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A visual blend of glow and gloom

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"REFUGEE WOMAN": A work by artist S.L. Parasher
"REFUGEE WOMAN": A work by artist S.L. Parasher

P. Anima

London has a date with legendary artist S. L. Parasher's works

NEW DELHI: London will get to view legendary artist S. L. Parasher's sketches on the Partition and much more at an exhibition titled "Parasher -- Partition and Beyond" that opens at the Nehru Centre in the British capital on April 17.

Artist and philosopher

Considered a man of unique creative skills, Parasher was an artist as well as a philosopher and thus there were written texts that served as a guide to his visuals. His works, both public and private and done on various materials, will be displayed at the London exhibition. Decades of Parasher's work from the Partition sketches to the landscapes and portraits of Shimla will be on view.

His sketches on the Partition bring alive the pain, anguish, suffering and violence of the epochal event as Parasher himself had to undergo the turmoil.

Parasher's works in Shimla, where he was involved in organising the Punjab School of Arts, are a break from the bleak pictures of the Partition. Pencil and charcoal sketches of the Partition give way to vibrant colours and landscape of Shimla.

Though his initial works were identified as international within the European tradition, "the aesthetic insights and realisations of ancient Indian culture" are reflected in his latter creations.

The man who termed his method of work as "praanantarik" or guided by an internal force believed that "works of art in the Indian tradition are symbols and signs of the spirit conceived in a state of trance".

It is said that as the paintings of Parasher (1904-1990) became larger and more elaborate in style and dimension, they got "deeper in resonance and less opaque in meaning". His sketches are considered to have a "parallel life of their own: direct, clear, almost snapshots of the passing era".

Parasher's daughter Prajna Paramita Parasher will also showcase her works at the exhibition.

Hailed as "the inheritor of living tradition", Prajna has expressed in digital format the themes, symbols and colours of her father's works.

The works will be on view up to April 20.

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