The 61st National Exhibition of Art at the LKA is showcasing tapestry of talent

Faruque Ahmed Halder’s ‘Childhood’

Faruque Ahmed Halder’s ‘Childhood’  

From childhood memories to finding the animal within, here are five National Award winning works that hold your attention at the ongoing 61st National Exhibition of Art at the Lalit Kala Akademi

The 61st National Exhibition of Art of the Lalit Kala Akademi is showcasing a set of 283 works from different parts of the country. The exhibition follows the National Lalit Kala Akademi Awards given to 15 artists by President Ram Nath Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhavan earlier their week. The works consist of drawings, paintings, mixed media, ceramics, sculptures, etchings, and woodcuts.

Amongst the works of winners, five works stood out for their degree of originality, their compositional control and their ingenuity of subjects chosen. While the compositions ranged from everyday realities to experiences and observations and memories, it is clear that personal choices and aesthetics enrich the language used by artists. The perception of reality differs from one person to another, but it is the perspective within and without that leads an artist to create a work that echoes the credibility of a living presence.


Anoop Manzukhi Gopi’s untitled work

Anoop Manzukhi Gopi’s untitled work  

Trichur-born, Santiniketan-dweller Anoop Manzhuki Gopi’s charcoal on rice paper is a riveting drawing of a set of dried branches bundled together perhaps for fuel or even just to make a thatched roof. “ During the day, I walk around the little pathways and look at the remnants of the lifestyles of humble people,” says Gopi. “ I use charcoal on rice paper because it allows me to consider simultaneously the characteristics of the object I ‘ drawing, its textural qualities, and I also include the quality of surrounding light, the atmosphere and all that can only be expressed by drawing. I think of vanishing practices in these days of the great migration from city to city and try to capture simple rudiments that are engaging.”


Keshari Nandan Prasad’s ‘Kal Chakra’

Keshari Nandan Prasad’s ‘Kal Chakra’  

Amongst sculptors, it is last year’s AIFACS award winner Keshari Nandan whose “Kaalchakra” made of stoneware is a modern-day testimony of tumultuous times we live in. Deliberate distortions in his wood-fired stoneware terracotta tinted creation speaks evocatively about karma as he sets us pondering about why and wherefore of the Purusha Prakriti principle that meant harmony and balance in the days of yore. Jaipur-based Keshari’s treatment of the sculptural stoneware is also a gentle reference to the beauty and power of stoneware as a medium in creating contemporary art pieces.

Kolkata artist Faruq Ahmed Haldar’s “Childhood” is a moving wooden sculpture of a poverty-stricken hungry little child trying to lick the remnants that he finds in a handi. The posture and expressive action both become the evocative emotion. “I was making a comment on the very memory of childhood that I saw on the street,” says Haldar, “at the end of the day it fills the onlooker with so much pain and pathos that we think of it long after we have witnessed it.”

Etchings and woodcut

Amongst the etchings and woodcuts, it is Solapur’s Tejaswani Narayan Sonawane who won the award for a self-portrait in a woodcut that finds bird and animal within. “I looked into the mirror and thought I am a cat, so I made the ears, I thought of a bird that can fly without any burden leaving everything behind. I think, as men and women according to our circumstances, we are both bird and animal.”

The second award-winning print maker is Vadodara’s Devendra Kumar Khare whose favourite artists are Albrecht Durer Francis Goya and Anupam Sud. Khare creates a stellar diptych in which he creates a sepia tone scene that speaks of surrealism as well as the incisive iconographic treatment of memories as metaphors that sift through time. “My etching is based on my teenage experiences,” says Khare. “I used the image of a bull to comment on the likeness of man and animal – just as the bull chews and regurgitates what it eats we too keep mulling over events that have happened in our lives and shapes our present. In the second part, I dealt with death because I remember my drawing teacher who died when I was young. I, now, realise that death is inevitable but at that time it was unsettling and deeply traumatic to lose a loved teacher.”

Ultimately, these five award winning artists portray the poignancy of personal practices honed on the hinges of art education.

(The 61st National Exhibition of Art runs until March 22, 2020, at the Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi)

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 3:28:42 AM |

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