Coinciding with Ganesh Chaturthi, two exhibitions displaying the deity in diverse outlines, are on view in the city.
M.F. Hussain’s first edition prints of his Ganesha paintings, which carry his own signature, bring a master’s touch to the city’s celebrations of Ganesha, as his rare masterpieces join other exhibitions featuring the ‘God of Good Beginning’ in craft forms as diverse as silver, enamel, stone, brass, bronze and wood.
M.F. Hussain’s Ganeshas are a montage of brilliant strokes and the artistic perceptions of a 20 century master. It depicts Ganesha riding a caparisoned terracotta horse while the ‘dhwaja’ in his hand unfurls splashes of red across the frame, Ganesha unusually holding a pot, a ‘nrtiya’ Ganesha poised against a shower of red and mauve, a tender mother and child frame of Parvati cuddling baby Ganesha and a few more.
Quintessentially Hussain the priceless prints are on view at Vennirul Art Gallery, C.P. Arts Centre. The exhibition also features prints of 32 forms of Ganesha taken from ‘Dhyana Slokas’ presenting a colourful moving tableau of Ganesha as a child, youth, devotee, with four heads in his avatar of ‘Dhwija,’ as a warrior with eight arms, as ‘Ekadanta’ Ganesha, as ‘Dwimukha,’ ‘Trimukha’ and ‘Shristi’ Ganesha.
The brilliant yet harmonious blending of form and colours by artist Venkatesh are as per sastric injunction and the evocative frames carry brief legends written by historian Nandita Krishna. Explanatory legends match the frames in their poetic choice of words and lyrical compositions.
The Central Cottage Industries Emporium’s ‘Ganesh Darshan’ also presents the 32 forms of Ganesha in bronze, meticulously hand crafted by Swamimalai bronze casters. The sense of movement in each piece and the iconographic perfection of detailing in the imagery make the series a connoisseur’s delight.
Equally the craft masterpieces in another genre are T.K. Bharani’s micro mini sandalwood Ganeshas. The National Awardee’s standing and reclining Ganesha exude incredible perfection in craft work, with thousands of tiny micro mini sandalwood pieces creating the whole form.
CCIE’S ‘Ganesh Darshan’ has some unusual pieces – a 16 inch-tall brass Ganesha from Aligarh seated on a round base and holding the conch and discus, silver enamelled Ganesha from Varanasi showcasing the regions enamel craft and painted wood icons from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. A two ft papier mâché Ganesha in mellow colours conveys the evolution of the craft into more muted statements in the hands of Tamil Nadu artisans.
Also on view are jade, lapis lazuli and sandstone icons as well as a compelling three ft dancing Ganesha from Swamimalai. Thanjavur art Ganeshas and Rajasthan’s gem encrusted paintings are also on display.
Both the exhibitions are on till September 19 at C.P.Arts Centre, 1, Eldams Road, and The Cottage Industries Emporium, Temple Towers, Nandanam.