An eclectic collection of paintings by artists of three generations of the same family is on show at Lalit Kala Akademi

Three generations come together for an unusual and eclectic exhibition of oils, water colours and Chinese brush paintings at Lalit Kala Akademi. ‘Different Strokes’, the exhibition by Bhavani Raghunandan, her son Shashi Raghunandan and her father P. R. S. Tampi, showcases the love of art that has been passed down from one generation to the next in this family, and also the striking degree of individuality shown by each in his or her expression of it.

For example, Tampi, an 87-year-old former Fulbright scholar, prefers the style of the old-fashioned oil painting. His realistic paintings of people and animals are done in rich, solid colour, his play of light making them appear to be lit from within. Shashi, an alumnus of IIT Madras and IIM Ahmedabad, on the other hand, goes for delicate water colours, capturing idyllic landscapes and street scenes on uncluttered canvases with large expanses of pastel blue skies and minimal detailing. Bhavani, principal of Vidya Mandir, has for her part taken on the challenge of the ancient form of Chinese painting on rice paper, with its soft, watery light and shade effect and distinctive, dainty brushstrokes capturing Chinese sceneries, bamboo, birds and flowers.

“We’re all self-taught artists,” says Bhavani. “My father didn’t even teach me to paint — he told me to develop my own style. I’ve always appreciated that, which is why I did the same with my son.”

What he did teach them, however, was to see and enjoy colour and movement. This exhibition is, in a sense, a tribute to him and that teaching. “I wanted to do this exhibition while he was still here to enjoy it,” she says. “So I called my son and said, let’s do it and bring thatha in as well.”

The exhibition is on till March 1.

DIVYA KUMAR

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