In her collection of 25 paintings displayed at the Lalit Kala Akademi recently, young artist Radha Kumar’s attempt was to take a thoughtful and unconventional look at the world and transfer this view to her canvases through abstract expression.
Works rendered in acrylic, such as ‘Races of Life’, ‘Blue Boat’ and ‘Secret Cemented’, justified the title of the show, “Abstract Expressions.”
Unlike many artists who try to give their viewers a heads up by elaborately titling their works, Radha, though she had given titles, had hidden these to enable the viewer to interpret each painting freely without limiting the imagination.
Be it a diptych, triptych or a collage, her works reflect not just her own emotions but also things that people feel and see in their everyday lives. ‘Evening Gossip’, for example, shows two village women sitting under a dim lamp talking to each other at dusk, probably after completing their daily chores. She adds another dimension to her work by affixing objects like threads and nuts, etc. to the paintings.
The artist, who began exhibiting her work in 2013, quotes the iconic Pablo Picasso. “I paint objects as I think them, not as I see them.” She adds, “I pick up a stone lying on the ground, wash it and place it in front of me and think about it differently. A science graduate from Delhi University and an MBA from XLRI, Jamshedpur, she is being mentored in fine arts by Vijaya Bagai.