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Art at purse-friendly prices

Vinyasa Art Gallery's annual affordable art show, which is on till June 25, brings together works of both the well-known and lesser known artists.

FOR ART to reach a wide audience the prices have to be affordable. And that is why Vinyasa Art Gallery has organised its IV Annual Affordable art show at its premises, the Music Academy, TTK Road. The exhibition also offers lesser-known artists an opportunity to showcase their works.

The show brings artworks at reasonable prices, ranging from Rs. 50 to Rs. 5,000. Only two paintings by Bangalore-based senior artist Ramachandran cost Rs. 7,000 and they are already sold out.

However, the show also poses a small problem for the gallery, as the flood of paintings makes proper display difficult. In the current show, over 75 artists are represented with about 200 paintings on display including those by senior artists like Achuthan Kudallur and Viswam, and prints of M.F. Hussain's works. Many of the paintings are stacked against the wall. The sizes are reasonable enough to deck the walls of modern apartments.

Among some noteworthy creations are four realistic paintings by Padmavsan, of birds that bring out the exact colours of their feathers.

The water colours by Sivabalan capture men and women labourers at work. Palanivel's paintings of hurricane lamps are simplistic in style while his depiction of temple pillars with sculptures is a little too showy.

Alagesan's abstract works are commendable; with quick strokes of the brush, he creates impressive landscapes. Small format works depicting bushes and swamps by Milind are eye-catching, while K. Ramanathan combines figures and abstract forms in an interesting manner to create a sense of mystery in his concepts.

In Ushadevi's oil paintings, light plays a vital role. Kumaresan's water colours of rural scenes and seascape and bunches of flowers and landscapes by Rama Suresh would appeal to those who prefer simple and soothing images. Works by artists from outside Chennai such as Mama Chakravarthi of Karnataka and Alok Chakravarthi of Bengal are also on show.

Santhanakrishnan's paintings of doors are quite good. A number of his works are based on folk themes. A few black objects painted with white include a jewel box, mirror frames, pen-holder and lamp shade; these are sold as a set.

Some of the miniatures too beckon attention. The pen and ink drawings of old Madras by Prabhakar are impressive and strike a nostalgic chord. The prints of colonial buildings of Mumbai have a similar effect. There are also a couple of etchings done on paper by Sundar, where the figures are similar to those of Thanjavur paintings, with some words in Telugu that make them appear like illustrations for stories. Prints of works by Manjit Bawa, Amrita Sher Gill and Anjolie Ela Menon, among others, are also available. The small framed prints of Raja Ravi Varma's paintings are of better quality than the larger ones and can make good gift items as would the small paintings on silk costing just Rs. 50.

Coasters with prints of paintings are also available.

There are a few sculptures, of which the somewhat abstract metal piece by Jacob Jabaraj is interesting.

The Affordable Art Show is on till June 25.


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