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An imaginative reality

HARSHINI VAKKALANKA
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ART Chaitalee’s works are happy, vivid and imaginative

A happy combination of bright, bold colours and equally bold motifs characterise Chaitalee Chatterjee’s works at her solo exhibition at the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath. This is her 13{+t}{+h}solo exhibition and the first in Bangalore.

Chaitalee’s oeuvre of paintings in oil, consists of a whole range of realistic dreamscapes or dreamy landscapes, still life and folksy figures set in landscapes. She seems to have evolved a distinctive style, both in terms of her landscapes and figures. Though they appear like landscapes only in terms of the basic composition, Chaitalee holds her in own in the fantastical, fluid shapes of the trees, plants, carpets of green on the earth against vivid skies dotted with stars.

This is obvious in works such as “In The Woods” against the backdrop of a bright, red sky and in “Twilight”, which is a bird’s eye view of a hilly landscape. Inspired by the hillscapes at Mussourie, Her figures, on the other hand, are influenced by the Bengal School and there is a distinct Indian-ness to the motifs. But Chaitalee retains her vivid sense of colouration even here, in works such as “Day Dreaming”, “Couple”. “Gossip” and “Picking Berries”.

In “Day Dreaming” Chaitalee paints a group of women each lost in their own worlds, in “Couple” she paints the faces of a man and a woman. But this work has traces of Cubism in its disintegration and re-assembling of the subject. “Gossip” is an imaginative, folksy rendering of parrots, perched on branches. While “Picking Berries”, spread over three canvases, explores the traditional theme of women picking berries from a tree near a pond. The figures here, never take precedence over the landscape.

“My works are neither realistic not abstract. They lie somewhere in between, ” says Chaitalee, a graduate of the Delhi College of Art. “One of my teachers was the painter Manjit Singh Bawa who once told us that it is not necessary to paint the trees green or the sky blue but that we must follow our heart. His statement impacted me greatly as an artist.” Nature is one her favourite subjects. “I love watching birds, flowers and trees, which feature in most of my paintings.”

Chaitalee’s works will be on display at the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, Kumara Krupa Road until December 7. For details, contact 09312818649.

HARSHINI VAKKALANKA

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