“Challenge 3” focuses on talented artists who are yet to realise their market potential

In the scenario of art boom and crash, a self-help group spearheaded by quondam artist and marketing personnel Kiran Pundir is trying to do its bit for artists who haven't yet been discovered for what they are worth in the art mart.

“Challenge 3” by group Artsaroma offers art works by eight promising artists for admirers of aesthetic art. “Behind every art show of ours goes in a lot of effort. Dividing the 61 artists on the basis of their seniority and experience, deciding which artist's work are to be exhibited, getting them together and nailing a suitable location for exhibiting… each step is a challenge for us because of limited funds. So we call all our exhibitions challenges,” informs Pundir, curator of the ‘kutumb'.

In the modest display space at Capitol at The Ashok, traditional landscapes shared wall space with abstract canvases, with canvases of every size and media vying for attention — acrylics, oils, mixed media and water colours.

Poli Kaur, a self-taught artist from Guwahati, uses thread as a metaphor to show how all the lives of a family are rooted together. Ravinder Kaur Ruby has done portraits of one of her sons in deep thought, evoking the physical sensations related to ever-crossing thoughts in the panorama of clouds. “It's always the clouds that catch our gaze and not the endless blue sky on which they float,” she says. Ramesh Kumar's life drama plays itself out in colours. On the other hand, Delhi-based Amrit Kapoor's collection, “Dreams Unlimited”, conveys the desire and ability of the modern woman to sweep through everything she dares to dream.

Landscapes on paper by Annapurna Shukla from Rajasthan stand apart. The artist revels in intricate detailing and the fascinating play of light and shade in the stark landscape. “Paper is very delicate and demands a lot of accuracy in terms of colours and strokes. This is, by far, one of the most toilsome pieces I have painted,” says the artist. Kishore K. Das depicts Shiva as a destructor who is watching the whole situation as a mere spectator. Ajay Kumar goes down to the grassroots of our country, the villages, in search of optimism that drives their life. Titled “Hope”, the paintings uncover how the women going in search of work and the farmers deciding the price of the harvest rebuild their hopes each day with a new rising sun.

“Sadly, the art boom has given birth to all sorts of malpractices and adulterated the vocation. Professional rigging and an insatiable greed is taking over art practices in a lot of galleries in India,” Pundir says.

(The exhibition is on till October 20.)