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Unfurling ideas on canvas

`Cross Currents', an international exhibition of paintings by Indian and Danish artists, is on show at Art World till February 15. A review.

`CROSS CURRENTS' is an international exhibition of paintings by Indian and Danish painters held in select cities of India and Europe in 2002-2003. Exhibiting together and breaking cultural boundaries, these works speak of the creators' own world in relation to their experiences and their realities, yet they are homogenised by the fact that they are all artists belonging to a select expressive vocation whose images speak the truth of their souls. The artists represented are Laxman Aelay, Else Husted Kjaer, Hellen Lassen, Lone Lindorff, Hanumantha Rao, Stanley Suresh, Fawad Tamkanat and Anne Vilsboell, each possessing the urge to narrate individualistic occurrences in a shared visual language.

Hellen Lassen's bold compositions comprise strongly divided planes and swirling figures with incomprehensible writing. The mirror writing says much yet reveals so little with its illegible words, bereft of meaning. Movement is effected through the single faceless human figure that dominates every painting.

Leaving the real world behind, one is dragged through the poetic environment of Else Husted Kjaer's paintings to envisage an ethereal magic that sings to the senses. Poured paint creates shapes, the mingling and merging of colours generating depth while assuming the weathered effect of crackle glazed pottery. Canvases burst with vibrant colours and powerful forms that are sketchy yet powerfully robust with alluringly brilliant colours.

In contrast, a subtly evocative palette moves lightly within Lone Lindorff's canvases creating an airy, delicate quality implying peace and harmony. Her abstract renditions resonate with intuitive images that are intended for the viewer cognizant of actuality. Line and form play subservient roles to the primacy of sensitive colour.

Where Lindorff scores on ethereal colours, Laxman Aelay grounds his village scenes in earthy browns and yellows contrasted with the colourful apparel of the women. His works portray the female figure within the rural context with big red bindis, tattooed arms, bright saris and bejewelled with the auspicious mangalsutra, permitting the village of his memories to visually unfurl on canvas. Fawad Tamkanat's paintings are characterised by boldly rendered figures with stark outlines dominated by viridian green and prussian blue, softened by yellows and ochres. He purports to document life as he witnesses it with no underlying message to give, and yet, he is a messenger for he speaks of the life he experiences. While his outpourings are not intended to be read as profound truths but rather enjoyed in terms of forms, colours and textures, Hanumantha Rao indulges in depictions of human drama, dreams and metaphorical expression. The human figure is central to this painting contemplating the travails of life. His aesthetic is embroiled in an ascetic expression crying for emancipation through perceptive reflection.

Forms dissolve in the lyrical paintings of Stanley Suresh where visual forms acquire poetic dimensions. His works tread the line between figuration and abstraction hovering in the realm of sensual expression.

Poetic form makes way for narration, which is the underlying element in Anne Vilsboell's works where clear line and form are woven to create a tapestry of myth. Each picture narrates a story that surfaces from the depths of her imagination waiting to be conveyed amidst a plethora of detail. `Cross Currents' is on show at Art World, off Cenotaph Road, until February15, and at Club Sante Events in Pondicherry from February 18 to 24.


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