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An assorted collection of art

A view of the exhibition of paintings and sculptures at the Durbar Hall Art Gallery.

`OPEN EYED Dreams,' an exhibition of paintings and drawings, is on at the Durbar Hall Art Centre in Kochi this week. The show that took up both the galleries of the Durbar Hall Art Centre turned out to be an assorted display of works by artists ranging from masters like K.C.S. Panicker to local artists such as P.V. Nandan and Asanthan.

Put together by Dilip Narayanan hailing from Kozhikode, an ardent lover of art, this show highlights the recent interest that art has began to rouse even among a certain set of people who had not been so keen on art. Paradise tours and travels, a division of Aspinwall & Company Limited, is the sponsor of the event. Perhaps it is the renewed interest in art as a major option of investment, especially in big cities such as Mumbai that has made the corporate sector venture out to the realm of art. The sub-title `Art exhibition and sale,' clearly is an indicator.

Book release

The inauguration of the show also saw the release of the book, `Cholamandal: An Artists Village,' edited by the late art critic, Josef James. It narrates the story of Cholamandal, conceived by a group of artists led by K.C.S. Panicker, as an artists' village that took shape from 1966 on ten acres of land on the Coromandal Coast near Chennai.

The show includes paintings, drawings and sculptures by A. Selvaraj, Akkitham Narayanan, Anila Jacob, Anuradha Nalappad, Asanthan, Aziz T.M., B.D. Dethan, C. Douglas, C.N. Karunakaran, D. Venktapathi, G. Rajendran, Jacob Jebaraj, Janardanan Kottemprom, Jyothilal, K.C.S. Panicker, K.Jayapala Panicker, K.M.V. Namboothiri, K.R. Harie, K. Ramanujam, K.S. Gopal, K.V. Haridasan, M.K.Chandra Mohan, M. Senapathi, M.V. Devan, Mumtaz Khan, N.N. Rimzon, P. Gopinath, P.S. Nandhan, P.V. Nandan, Rajasekharan Nair, Richard Jesudas, Robert Lopez, S.G. Vasudev, S. Nandagopal, S.P. Jaykar, S. Paramasivam, Sreemal Raj, T. Kaladharan and V. Viswanathan.

Kalagramam collection

Apart from the works intended for sales, the show also includes selections from the collection of art at the Malayala Kalagramam, Mahe. The earlier paintings by M.V. Devan and many charcoal illustrations of Namboothiri are from the Kalagramam collection.

There are a couple of original works by K.C.S. Panicker, including `Nude', a small ink drawing, also from the Kalagramam. Apart from the original works, Mr. Narayanan has also displayed some prints of the master's works produced by the Kerala Lalithakala Akademi.

The works of all the major Cholamandalam artistes are part of the show. There is also one painting by S.G. Vasudev, from Bangalore who is also associated with Cholamandalam. All in all, this could have been more well-conceived, had it concentrated on the Cholamandalam artists alone, keeping the works of contemporary and local artists apart for another show. N.N. Rimzon's `Art in Journey,' which includes five open suitcases containing different objects, stands quite apart among this collection.

The works range in price from Rs. 4,000 to Rs. 2 lakhs, according to Mr. Narayanan. The show will continue till September 2.

By Renu Ramanath

Photo: Mahesh Harilal

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