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Stylised figuration

Works of art at Gallery Space reflect the distinct visual imagery of the seven artists

RECONNOITRE, AN exhibition of paintings and prints have been mounted by Gallery Space, Banjara Hills, which introduces seven artists from outside Hyderabad and one from the city. Reconnoitre in French would mean to recognise, but literally it would mean to get to know again. And since all the participating artists are exhibiting in Hyderabad for the first time we have to settle for the general usage of Reconnoitre which would apply the sense of recognition. Although in a nascent stage, the moribund state of art in the city is definitely changing its course as art galleries are steadily supporting artists not just from here but those from elsewhere. In fact, the enthusiasm to exhibit in Hyderabad is far more in the non-Hyderabadi artists as their impression of the city is that of an energetic place buzzing with a range of events. Carrying on with such an impression the galleries here are naturally contributing their efforts by conducting exhibitions, art camps and concept montages.

Reconnoitreshowcases a range of figurative works with a couple of exceptions, which are considerably stylised and endeavouring rigorous to establish a personal statement. The two artists from Karnataka; Amruth M. Sahu and Sidharath P. Bettjewrgi demonstrate a distinct visual imagery which establishes the stylisation of human body, introducing dialogues of myth and banality or of a self-engrossed search. Occurring in the same category are Madan Meena of Rajasthan and Syed Rayees Ahmed of Hyderabad. While Meena fuses symbolism fabricated in textures, Ahmed forges cultural characterisation. While these four artists execute a stylised portrayal of the human form they seem to have consciously grounded themselves in an area where they would like to experiment the least. For, in these works, there seems to appear an opacity of execution and ideas the artists have consciously or unconsciously cordoned off the fluidity their other contemporaries have retained. The fluidity we are discussing is that which appears in the works of Shweta Raina and Rajib Roy of Delhi and N.S. Pattar of Karnataka. Printmakers Raina and Roy, although working out the more technical process of the graphic art, impress the seasoned spectator with their spontaneity they imply in their image-making scheme. Raina's collage of infusing more than one medium of graphic art, narrates an interesting narrative that not merely stimulates the intellect but arrests the view with subtle messages. Roy, on the other hand, scribbles images upon his litho process that announces a dexterous hand and a charged emotion towards his work.

The scribble may appear amateurish but this is what retains the fluidity for further possibilities as far as this artist is concerned. Pattar similarly dismisses any kind of sophistication in his painting. In fact, he sagaciously proceeds with his penchant to paint.

The thematic relevance is a conceptual ingredient in his work. But once again, the easy of the brush and pigment facilitates this artist to explore possibilities. Subir Kumar Mitra also attempts the non-sophisticated process of painting. This way his work yields to him textures and the aspect of reconnoitre (pun intended) plays hide and seek in his work. This exhibition remains on view until November 30, between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.


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