Neeru Khullar’s exhibition of works at the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath can best be described as unusually usual. Titled “Canvas”, this is Neeru’s first exhibition at the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath. She has on display paintings that depict a range of subjects including nature, spirituality and womanhood. She uses different styles from abstraction to realism to express these themes.
Many of her paintings on nature are semi-abstract, including “Flowers” where she paints bunches of flowers in shades of lilac, orange or white, with black stems ending on a base of bright lines in shades of green, blue and white.
In another painting titled “Musical Nature”, she paints a waterfall in a thick “forest” of colours: green, blue, orange, yellow. Most of her “spiritual” works consist of profiles of spiritual figures: Shirdi Sai Baba, Buddha and gods from the Indian pantheon. In some of these profiles, Neeru plays around with texture, adding layers of colour— wrinkles against the faces and the figures.
She has also tried her hand at realism, employing the same themes in everyday settings such as a mother embracing her child or an old man with his dog seated on a roadside bench. “Art is an inner journey and gives voice to my emotions. I paint for joy. Colours give me the energy to move on,” says Neeru, a self taught painter.
“The Canvas” will be on view at the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, Kumara Krupa Road today. For details, contact 9663440824.
Capturing the world around
Profiles are Karunakaran’s forte. That much was clear to the viewer, in his recent exhibition at the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath. His portraits, of an old man peering through his glasses in “Vintage Vision”, a dancer in “Nrithya”, or a tiger and her cub in “Royal Cuddle” are endearing in the way that they capture the expression of their subjects. He captures the helplessness of the old man, the enchantment of the dancer and the shy boldness of the rustic woman.
In his series of paintings, “Candid Perceptions,” Karunakaran also captures nature, village life, and architecture. He paints birds and animals (“Sparrows” and “Silhouetted Pachyderms”), sunsets in the sea and village roads and houses with people going about their day-today business. He also captures sculptures: of dancers and gods in the ancient temples of Konark and Badami, apart from the architecture of the temples at Bhubaneshwar and Aihole.
Apart from the portraits, the painting of a folk performer “Arjuna” stands out.
“Everything we see around us is beautiful, since it is God’s creation,” says Karunakaran, a retired General Manager at a Public Sector Unit, who now teaches business management, and paints as a hobby. “All my paintings give importance to Mother Earth, since I feel that everything has evolved from the earth. This is why I have restricted my colour palette to earthy colours.”