Friday Review » Art

Updated: June 4, 2010 20:06 IST

Insignia of variety

M.S. Sridhar
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"Pushpaka" by Jyoti Bhatt.

The inaugural show at Gallery Ensign in New Delhi showcases works of veteran Indian contemporary artists.

In the galaxy of art galleries in the Capital, a new star has emerged, aesthetically named Gallery Ensign. The inaugural show “Living Insignia”, showcases works of veteran Indian contemporary artists covering a wide period of Indian expression on paper. The purpose is to put together and promote quality and affordable art.

Paper is perhaps the first medium children are exposed to in their initiation to painting and artistic skills. From pencils, paint brush, charcoal, ink, they grow to use the canvas with practiced ease. Paper, as a medium, has managed to survive in isolation because of loyalists who have dedicatedly continued to put their artistic impressions on paper. The folk and tribal paintings of the yore done on the walls got wider attention with the introduction of paper as a medium for expressing their artistic skills.

Twenty one participating artists in the group show have exhibited over 40 works in paper print, pencil, charcoal, water colours and ink. Every exhibit draws one's attention and satisfies one's artistic sensibility. Sculptor C. Jagdish has used paper as a versatile medium and has moulded three figurines in papier mache in bright colours akin to the tradition of Nirmal in his home State Andhra Pradesh with colourful stylised motifs besides bringing in his visual impressions gathered from his journeys abroad.

The artistic limitation of paper has been surpassed by use of layers of paper in tiny shapes to depict and shape natural landscape. The aesthetic sensibility of the artist in the use of varied colours evokes admiration for intelligent use of the medium.

The collection is of special interest as it effectively marks the dense visual experience that the figurative work of the artist provides. Ved Nayar and Gogi Saroj have depicted human beings with controllable sorrow and coyness. Nature is also predominant in Ved Nayar, Surya Prakash and Chameli Ramchandran's works. Ramchandran's delicate brushwork construes an ethereal portrayal of Indian vegetation and nature. P. Khemraj has used fluid configuration of colours in a mindboggling depiction of female form.

S.G. Vasudev's and Subbanna's drawings are minimalist and linear in tone. A majority of Sanat Kar's works have a dream-like appearance. Artist, sculptor and muralist K.G. Subramanyacreates fantastical images of human beings deriving their identity from myths and Indian folklores.

T. Vaikuntam's works are deeply rooted in the soil of Andhra Pradesh, rendering the female form a voluptuous form that is found in murals and folk paintings. They are in vibrant colours. Laxma Gaud captures human gestures in fluid pen and ink. The rhythm of Jogen Choudhury comes from his affinity to nature. The female self is dominant in Arpana Caur's work. The show also features art works of A. Ramchandran, Sunil Das, Samir Aich, Sakti Burman, R.B. Bhaskaran, Rabin Mondal and Jyoti Bhatt.

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