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The regional `figures'

The common thread binding the works of all the artists mounted at the Minaaz Art Gallery is the Baroda connection. But they have sought to rephrase a new artistic ideology rooted in the regional.

K. Laxma Goud: `Untitled' Water colour on paper.

IT IS heartening to see Hyderabad today sprinting ahead as one of the happening art centres of the country. The increased number of galleries in the city has certainly opened new possibilities for both, artists and art lovers. And definitely aroused the interest of those wanting to explore Hyderabad. But, just a year ago, when there were merely four galleries, Minaaz Art Gallery was one among those few which cultivated artists and contributed towards maintaining an artistic environment. Celebrating its eighth anniversary, it is currently showcasing a group exhibition of five local artists until November 14.

Laxma Goud, Kavita Deuskar, D.L.N. Reddy, Anjani Reddy and Nandini Goud comprise the montage this year.

Although, all the artists have been regularly showing at Minaaz Art Gallery, the interesting aspect of this particular display lies in the fact that all the artists bear lineage to a very important art school of the country: The MS University of Baroda. Although, Anjani Reddy may not have gone to Baroda, her work is influenced by those groomed at this school. With a person like K.G. Subramanian who was a thinker, artist and a teacher at the same time, the artists from Hyderabad, under his tutelage, got a direction to introspect their respective cultural connections. The most popular and progressive among all, the Baroda school, exposed the student artists to a whole lot of artistic happenings across the globe. But, incidentally this set of artists after returning to Hyderabad went on to rephrase a new artistic ideology, which has proved to be the most influential one in this region. Indeed, the Hyderabad artists are the most able and a skilful lot. Seeking a language to contemporise their regional repertoire became their agenda. For, they realised the resonance of their local vocabulary. Therefore, the accent, once they proceeded to formulate their work, was on the line.

Taking references from their cultural environment, each one set upon a journey to evolve the most decorative of all arts. Spilling over rustic nostalgia indeed brought home recognition, which finds a certain favour even today. The most accented among this lot is Laxma Goud.

Epigrammatic figures of men, women and animals articulate a brazen sentiment of intimacy. An ever-progressing organic line moves on to establish a very elaborate syntax of a region. Applying bright but limited colours, Laxma religiously maintains the matrix of his drawing, which is actually the strength of his work. Basically, creating a photo gallery, the artist is merely portraying postures that amplify his style.

Kavita Deuskar: `Woman I' Coloured pencil on paper.

Kavita Deuskar, who studied mural-making in Baroda, was once again a very favoured student of KG. Although, the entire emphasis must have been on acquiring technique, she was born in a family which specialised in portraits. Her father and grandfather inspired her greatly.

Adopting the technique of egg tempera, which is interchanged by pastels and colour pencils, Kavita is mostly portraying the working class. Sturdy people of rustic charm mostly exude composure, which provides ample opportunity for a portraiture artist. Hence, the artist proceeds to stylise a contemporary lot to her advantage.

Anjani Reddy, a student of Kavita Deuskar, is a staunch follower of the lyrical order. Inspired by music, she operates upon nostalgia, which provides her considerable time and pleasure to work out her figurative canvases.

D.L.N Reddy: `Untitled' Gouache on board.

Basically autobiographic in content, she modulates her memories to evolve a very subjective portrayal of her experiences.

The feminine content is the most prominent in her canvas, which again plays blatantly with the decorative. Creating textural delights endears Anjani to her audience. Nandini Goud is the youngest participant of this show. Although a very strong decorative wave now rules Hyderabad, her agenda is surprisingly nowhere of this order. A definite streak of the Baroda school is rather an obvious factor in her work. Although, her works displayed here are of the small format, the cluttered canvas is a typical visual of the school she comes from.

Anjani Reddy, `Untitled' Oil & Acrylic on canvas.

The narrative portrayal of segmented utterances in a very casual format is a clear indicator of this factor.

DLN Reddy is the most low profiled artist of this group on display. A very versatile practitioner, he began with the neo-realistic style of painting. Still reckoned with this phase, he has moved on and oscillated between various mediums - printmaking to paintings, to sculpture to assemblages. The female portraits on display at Minaaz spell a certain class, which is very painterly on one hand, and very quaint on the other. The exhibition is open between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. until November 14.


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