It sure is a cause for celebration when one of India’s finest contemporary artists turns 60! Samir Mondal — known for his captivating, almost fairytale, works in water-colour — completed six decades on March 13 and celebrated this landmark birthday by treating connoisseurs to ‘6x10’ at Pravina Mecklai’s Jamaat Art Gallery in Mumbai.
“6x10, as a title, has several connotations. It’s a show with 60 works to mark my 60th birthday and has works in the dimension of 6x10. Initially I had planned a retrospective of my work from the beginning of my career till date. Then I decided to base an entire series on flowers because it is a collection to mark a celebration. It is a simple, happy and fresh collection all the way.”
The show still remains a retrospective of sorts because he has revisited the four formats he has used. “I have divided my works into four eras/formats beginning with the academic format, which one learns in the early years of art school. It comprises outdoor landscape art with flowers being the mainstay. The second set comprises of works done indoors. These have an added element of still-life woven in. The third set derives from the time when I was rebelling against the relegation of watercolour artists to the sidelines and thus conveyed my angst by using lots of blacks and whites (which are normally obliterated from landscapes for being dull and opaque respectively). The last set is more contemporary and abstract – playing with colour, space and linearity.”
6x10; Samir Mondal, Jamaat Art Gallery, Mumbai, Till April 2012
Bottomline: A simple, happy and fresh collection all the way