While abstracts and mixed-media rule the roost in the current art scenario, the time-tested genre of figurative art remains an eternal favourite. Thus it is that Pravina Mecklai of ‘Jamaat Art Gallery' is hosting ‘It Figures', comprising works by Vrindavan Solanki, Bharti Prajapati and A.V. Ilango.

Pravina says, “Figuratives have been the most naturally acquired art form for human beings. Ever since man learnt to paint in caves, he painted animal and human figures. Hence, even today, we can relate best to figurative works and so Jamaat is showcasing three distinct styles of figurative art.”

Ahmedabad-based Vrindavan Solanki paints black and white images in acrylic, using a single-haired Chinese brush. His figures are typically layered in traditional Kathiawadi clothing but devoid of faces, because for Solanki, feelings are best expressed through body language rather than facial expressions.

Chennai-based Ilango is a math teacher who creates the most ‘alive' and vibrant canvasses using acrylic, palette knife and the principles of mathematics! For instance, he keeps 1/3rd of his canvas devoid of figures so that they get breathing space. With a penchant for painting diagonally, the artist depicts dancers and drummers celebrating temple festivals, in works that have bold strokes, wonderful texturing and a third-dimensionality.

Ahmedabad-based Bharti Prajapati focuses on feminine issues and the role of women as the nurturers of (and in) nature. Graduating from stick figurines, Bharti has evolved a style that retains that influence in elongated necks and limbs, and teams it with tribal jewellery and ethnic textile-art. The paintings depict the evolution of time and the role of women. Great detail in the textile and jewellery and bright colours are her forte.

Bottomline: Showcasing the real India

What: ‘It Figures' by Vrindavan Solanki, A.V. Ilango, Bharti Prajapati

Where: Jamaat Art Gallery, National House, Tulloch Road, Apollo Bunder, Mumbai 400 039.

When: Till May 30

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Sunday MagazineJune 28, 2012