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Distinctive journeys

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An exhibition that brings together artists who represent the maturity and blooming of the Madras Art Movement.

Bangalore’s Gallery Time and Space is, for the first time, bringing the works of three leading artists and a sculptor who have been influenced by the Madras Movement, a significant chapter in India’s recent art history. The exhibition, which was two years in planning, will show the works of artists C. Douglas, K. Muralidharan, Rm. Palaniappan and sculptor S. Nandagopal.

Each of these artists has drawn from the essential intellectual and aesthetic philosophies of the Madras Movement to undertake distinctive journeys that give their works a mooring in tradition as well as the individual freedom of artistry and meaning. Douglas uses the twin processes of deconstruction and construction to create his artworks on his preferred medium of paper. To tear, to mutilate and then recreate is his metaphor for life.

S. Nandagopal is often inspired by parables and tales from the traditional fabric of myths and rituals that give form to the many philosophies of India. His works have a definite sense of being present in the now even as they simultaneously reveal a joyful liberty to seek a future free of all associations.

Murlidharan’s child-like forms are rich with imagination, myth, and a deep understanding of the concepts of Brahma and Lila. They are filled with an instinct to find the purer substance of exuberant joy. The artist draws ancient Indian lore into a contemporary surreal space.

Palaniappan has made a journey through space and movement to a very personal visual language that now embodies his perception of reality: physical forms have given place to movement and energy and these have been informed by psychology and philosophy until the whole becomes a measure of life.

The Madras Movement refers to the period between 1950 and 1985 when a group of artists emphasised the importance of linearity and drawing as an expressive tool in the hands of the artists. In addition, artists of this school, led by such masters as KCS Panicker, also believed in the crafts that became an attendant requisite of art in its own right. The Government College of Arts and Crafts, Madras, had some of the most renowned craftsmen in the state among the faculty. Ironsmiths, goldsmiths, furniture designers, textile weavers and dyers worked and taught students alongside artists and instructors .

Nandagopal, today considered a leading sculptor, began as a painter and ceramist. He says, “I have always sensed in me the liveliness of a drawing, the feel of colour, the genius of design, and the preciousness of the material I work with.”

DEVINA DUTT

Vignettes; Passages; Parables:

The Madras Movement

Exhibition of the recent works of C. Douglas, K. Muralitharan, S. Nandagopal and Rm. Palaniappan

Where:Gallery Time and Space, Bangalore

When:Till February 17

Bottomline:

A show of works moored in tradition as well as individual freedom.


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