Art ‘Earthy Musings', an exhibition of paintings by Surendran Karthyayan and Robert Lopez, stands out for the compositeness and unity in each artist's frame

‘Earthy Musings', a fascinating combination of artistic expressions by Surendran Karthyayan and Robert Lopez at the Shangri La Gallery, caught the eye for the subtle harmony that prevailed as the common factor between two distinct creative energies. And, it falls in place when Robert says: “While one relies on the micro, the other draws from the macro to express himself.”

On display were selections from their works over a period. There was a palpable compositeness and unity in each artist's frame. Surendran Karthyayan, who is holding an exhibition in the city after over a decade, explains: “A major influence here has been nature's green – the foliage getting its tints from my ways of seeing.”

‘Wagamon Shades' (2007) therefore undeniably carries a unique lure in the manner of representation. Better still were the frames on which he had worked in shades of indigo, green and white. The flower of the ‘communist pacha' (Eupatorium odoratum) akin to ‘traveller's joy' (a.k.a. Old man's beard) liven up the space and the work in total acquires greater depth with the treatment of the colours.

The alphabet canvas

The ‘Aksharamala' series true to its name, uses the Malayalam alphabet to fill the spaces, but each frame received a variant of the alphabet in a new colour composition and order. The rhythm in the script of one's own mother tongue is also an idea that opens up a new manner of expression for Surendran. The ‘Aksharamala' reach out in a manner that goes beyond the moment of utterance.

Ask Surendran why there is so much of ‘greens' in the collection here, the painter-sculptor says: “Plants have become more of a presence since I am an artist with the College of Agriculture, Vellayani, there is this overpowering presence.”

From the flora and fauna by Surendran it was to abstractions that Robert Lopez' works journeyed through. Consciousness about the yet-to-be-explained phenomenon of the totality of existence, be it the larger picture of the planetary system or mere human existence, is what seemed to be the dominant thought behind these expressions. With no dense colours and canvasses filled with pleasant hues, there was a reticent calm that prevailed.

Pondering carefully on the shaping of the universe, Lopez dwells continuously on this ever present constant of contrarian forces that helps keep the balance in practically every known element of life. Abstractions continue despite the giant strides taken by man.

“The tapestry of nature has an organic unity where gravitation and growth are constantly striking a balance. This is something that cannot be perceived by the naked eye, but the dynamic and complex energies do co-exist,” says Lopez as he explains the underlying idea behind his paintings here.

‘Never-ending Path' as the name suggests is for Lopez an excursion to seek artistic outlet to the manifold goals that one is constantly searching for. ‘Divine Landscape' in water colour stood apart from the rest of the works for the dominant dark brown. Except for an occasional work in oil and water colour all the frames on display were in acrylic.

Robert Lopez' words, “Each frame is a silent reality,” in a way sums up the total impact of ‘Earthy Musings.'

The exhibition is on till February 28.