Friday Review » Art

Updated: November 3, 2012 15:26 IST

Tales of heads

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F.N. Souza's work for the 'Talking Heads' show.
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F.N. Souza's work for the 'Talking Heads' show.

Talking Heads Where: Art Alive Gallery, Panchsheel Park, New DelhiWhen: Till November 30

Art Alive Gallery’s latest show brings together seven well known Indian contemporary artists under one unified ‘header’. “Talking Heads”, a group exhibition that includes works by Manu Parekh, Paresh Maity, Anjolie Ela Menon, Akbar Padamsee, Krishen Khanna, F.N. Souza and Jogen Chowdhury, will address the wide and very subjective idea of heads and portraiture.

Each artist has used his own significant and trademark language to bring the subject to life, while suggesting intensity, depth and creativity.

Given the freedom to experiment with and use any media, the artists explore all interpretations and portrayals of the human head, representing it through the traditional as well as the abstract and the conceptual.

“It is in keeping with the subject’s uniqueness and depth that we intend to look at works by these masters who have given kaleidoscopic interpretations,” said Sunaina Anand, Director, Art Alive Gallery.

The idea is to let the artist, as well as the viewer, literally get into the head of the chosen subject and interpret, in a truly nuanced and rhythmic pattern, the characteristics of the human head. The artists, each in their own way, peel away the surface imagery and examine more than what the naked eye sees; breathing life and emotion into their subject.

Akbar Padamsee’s pencil on paper, watercolour on paper and oil on canvas works capture a subdued frail profile of a man. His work alternates between luminous metascapes and the human figure, which he continues to imbue with an arresting presence.

Anjolie Ela Menon’s portraits are “dominated by flat areas of thick bright colour, with sharp outlines that were painted “with the vigour and brashness of extreme youth”. Paresh Maity’s pieces are replete with bold cubistic dazzling faces, with the eyes doing all the talking.

Manu Parekh’s “Prophet” — an impressive version of a bearded face with a slight dishevelled look — is intense and deep. Parekh’s fondness for bright colours has the body draped in a red garment.

“When I heard the word ‘head’, I immediately thought of expression. When you talk about expression, you have to think about a situation. It was important for me to bring out the expressions in every head, so to speak. Once I had a good experience of the theatre, and that helped me while working on these pieces. Actually, whenever I paint heads, I don’t paint a head but an expression, and a situation”, says Parekh.

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