writes Virendra Shah, one of the participants. Virendra Shah’s minimal abstract is along similar lines as his earlier series, while abstracts by Devaki Rao are striking with good use of color. Mixed media works by Avinash depicting a knife on a platter, and others showing a fish and a boat respectively are interesting renditions, while Pawan R’s imagery is surreal in nature, bordering on the bizarre. Vivek Rao’s assemblages are on different themes and Sunita’s works using acrylic on paper are brightly colorful. Overall, a good concerted effort to present works from smaller towns in the State; however, most of the paintings are quite unremarkable. There are forty-two paintings priced between Rs 8,000 and Rs 50,000.
Mixed media work
In this other exhibition by artist Paritosh Das from West Bengal most of the works are watercolors on silk. The paintings are full of detailing and are based on folklore and memories of rural Bengal. He presents dream sequences and traditional themes through a combination of motifs and figures in bright colors. Most of the works are in small format and there are about fifty paintings priced between Rs 9,000 and Rs 25,000.

Both the exhibitions are on view till March 27 at Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath Art Gallery, Kumara Krupa Road, Bangalore - 560 001

(Published in Financial Times, Bangalore)

19 Mar 2007

Art Exhibitions - Bangalore

(By Nalini S Malaviya)

One of the exhibitions is about colors, while the other group show offers an eclectic variety.

Jenny Bhatt’s recent works titled ‘Breathing Color’ are abstract works that resonate with colors. According to the artist, “the current series of works continues to explore reality vis-à-vis perception and the urban, Indian, feminine identity in a rapidly changing globalised world… In the visual realm, color is chosen as a means to achieve this, and for the space that it occupies within science, philosophy, religion and spirituality.” Patches of color, where some have a peripheral marbling effect are intended to stir the viewer with its vibrational energy and rhythmic patterns.

Painting by Jenny Bhatt
The exhibition is on till March 26 between 11:00 am - 7:00 pm except Sundays at The Hatworks Boulevard, 32 Cunningham Road, Bangalore – 52.

In this other show ten artists from Karnataka come together to exhibit their recent works. Artists AM Prakash, Basavaraj Jane, BS Desai, Kishore Kumar, Madhu Desai, MC Chetti, Mohan Sitnur, MS Murthy, PS Kademani and VB Biradar, have put together about twenty paintings, which vary in their content and style. There are colorful abstracts, Buddha figures, imagery based on folklore, a few inspired from rural scenes and some with spiritual undertones. Although most of these artists are not very well known, it is a good effort since provides the local artists a platform, and helps in showcasing their works.

The exhibition is on till March 23 between 10:00 am - 7:00 pm at Lakshana Art Gallery, 29/2 Race Course Road, Near Aradhya Circle, Bangalore -1.

(Published in Financial Times, Bangalore)

11 Mar 2007

Art Review - Abir Patwardhan

(By Nalini S Malaviya )

Abir Patwardhan’s first solo show in the city, presents his recent works that are inspired by nature. In this series titled ‘Prayer for the Porcupine’ Abir lays out a delightful array of fruit and seeds where forms rule and the fluidity of copper charms.
sculpture by Abir PatwardhanThe sculptures draw inspiration from nature but refrain from being literal translations. Analogical at times, they are impressions, and sometimes imaginative renderings from fantasy. ‘Strange Fruit’ split in two has a frightening effect covered with wriggling worms, while ‘The outermost reaches of my mind’ has these long tentacles reaching out in exploration. The sculptures are beautiful, and have been crafted to perfection. With engineering precision and miniature detailing, the artist avoids being repetitive and offers a substantial variety. His sculptures have a sense of the unusual and even a touch of humor at times. Having worked in the past with paper, iron and ceramic amongst other mediums, the present series makes use of beaten copper. Abir first sketches out his concept, which then develops further in his drawings, and by the time he starts work with the metal it evolves in form and shape.

An avid traveler Abir admits he is fascinated by native arts and crafts. He believes such exposure adds perspective to one’s art and also helps in relating real situations to myths and legends. The artist has a master’s degree in fine arts (sculpture) from MS University Baroda, and lives and works in Pune. Prices begin at Rs 30,000.

The exhibition is on till March 14 at Gallery Sumukha, Bangalore –560 027.

(Published in Financial Times, Bangalore)

7 Mar 2007

Bikash Poddar and 'Kaleidoscope'

(By Nalini S Malaviya)

Bikash Poddar brings his recent watercolors that are pleasant and create an ethereal ambience. Romanticized landscapes in soft and appealing colors reflect the beauty of rural West Bengal. Swirls of colors blend seamlessly to heighten the effect of a dreamy sequence. There are a few figurative works also that are again done using the wash technique, and are characterized by minimal lines with an emphasis on aesthetics. Bikash Poddar, has worked as a commercial artist for many years, but then went back to painting a few years ago. He lives and works in Delhi.

The exhibition is on till March 8, between 10:00 am - 7:00 pm daily at Right Lines art Gallery, No. 270, 1st Main, Defence Colony, Indiranagar, Bangalore –38

This group show with twenty artists has some interesting works lined up. A majority of the artists are regulars at exhibitions in the city, and have their regular fare on offer. Beena Pradhan’s figurative work of a woman is eloquent, while MG Doddamani’s image is surreal and even a little chilling. Kinkar Ghosh’s woks on paper, especially ‘Savage’ are arresting. Nitin Nangare continues his series on Lambadi women and Sujata Achrekar with her ‘Brahmin’ series. Shashidhar Lohar’s ‘Tsunami’- a pen and ink drawing is full of details and attracts with its energy and restrained motion. M Senathipathi works are ornate and full of intricate detailing used as ornamentation. Somenath Maity’s has two paintings and both are equally striking, where towering structures (from his series ‘Structures’) in vivid colors make an impact. Sudipta Tewary has contributed a charcoal portrait that appears stylized.
work by Sudipta Tewary
The exhibition is on till March 15, 10:00 am to 7.00 pm at KYNKYNY, 33/200, N.S. Iyengar Street, Off Railway Parallel Road, Nehrunagar, Kumara Park, Bangalore 560 020.

(Published in Financial Tomes, Bangalore)

5 Mar 2007

Art Review - Suman and Suhas Roy

(By Nalini S Malaviya)
Suhas and Suman Roy, the father and son duo present their recent collection of works – a colorful medley that is a visual treat. As they make a brief stopover in the city, we discuss their art and more.

Suman’s Christ is a figure of compassion, suffering and dignity – done on canvas and acrylic sheets the results are stunning. What is surprising is that Suman’s tryst with painting has been an intermittent affair, despite which his grip on different mediums is remarkable. Suman Roy returned to painting after a gap of several years. In the interim period cars, computers and books occupied his mind. Meanwhile, he saw the film ‘The Passion of the Christ’ which affected him so much that he interrupted his sojourn with a series of Christ figures. The violence and the bloodshed in the film moved him to translate them on canvas. The paintings on acrylic sheets (a difficult medium to work with) are particularly striking.
Image courtesy Suman RoyComparisons between father and son are inevitable, but Suman is quick to point out that he has consciously avoided being influenced by Suhas Roy – the teacher. Suman’s early works were landscape paintings inspired by the serene surroundings at Shanthiniketan, followed by works on tribals. Then came a series on masks, a result of his extensive travels, and then finally the present works on Christ – a much in demand series. With barely contained excitement Suman announces that one of his paintings – a small one, as a matter of fact, has fetched 15 lakhs at a recently held auction, outdoing some of the senior artists. Suman Roy believes he has finally established his own identity.

On the other hand, Suhas Roy has been doing his ‘Radha’ series since 1979, which has been hugely popular. He is known for creating exquisite faces of women – romanticized portraits that are beautiful, sensuous and elegant. Conventional faces and forms acquire a rare quality in Suhas Roy’s hands, an air of fantasy or a dream-like quality permeates his works. In the present exhibition apart from the female faces in different mediums, there is a single painting of a man, a nawab holding a rose, which is rare from an artist known for his preoccupation with female subjects.
Image courtesy Suhas RoySuhas Roy’s skill with various mediums such as crayons, charcoal, and oil paints is equally legendary. He says beauty inspires him, whether it is a flower, a woman or a mountain… The other series he is working on now is The Midnight Rain, which comprises of large oils on canvas. The senior Roy believes in creating works that will last and be appreciated for generations. The art scene has changed a lot from his younger days, and he advises, “Art is changing, it is a digital era, but we should not forget our Indian roots. The soil determines how a person thinks or philosophizes and we should remember that.”

On the boom in the Indian art market, he remarks, “With so much hype surrounding the Indian art scene, the younger artists are not struggling anymore, times have changed and so have attitudes, but quality should be maintained.” This sounds like good advice, which should help in sustaining the buoyancy in the art market in the long run.

The exhibition is on till March 7 at The Hatworks Boulevard, Bangalore.

(Published in TOI, Bangalore)

3 Mar 2007

Art Review - Ramesh Terdal

(By Nalini S Malaviya)

From portraits to semi-abstracts and sculptures, and now back to portraits in this particular exhibition, Ramesh Terdal has followed his instincts rather than trends. A gold medallist in graduation (BFA) he did his masters in painting from Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath. Despite pursuing painting for more than ten years, the Bangalore based artist is rather underrated despite his talent and skill. Ramesh’s works are quiet and introspective - the portraits of children are highly expressive and full of innocence. Rich textures and a rustic appeal characterize his works. Vivid browns and rusts set the backdrop to create an earthy feel since, most of his paintings are inspired by rural scenarios.
Painting by Ramesh Terdal
There are subtle variations in this present set of twenty-five paintings compared to his earlier figurative works – for instance some of the works are in much darker hues, and the eyes and the faces lack definition. Outlines and details are less and have been replaced by patches of dark colors; also there is an enhanced air of mystery and intensity to the portraits. Through it all the children’s faces reflect their various emotions of happiness, sorrow, playfulness and shyness. The play of light and shadow creates interesting effects. One of the works that belongs to the series “Celebration’ is a part of the collection that will be exhibited in London shortly. Despite a dark and intense palette the work is much more contemporary than the portrait series.

The exhibition is on till March 9 at Lakshana Art Gallery, Bangalore.

(Published in TOI, Bangalore)

25 Feb 2007

Naturescapes by Alaka Rau and Ilaa Pal

(By Nalini S Malaviya)

Both the exhibitions are inspired by nature but they differ greatly in the treatment and the result is for all to see.
Paika Alaka Rau presents her recent watercolors titled ‘Homecoming’. Her paintings are fairly conventional, brightly colorful and celebrate the traditional realism in landscapes. She says, “Although urbanization has brought in notable changes in the village scenario, I have tried to avoid them in my paintings and endeavored to capture the old ambience. A parallel may be observed in the style I follow. The world may have forayed into various levels of abstraction, aided by technological advancements. But personally, I enjoy capturing nature’s magnificence in her purest and untouched form.”

painting by Alaka Rau
The exhibition is on till February 27, between 10:00 am - 7:00 pm daily at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, E Hanumantha Rao Art Gallery, Race Course Road, Bangalore –1

‘Linear Rhythm’ is an exhibition of recent works in different mediums by artist Ilaa Pal. The series is inspired by nature, and is mostly black and white. The works appear like fleeting glimpses of nature captured from a distance – subtle lines and patches of pigment delineate the canvas, and suggestive of a landscape. With minimal brush strokes, the landscapes hint at the topographical patterns, since the effect is of mist and haziness. There are a few paintings on silk as well, that are also inspired by nature. Pal is a self-taught painter, and has worked with MF Husain for two years. She lives in Mumbai.

Painting by Ilaa Dev Pal
The exhibition is on till February 28 between 11:00 am - 7:00 pm Monday to Saturday, at Time and Space Gallery, 55, Lavelle Road, Bangalore -1.

(Published in Financial Times, Bangalore)

18 Feb 2007

Art Review - M Shanthamani

‘Gestures Speak’
By Nalini S Malaviya

Bangalore based artist M Shanthamani’s recent works are a take on the city’s phenomenal growth and evolution from a sleepy garden city into an IT capital. The dramatic metamorphosis -even as Bangalore makes a mark internationally, has inspired Shanathamani to take a closer look, beyond the glitter of wealth and progress and explore the ‘side-effects’ of this tremendous transition. Using hands, symbolic of a working class that slogs for more than eighteen hours a day, she questions the direction this economic growth is taking. As an involved viewer and also a bystander to this transformation, she comments on the cultural impact, the shift in mindsets and the lifestyle changes. The artist also analyses the effects of being brown-skinned, the apprehensions associated with outsourcing, and ambiguities that affect Bangaloreans. In a non-judgmental manner, she presents the underlying myths, the stresses and the controversies.

Shanthamani points out how the history of the city is getting lost or amalgamated in the newfound IT status. In the race for power and riches, other aspects of living have been lost. Finally, we are valued for the labor we provide. Is the city losing its identity? The whole controversy of outsourcing, and the insecurity that it has bred abroad - how much are we a part of this decision making process that affects our lives and our existence? Shanthamani’s paintings analyze and present the socio-economic aspect that defines Bangalore today.

painting by Shanthamani
‘Working class hero is something to be…’ words by John Lennon aptly describe the gigantic hands symbolic of the community that finds identification only through its work. Shanthamani explains, “I’m talking about being reduced to a pair of hands, constantly working for economic reasons since your product is removed from personal, cultural and spiritual moorings…. We’re removed from living. We now have only two mantras: Work and Money.”
‘The most precious thing in life don’t cost anything’ has a bowl of rice set against agricultural land in the backdrop, and stresses how we are distancing ourselves from our agricultural roots and adopting urban vocations. At the same time, it is a reminder that happiness depends on some of the most basic necessities. ‘Made in India’ done with paint and thread on cloth, reiterates the demand that exists for the traditional - a lost art in the West. A violent picture of a woman burning with two soldiers on either side, discusses fragmentation, strife and violence in today’s times. According to Shanthamani, it is also about the fear and insecurity of being a South-Asian, and facing suspicion from the West.

“Circus of Life” portrays yoga mudras to highlight the search for tranquility and spiritualism, while on the other hand street children perform acrobatics to make a living. “Pixellation’ narrates the story of the destruction of Bamiyan Buddha in this digital age.

Shanthamani insists the exhibition is not about opposing growth, but about recognizing and understanding what is happening. Large sized canvases almost like billboards help make a point. Gestures that are typically Indian add context to local issues against a global phenomenon.

(The exhibition is on till February 23 at Gallery Sumukha, Bangalore)

- Published in Times of India, Bangalore

5 Feb 2007

Art Review - Tangerine group show

(By Nalini S Malaviya)

Tangerine art space has launched itself with a group show featuring works by fourteen artists. According to Leena Chethan from Tangerine, they zeroed on these fourteen artists after months of research, deliberation and screening with the help of art critics and advisors. All artists except two are still studying at various art schools across the country. Tangerine claims to have found “…14 of India’s most phenomenally talented young artists” whose “…works are affordable and still poised for a quantum leap in value in the foreseeable future.” Despite these tall claims, unfortunately, some of the works are bad, with blotched up paint and poor compositions. On the plus side, a majority of the works are skillfully rendered, display good technical skill, and also deal with interesting concepts. Swapna Biswas’s series of three paintings interestingly juxtaposes animal figures with self-portraits to accentuate the existence of human and animal instincts within a person. An inverted tiger next to a crouching figure of a woman illustrate the interrelationship of conflicting emotions in man. Using bold primary colors her paintings are well executed and have a striking effect.
Painting by Swapna BiswasPainting by Anil KumarAnil Kumar offers unusual imagery in his ‘Magical hat of colonial king’ and ‘Public call’. All his works have been done with pastels on paper. Reji Arackal has a humorous take on ‘operations’ – with wrestler like figures slicing at different fruit. An acrylic painting of an exaggerated figure of a woman holding an ice cream stick looks ferocious, and at the same time has a child like glee on her face. The artist likes to combine local motifs and objects in his paintings. Pierced eyebrows and earrings are meant to be pure decorations, probably to emphasize the feminine side to a wrestler like woman. Another still life with a huge jackfruit – bright green and exquisitely detailed is placed next to a couple of apples has an unusual effect. KS Sujith paints a surreal picture where animals and humans cohabit in a bright, vividly colorful and painstakingly detailed world full of foliage. Gigantic reptilian figures overlook the tiny monkey like human figures.
Benitha Perciyal’s mixed media works are fairly abstract and appear to have philosophical leanings. ”I didn’t drunk from that well’ (yes, that is how it has been spelt), defies description; it probably has something to do with water conservation, but sadly makes little sense. Lochan Upadhyay’s works are in black and white (charcoal drawings), with a sofa that has excessive detailing, while ‘Inside outside’ has drapes suggestive of physical boundaries. A graphite on paper work by Lokesh Khodke combines still life with meticulous detailing for an interesting effect.
Then, there are a couple of street scenes with flat images and people engaged in different activities while a young boy looks on from his vantage point. Most of the other works are average or worse. Interestingly, Tangerine will be actively promoting most of their artists and is also in the process of working out a buy back scheme from their clients at existing market rates. Prices range from Rs 10,000 to Rs 1.35 lakhs.

The exhibition can be viewed till Feb 7, at the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, Bangalore

(Published in Times of India, Bangalore)

3 Feb 2007

The big draw - a group show

(By Nalini S Malaviya)

An exhibition of mostly black and white works by a group of more than thirty artists is going on in the city. Artists such as KG Subramanyan, KM Adimoolam, Yusuf Arakkal, TM Azis, Suhas Roy, Jatin Das, Gogi Saroj Pal, Suhas Roy and SG Vasudev are some of them participating in the show. According to gallery owner, Naozar Daruwalla the collection attempts to show how differently each artist presents his individual style through line drawings, black and white photographs, paper pulp and so on.

KG Subramanyan works are evocative, while Suhas Roy’s portrait of a woman is soft and delicate. Gopal Adivrekar’s abstract is striking, while Adimoolam’s woman with child is stern and statuesque. Yusuf Arakkal has created a set of portraits of a man in sepia tones, and Gogi Saroj Pal’s drawing is a picture of femininity - a woman with flowers in her hair. Jasu Rawal presents an abstracted landscape in his signature style, and Rameshwar Singh intersperses the images with calligraphic text and symbols. V Solanki’s drawing is a subtle rendering of a couple in traditional attire, Dattatraya Apte’s work in paper pulp is heavily textured and understated, Vijay Bagodi’s set of images is narrative and Pramod Ganapatye’s figure of a woman has an earthy appeal.

painitng by Gopal Adivrekar
From portraits to abstracts, the black and white collection deserves special mention for presenting an excellent and diverse set of works from upcoming as well as senior artists of note. There are more than 60 works priced between Rs 6,000 to Rs 4.5 lakhs.

The exhibition is on till February 3 at The Hatworks Boulevard, 32, Cunningham Road, Bangalore 560 052.

(Published in Financial Times, Bangalore)

18 Jan 2007

Rendezvous with artist Haku Shah

There have been no new posts for some time as I have been down with flu... However, I did attend a talk by artist Haku Shah at Alliance Francaise, which was interesting even though bad acoustics made hearing quite impossible. It was delightful meeting Haku Bhai, a humble and down to earth personality, and seeing his digital prints and black and white photographs. The prints were based on a Gujarati fairytale of Manapari, while the photographs on folk and tribal art. The following day I went for the preview of his paintings that was held at another art gallery. His paintings have a simplicity that is rare and endearing.
Image courtesy Haku Shah
Considered to be an authority on tribal and folk art, Haku bhai's paintings portray his closeness to tribal art and culture. A human figure playing the flute, a cow or a tree in the background, a bird perched on a person’s hand, are on the surface simple subjects that seem to be inspired by rural scenarios. The images are flat and have a narrative quality despite uncomplicated images and a minimalist look. However, there is a building of layers and a deeper thought process involved that make his works special. Aesthetic and tranquil, his protagonists appear to be far removed from the urban chaos and turmoil – they stand unaffected amidst peaceful surroundings at one with nature. Born in 1934 in Valod (Gujarat), Haku Bhai completed BFA and MFA in Fine Arts from M S University, Baroda and was awarded the Rockefeller Grant (1968) and Nehru Fellowship Award (1971). In 1968, he curated the ‘Unknown India’ an exhibition organized by Dr. Stella Kramrisch at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
image courtesy Haku Shah(some of the text has been published in Financial Times, Bangalore)

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.

27 Nov 2006

Review - Shankar Kendale

Image courtesy Kynkyny
Art director to painter. Shankar Kendale gave up a successful career in the advertising world to become a full time artist. The transition happened about ten years ago, when he took a year-long break to explore his painterly skills. His works are mostly figurative, although he has done a few abstracts in the past. The current series features portraits of men and women amidst rural settings. Kendale places his subjects against rustic settings, adds pots and other rural bits and pieces to create a pretty picture. He is technically sound and has a good sense of light and shade. The backgrounds in general are fairly abstracted apart from a door or a step against which he props his subject. Traces of his design background are evident in all his works – in the composition and choice of colors. Overall, pleasant works and reasonably priced.

Prices range between Rs 25,000 and Rs 70,000.

The exhibition is on till Nov 30 at KYNKYNY.

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