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Painting meaning on abstract space

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‘Defining Space’: Acrylic on canvas by Raju Durshettiwar.
‘Defining Space’: Acrylic on canvas by Raju Durshettiwar.

Madhur Tankha

NEW DELHI: Chennai-based Prakrit Arts will showcase recent works of artist Raju Durshettiwar at the Academy of Fine Arts and Literature here beginning this Saturday.

Speaking about his upcoming exhibition titled ‘Defining Space’, Raju says every white canvas is a space, an empty space for him. “That space needs to be filled and then I apply colours, strokes, a few lines and some forms. The synergy is created by application of strokes in the confined space. Only then my canvas gets an existence. It emerges with meaningful notion and this application of meaning to the canvas is the process of ‘Defining Space’ for me,” he adds.

Hailing from Maharashtra, Raju, after completing his B.F.A. from Nagpur University, moved to Cholamandal Artist Village in Chennai that was established by the artist community.

Raju does not paint his canvas on easel; rather he spreads his canvas on the floor, leaving the space all around so that he can gaze through each side and angle of his confined space, confronting with the space bit by bit. According to Raju, each work is a process, it is a foundation for the next work. Each work has its own existence with exploring space. It is an exploration and expression of his mind and heart.

He is influenced by Western artists like the legendary Pablo Picasso. His favourite Indian artists are Gaitonde, J. Swaminathan, Kolte and Ambadas.

The present body of his work defines space with new perception. It is not just a representative outline of an intellectual negotiation. It questions the space and holds forth a fundamental argument with series of permutations and configurations caused due to overlapping structures.

His work is based on architectural forms. Though it is not so specific in his works, its existence can be felt. A few predominant elements of architecture like staircase, arches, triangles and grids have been used.

Raju worked in figurative for a few years, but it did not offer him a freedom to create. Thus he took abstraction as a stylisation for his expression and is most satisfied with it.

The exhibition will be on up to September 12.

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