Of paintings that explores scripts to weave stories

Amitabh Sengupta, a senior artist based in Kolkata is back at Artworld showcasing his works in ‘More Inscriptions'. This series carries forward his ideas of interfacing with the script he had shown in 2008.

Time and space

Scripts, across civilisations, have woven cultural and political stories. Foregrounding this dimension of the script in varied forms from hieroglyphics to the Dravidian and other Indian languages, Amitabh deconstructs time and space.

The ravages of time is represented by splashed, blotched and dripping colours, while space is two-dimensional — either well-defined or random.

Having arrived at abstraction from his figurative super realism, Amitabh maintains a regularity in his compositions, yet makes them free and organic. Amitabh's script offer no semantics; but the rectangular forms and shapes with inscriptions, (as appearing on the walls of the monuments or in manuscripts), are cleverly positioned to inscribe time and space.

Within the discourse of Indian modernity, the script had served artists of the 1960s — such as K.C.S. Paniker, M. Redappa Naidu and Sultan Ali — to articulate their Indian modernity when placed within international mainstream.

In an era of glocalisation, the script for Amitabh serves to mark the artistic space of spatio-temporal reality, emphasising, perhaps, indirectly the need to reinvent history.

Amitabh has created a collage or a patchwork quilt assembled from time, translating his experiences as a process. The culture acquired from past is articulated as memory traces.

There is an inherent visual complexity in his compositions, yet the vivid and brilliant colours judiciously juxtaposed offer a sensuous delight. The letters and inscriptions are either scratched out from wet paint or scribbled over in thin or thick paint, making them texturally tactile. It is literally a maze of lines, colours and decorative elements interspersed with an aesthetic eye.

The show is on until October 4.