Art J.M.S. Mani's ongoing exhibition is an exploration of strong colours and texture.
It's easy to see what characterises J.M.S. Mani's works at first glance — a strong sense of colour. There is nothing sedate about his paintings. From furious ochre swirls to mushrooms clouds of bludgeoning vermillion, the colours bleed across the canvass, either in diffused patches or contrarily within neat aligned shapes.
Mani's ongoing exhibition at Shrishti Art Gallery strays from his usual devotion to paintings of the Badami people of his home state of Karnataka. This collection returns to nature as a muse, with wide open skies and vibrant terrain beneath. The technique for most of his works appears to be simple: flat planes of colour broken by patches of thick, heavy paint forming the focal point of the entire canvass. One painting, for example, shows a level blue sky and the nondescript green and brown of the earth below, with a tumultuous hodgepodge of white, blue-black and green tinted with red leaping out from the centre of the frame. Another shows an entire canvass of flat green dissected into two by a single raging blue waterfall slicing through the centre and crashing below with foam and spray.
Lines and shapes also seem to be the artist's medium of expression, with triangles, parallel lines and circles coming into play. He uses a triangle balancing on one vertice to fill with tangled roots, earth and leaves in green and dying brown, every vein consistently etched against a rainbow background of red, yellow, green, blue and mauve. The variation between thick and flat strokes gives the paintings a texture that draws you in.
The wall on the left is a turbulence of dark angry diffused colour while the wall on the right is an exploration of deep sinful reds. Mani's canvasses are abstract, but his depth of feeling and expression washes across every painting on display. The exhibition is on display at Shrishti Art Gallery, Road No. 15, Jubilee Hills till November 30. Call 23545082 for more details.