The New Romantics features love in its many forms, interpreted through various media and traditions
If you love art, then you are probably passionate. If you are passionate, then art can be uplifting, especially if it seeks to explore love.
The latest exhibition at Kynkyny, “The New Romantics”, can be an inspiring experience with its mix of works by 32 artists of varied experience and recognition.
Some of them are S.G. Vasudev, Doddamani, J.M.S. Mani, Basuki Dasgupta, G. Subramanian, Rajesh Salgaonkar, Sumana Chowdhury, Sachin Jaltare, Biswajit Mondal, Yuvan Bothi Sathuvar, Jyoti Hattarki, Mandira Naidoo, Malavika Rajnarayan, Dhananjaya, Debabrata Sarkar, Nitin Nangere, Appanna Pujari, Shankar Kendale and Sivabalan.
Sivabalan's watercolour painting of two puppets dressed in vibrant folksy costumes, hanging from a line along with a post-box, is quite endearing. So is Sumana Chowdhury's playful abstract mixed-media on board — the “Love” series. Here, she stacks different-shaped boards with a leitmotif of a human heart containing abstract designs mainly in shades of white, black, silver, gold and red.
Then there are the ethereal works by J.M.S. Mani and Vasudev. Mani, in his watercolour work, paints the night sky with a metallic hilly structure hanging in mid-air. In the bottom, he paints a lotus pond with rocks in turquoise, deep blue and purple. A man sits on one of the rocks as a woman in a white dress hovers around him. Flying swans encircle the couple.
Vasudev's work, on the other hand, is more of an internal experience. His partly monochromatic work shows a couple engaged in conjugal bliss while faces float above them. They seem to be releasing some sort of powerful force from their midst.
There are several works that seem playfully powerful, like Rajesh Salgaonkar's “Enamoured” and Jyoti Hattarki's acrylics. Salgaonkar's mixed-media work features four characters — a man, a woman, a bird and a dolphin. Both the man and the woman, standing shoulder to shoulder, are chalk white, have red lips and are dressed in black.
The bird drops down from the top of the canvas with a rose in its beak, while the dolphin, camouflaged in the man's black t-shirt, pokes its head up from below.
Jyoti Hattarki's couples are almost comical. They are always in a close embrace, looking into each other's eyes, but there seems to be some lingering emotion.
Many works depict amorous love, usually with Indian folk imagery, whether it is Appanna Pujari's “Krishna with Gopikas” or G. Subramanian's “Mithuna” series.
“The New Romantics” will be on view until March 9 at Kynkyny, 104, Embassy Square, above Ganjam Jewellers, 148, Infantry Road. For details, contact 40926202.