Four artists deconstruct the idea of everyday objects at the ongoing show in Durbar Hall Art Gallery

You may have sat on a million different kinds of chairs all through life—reclining, upright, plush, hard, sofa, dining, ornate, simple. Sebastian Varghese, in his cluster of water colour paintings, dwells upon something as perfunctory as a ‘sitting object’. For him, things that have an intimate connection to daily life have a fascinating “effect”.

At Durbar Hall, a show put together by four established artists deconstructs the idea of an object. So, images of things one uses every day, or has seen every day form the bulk of the exhibition. The randomness of it is as amusing as it is thought-provoking.

Anto George summons to the canvas a collection of odd objects—a doll, liquor bottle, tooth brush, blade, pill strip, slipper, pipe and bamboo pole to start with. His series, titled ‘Abiosis’, he explains in the catalogue, are just things that persist in memory. The Thrissur-based artist warns one against finding a common thread or connection between them.

Bangladeshi artist Ali Akbar’s canvases tussle with the ideas of space and expansion. One of his works, titled ‘Rainy Night’, depicts a lonely, grey, grainy vastness. Black, silver, slate and white lines, like nerves, criss-cross and bunch up in ganglions. Another collection of smaller canvases, titled ‘Paintings as Objects’, look like a web of acrylic scrawls. Most of his works on the show are textured acrylic on canvas.

The title of one of sculptor Reghunadhan’s works cannot be more apt—‘Leap’. A casted fibreglass goat, in characteristic Reghunadhan style, balances on her hind legs, purple tongue pushed out, eyes open in wonderment. A green-coloured vine creeps up one of her hind legs, udder heavy. Another, titled ‘Conspiracy’, looks like an amorphous orange-coloured heap, revealing white legs at the bottom. A similar work depicts two people stretching a yellow cloth over them. Their bodies are not visible, but their contours are vivid.

The tensile quality of the sculpture is such that one has to bite back the temptation to touch it to ascertain that it is not actually cloth, but fibre glass. A collection of his smaller sculptures, too, are part of the show. A larger sculpture, titled ‘Conflict’, depicts a man and woman with spangled blue and pink bodies, their limbs interlocking and bubble-gum coloured heads merged. In the catalogue, Reghunadhan K. writes that most of these works of his have evolved organically.

Sebastian, who practises art in Kochi and the US, comes back with his watercolours in huge, life-like proportions—of automobiles and “untitled objects” and latches and hooks, pipes and junction boxes. In addition to Anto’s acrylic paintings, is a collection of his pen and ink sketches, too.

The show, ‘Objekt’, is on till February 24 at Durbar Hall Art Gallery.