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High and low of `Crosscurrents'

`Crosscurrents: The Indo-Danish Painters' meet allows the viewer to work out similarities between the group of artists.

PAINTER AND HIS ART: Aelay Laxman (Left) in front of his works.

CROSSCURRENTS: THE Indo-Danish painters' meet travelled to Hyderabad, the hometown of the Indian artists from Mumbai. It was inaugurated at Hotel Taj Krishna and later shifted to Shrishti Art Gallery, Jubilee Hills. Known to the audience by virtue of their work, the idea of reviewing artists, Fawad Tamkanat, Stanley Suresh, Laxman Aelay and Hanumantha Rao, appeared interesting - to regard them in tandem with their Danish counterparts - Anne Vilsboell, Else Husted Kjaer, Lone Lindorff and Hellen Lassen. Therefore, the crux of the exhibition - the Indo-Danish painters' meet automatically invites us to gauge singularities of concepts and presentations in the works of these eight artists.

At the premier level, the entire exposition is a highly individualistic one, which aspires to combine a diversity of preoccupations, techniques and signature styles. The curatorial task of Fawad Tamkanat and Mona Lauridsen seem to provide enough space for the spectators to make their own connections. Beginning with Vilsboell, her take-off on Indian miniatures instantly creates an affinity, not merely by the visual content, but by her considerably skilled narratives that deserve a closer inspection of the alchemy fables.

Highly gratified by her miniature series, one approaches the others to behold that promised `similarities.' Holding the string the next suspension is at Aelay who opted to refashion the ethnicity of an established order. The Telangana temperament; canonised by the artistic intensities of masters, like Laxma Goud and Vaikuntam, this artist attempts to seek his personal identity in a landscape visited so often (a challenge by itself).

SPELLBOUND AUDIENCE: The exhibition attracted a large crowd. — Photos: Mohd Yousuf

Stylising his content upon a cultural matrix just like Vilsboell, we desire to see in Aelay a pictorial translation which may not demolish its foundation but reinvent a pain, or a pleasure, that could energise the viewing of this regional factor. Moving over to other possible `similarities' of a different kind we arrive at Stanley Suresh, a colourist who codes his human images in films of glowing pigments.

The `Untitled' stained diffusions created around his images is the lone (pun unintended) connection which yokes this artist to the abstracts of image loaded, titled works of Lindorff. Improvising a subtle textured canvas each time, she relies upon the revealing layers to provide her a registered semblance to her environmental preoccupations. The commonality in this case rests in the exact meeting of this `Crosscurrent', where these distinctly two opposites manage to converge at a very subtle point where both attempt to relay upon the abstract painterly emotions.

But they diverge, as one simply applies it for stylistic reasons, while the other retreats out of her paintings with the sound and image bestowed in her titles. Trapped in the quest for unspecified `similarities' we make yet another attempt to bind another set of artists who have placed their artistic agenda in the midst of existential treacheries. Between Lassen and Rao, the former applies human anatomy as a reference of existential casualty caught between the dualities of consciousness of effort and chance. Incarcerating the human in such polarities, she directly derives her fine pleasures in the liberating act of her painting process. Applying conventional mediums such as oils to odd media like asphalt or tar, "I work in my studio until my knees shake," she points out. Executing an autonomous tapestry of two divisions with the human figure as the focal point, she employs symbols, which signifies the painter's receptivity to aspects external and alien to her. For instance, the dotted signets exemplify the Indian concept of `bindu'. "I have been visiting India for quite sometime and I am enticed to its spiritual concepts." While Lassen glides between the concept of existentialism and the liberating force of the plastic arts, Rao uses the artistic mode to remain rooted in `Isolation'. By dramatising human agony by way of exaggerating forms, his images become icons of gloom, could be `Waiting for Godot' to salvage them from their plight. Kjaer, in an impressionistic style, creates her own Utopia.

COLLECTIVE CANVAS: The works of all the artists.

A utopia based on her own poems and her reading of other writers. Applying a gold foil under her layer of paint, Kjaer has no `similarities' with the team.

Tamkanat's solo canvas `Way of life', mixed media - acrylic, rice paper and dry point prints on canvas are mounted singularly like Kjaer's works. But for his mediumistic `similarities', it portrays assorted elements of a cultivated vocabulary. A witness to a transition of time, the artist accumulates fragments from a quaint and eroding culture, punctuated with contemporary iconography. Upon an unspecified trajectory, he assembles elements on his canvas as Noah must have collected the species in his ark.

With another 15 displays scheduled in India and Europe, "Crosscurrents" is mounted at Shrishti Art Gallery till January 10. It will move to other cities as well.


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