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Showcasing distinct styles

An exhibition of works by eight Chennai-based artists, who participated in a camp organised by the Department of Fine Arts, Stella Maris College, is on at Forum Art Gallery till March 29.

EIGHT PROMINENT Chennai-based artists — Achuthan Kudallur, Alphonso Arul Doss, Asma Menon, C. Douglas, P. Gopinath, KV. Haridasan, AV. Ilango and K. Muralidharan — participated in an artists' camp organised by the Department of Fine Arts, Stella Maris College.

Their paintings were inspired and created within an ambience of learning, surrounded by students eager to gain knowledge from these reputed artists, to understand their works, appreciate their distinct styles and individualistic techniques and to benefit from their experience. These works are now on display to a wider audience at the Forum Art Gallery.

Achuthan's pursuit of colour to the exclusion of all vestiges of form is manifest in his spirited yet curiously serene paintings. His abstraction comes from within himself, not deriving from the natural world, but rather existing purely in colour.

While Achuthan dwells entirely on colour, Gopinath adds formal structure to the equation. Colour also forms the crux of Gopinath's paintings where it adopts a magnetic quality, drawing the viewer towards it with the play of pure plastic forms and scattered script. In spite of being meticulously calculated, his paintings have a mesmerising spontaneity. Plastic form may be expressed in varied measures and Haridasan's neo-tantric paintings are emblematic, based on the traditional, religious and mystical tantric symbols. Here form and colour unite in precision to suggest profound connotations.

Multi-layered in conception, Asma Menon's paintings sport motifs from Nature and fantasy which are caught within a labyrinthine maze of lines and enmeshed within a host of narratives. Her startling and striking use of colour against the hard black surface creates textural depth, which is supported by the numerous stories being told on a single plane.

Another artist who harbours a fascination for the fantastic is Muralidharan. Suffused with the influence of the surreal and images from religious mythology, his paintings personify the fusion of elements, man and animals. There is energy in his uniquely nave expression which is richly decorative in terms of colour and form.

The intensely sombre paintings by Douglas allow for comprehension on diverse levels, and may be perceived as an exploitation of varied metaphors. Meanings are suggested through different objects from everyday life, but they may also be read with an entirely novel inference.

The principal theme of Alphonso's art is the human figure along with which he uses a range of symbols to accommodate the human narrative into his paintings. The faceted planes, the stark light and the unusual use of colour, all combine to create a rational rendition that serves to tell a tale.

In Ilango's paintings, the human figure epitomises his sure draughtsmanship and easy style. Flat colours are boldly enclosed within robust lines creating powerful visual imagery of a common premise, the female figure.

The exhibition at the Forum Art Gallery, 5th Street, Padmanabha Nagar, Adyar, is on till March 29.


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