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Montage of line and colour

K. Ravi's works in pen and ink exhibited at Shrishti Art Gallery can be distinguished by the line and motifs, which stem from ethnic images.

FINE DRAFT: A single work holds the eye forever.

THE SOLO exhibition of `recent paintings' by Ravi at Shrishti Art Gallery, Jubilee Hills, is indeed a delightful exposition many in Hyderabad would appreciate. For, it provides ample scope to view art in different ways. Ravi K, a native of Khammam district of Andhra Pradesh, completed his Bachelors of Fine Arts with a specialisation in paintings from the Andhra University, Visakhapatnam (1993-'97). Later he proceeded to the Kala Bhavan, Visva Bharathi University, Shantiniketan (1997-99), with painting as his option. Having exhibited considerably in group shows and participated in workshops, Ravi's works today can be distinguished by his line and motif. Technically, Ravi's works are drawings in pen and ink.

The artist in this particular show goes a step further by applying `mixed media'. And this segment of his works are xerox copies painted evenly to accentuate the linear ornamentation of his drawings. Ravi's visual vocabulary is a neat digestion of Prof. K.G. Subramanian's advocacy of imbibing the regional factor. Like most other artists of this region such as Laxma Goud, Srinivasa Chary, Srikanth Kurva, Sudhakar Chippa and others, Ravi also adopted the ethnic imagery such as the flora and fauna. And like all of them, he has evolved his own signature style which is comfortably ascertained by his spectator. The wide-eyed female forms, the floral patterning and the elongated animal forms appear like a block print.

DELIGHTFUL EXPOSITION: Ravi's works pushes the pen and ink envelope.

An elaborate narration of lyrical harmony pertaining to nature fills the eye. A single work of Ravi keeps his viewer occupied enough. But once the eye gets familiar with the visual the spectator should realise that he/she is viewing a fine draft of drawings which are partially painted or deliberately painted to enhance the uniformity of black and white of drawing. But then, in this case one should realise although, painted partially, this process still remains a drawing. If we need to term Ravi's works as paintings then we need to understand the quality, character and the method of painting. For this is definitely an independent process which has its own potential to create its own line, space, form and texture. Although, the process of painting is conventionally known to be a fusion of drawing and colours, the fact remains that the two are independent process which are fused together by artists who generally paint realism.

We can also say a good artist imbibes the line within his brush to relay or fuse the two. But in case the line encompasses the pigment then the work merely remains a colour filling process. Hence, it is the spectators' excerise to determine the difference. And Ravi's works is an ideal case to understand the variations of these two primary process of art that of drawing and painting. Ravi's extremely deft montage provides us yet another scope to understand the concept of `mixed media'. In most works the artist applies xerox copies of his earlier works and creates an interesting frame for his central portrayals. He cleverly mutes the strong linear graphs of the borders either in lush red or inky blue. Although conventionally good, he attempts the `mixed media' technique to accentuate the immensity of his line, but at the same time controls it by painting the excesses. Thus, gradually and consciously he takes a step but definitely within his limitations. On display until August 25, this exhibition is not just another reflection of the regional accent but is certainly an educative experience for art learners.


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