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Wednesday, Mar 16, 2005

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A long way to go

The Annual Exhibition at the Cholamandal Artists' Village is on till month-end

THE CHOLAMANDAL Artists' Village is in its fortieth year. While its location far away from the bustle of the city makes it ideal for the artists to work, a visit to the Annual Exhibition which is on till the end of March would make you wonder whether this very isolation has had an effect on creativity. This time only a few works arouse real interest. However, the small pen and ink drawings of K. C. S. Panicker cannot fail to hold one's attention.

The distinct style of Gopinath is evident in his vibrant paintings, where human faces and animal forms emerge. Jayapal Panicker's paintings reveal delicate brushwork. K. S. Gopal's graphic prints `Om' are interesting. S. G. Vasudev's recent works, though similar to his early ones, have something fresh about them. For a change, one gets to see drawings and paintings by veteran artist M. V. Devan instead of photographs of his architectural achievements.

Anila Jacob's welded copper and brass sculptures resemble Nandagopal's work a lot, while the latter's `Ganesha' with touches of enamel is impressive. Ravi Ram, who follows his uncle Janakiraman's style in welded oxidised copper sculpture, has been attracting attention; but in `Ranganathan' on show, the body appears too short compared to the rest of the figure. `Nava Ganesha', a silver plated relief by M. S. Geetha is appealing, but the finesse is missing in the sculptural reliefs by Hemalatha, particularly in the application of enamel. The small bronze `Mother and Child' by Selvaraj holds attention briefly.

Saravanan's paintings continue to appear deceptively like the creations of his father Senathipathi. Though the influence cannot be avoided, it is time the younger generation artists came out of the shadow of their fathers. Umashankar manages to convey emotions effectively in his paintings on tsunami victims, particularly the way he allows the faces to slowly merge with the background, while his father Venkatapathy has gone in for conventional `Sanjeevi' and `Ganesha' in small format. Among the creations of other youngsters, the abstract paintings with geometric forms by Raju, the acrylics of Latha Sivakumar and G. Priya and Mohanakrishnan's digital art prints are commendable.


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