Look 9 at Gallery-g is an exhibition that brings together various artists' expression of the oft-visited theme of Radha-Krishna's love
Krishna has always been a popular choice of subject for musicians, dancers and artists alike, especially in the context of the love he shared with Radha.
This theme has been rendered with refreshing, individual expressions at Gallery-g's latest exhibition, “Look 9” or “Look Nau”, celebrating the ninth anniversary of the gallery.
The show features nine artists — Subrata Chowdhury, Subrata Pal, Sekhar Roy, Arun Mondal, Mohini Biswas, Prabir Kumar Bera, Kalyan Mukherjee, Bharti Prajapati and Om Swami.
Both Subrata Chowdhury and Subrata Pal work with near-realistic figures. While Chowdhury's series “Waiting” captures women standing silently in misty canvases shaded in off-whites, Pal's figurative works capture the gestures of men and women in love, often holding hands and looking into each other's eyes.
Mohini Biswas paints women, mostly in sylvan, seemingly royal settings. They are seen braiding each other's hair or collecting flowers. Her “Grandmother” is an exception. This figure sits next to a gramophone holding cards. All her women have unsettling, pupil-less black eyes.
Krishna makes his first, most obvious appearance in Sekhar Roy's works, which revolve around the god as a cowherd or with his beloved Radha. Sekhar's slim Krishna is depicted in different shades of blue, always with his flute.
Prabir K. Bera also paints Krishna, but multi-hued, without much detail, in suave, slim curves. His face is green, his torso is blue, and one foot is a mixture of green and blue while the other is red. He is seated on a mustard-coloured earth playing the flute and surrounded by his cows.
Bera's other works include “Rhythm of Love” and “Moonlight”, where he depicts couples engaged in the pastimes of love, locked in embrace or splayed out on a blanket under the moonlight in a sea-green sky. Another artist who paints Krishna in her unique style is Bharti Prajapati. Her Krishna is perhaps the most engaging, with an elongated neck and a unique torso built with sharp lines forming a slender waist. Here again he is playing the flute with his thin, long hands and gazing at the cattle around him.
Many shades of yellow colour the canvas, his robes, the cattle, the shimmering sunlight and the foliage, which is a mixture of green and yellow composed in curious strokes. Her greatest influences, she says, are India's heritage, culture and folk art.
“My work in this exhibition is about the celebration of love. My favourite subjects are women. I like to portray women as the stronger personalities. I treat the female figure and energy as powerful, it relates to every aspect of nature,” explains Bharati, who finds her works enriched by her training in textile designing from the National Institute of Design.
“In my series on Radha and Krishna, I find that her love overpowers his divinity. And even when I paint Krishna or my female figure, there is more Indian-ness than godliness,” she adds. Kalyan Mukherjee's canvases have the appearance of watercolours with patches of colour combining to form realistic images.
The central figure in his works is a traditional woman with round, pretty features, simple jewellery and a delicate expression. Arun Mondal's acrylic works, on the other hand, are composed of bolder motifs and strokes but more subdued colours, as in “The Flute Player” and “Relation”.
The flute makes another, more vibrant appearance in Om Swami's strong, enchanting works from his “Moods” and “Love Sutra” series. Bright flowers, crescent moons, and elongated and intertwined figures make up his canvases, which have a sense of motion despite their strong figures. The woman is especially striking with her large, red bindi.
“Look Nau” will be on view at Gallery-g, Mani Sadan, 38, 7th Cross, Lavelle Road, until March 15. For details, contact 22219275.