‘View 4' showcases canvases that blend history and mythology

The Art and Soul gallery is situated in a peaceful suburb on ECR and as if to enunciate its ambience, the ‘View 4' exhibition has serene Buddhas with kohl-lined eyes and stencil eyebrows, and multi-hued abstract flowers looking up to a deep-yellow sun.

The exhibition, which showcases the works of four artists, seems to blend seamlessly the vast world of Indian history and mythology into contemporary canvases.

Ashok B.S. concentrates on Nature and politics through the unchanging eyes of the Buddha (who metaphorises man). He shows a red throne with flowers and thorns to indicate lust for power with two Buddhas eyeing it from either side. There are his other exhibits that showcase murder, power and pollution with the Budda smoking a pipe. In his Hari Hara canvases they are coloured a midnight blue, one with vermillion and the other with ash, separated by a sewing machine and scissors. “One will create (repair) and the other will destroy,” says the artist.

The large Ekalavya canvas is vivid with description, where the contemporary version of this mythological character (the thumb cut away from its hand is part of the canvas) holds a double-barrel gun, has a striped tattoo on his bicep and looks on into a red oblivion.

The Buddhas are covered in Kannada scriptures and leaves, to portray Nature. The blotches that sometimes seep and other times splatter vary in colours, textures and mood.

Arunkumar S. Hadapad's ‘New Spaces' series is bold, where bright colours create new visions on a plain black canvas. The colours are usually opaque shades of red, yellow, white, green and brown, merging with black to create new areas, new vision and perspectives.

The ‘Flowers' series is a symmetric representation of colour. There are coloured shapes on bold backgrounds that represent flowers. Others are dabs of different colours such as red, purple and green against a black background that forms a mosaic flower from a distance, reaching out of the dark, at the light.

Watercolours and acrylics both charm in Raghavendra S.T.'s collection. There are light, descriptive landscapes of Hampi's rich history with fallen ruins and the facades of temples and their columns in crumbling brown paint. Faraway palms waving in the wind and hills make the pictures seem real.

Sculptures from Ajanta caves, dabbed on canvases in various monotone shades feature as his acrylic art. “I've experimented and given these a very ancient look,” the artist explains. Here too, the Buddha watches with blissful eyes, hand on his heart, draped in light and surrounded by caramel leaves while a goddess, eyes closed, stands in a backdrop of ochre and red, while a single lotus swirls towards her.

Mahesh A. Umatar's art is a different from the rest. His paintings portray pictures of a smiling working woman with four hands (“no matter how much work she does, she always smiles”), a man awaiting his friend, falling asleep and white silhouettes of a girl on a cow against a black canvas while a boy, painted in blue, plays with her.

His ‘rebirth' series has silver and black saplings looking up from large, red seeds. They either emerge on their own or are looked upon by man. “It is to show that there is no end to life,” he says.

‘View 4' will be on view at Art and Soul, 204-A, East Coast Road, Akkarai till today between 11 a.m. and 10 p.m.

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MetroplusJune 28, 2012