Expressions in the visual language of paintings, sculptures and photographs of the aesthetic value of idyllic topics in a group show, curated by Aarti Singh of Polka Gallery, Delhi, previewed on April 27, 2023, at the Grand Hyatt, Bambolim. Well-placed contemporary artists of India featured in the show titled ‘Rhapsody in Red’.
G Subramanium, with a career spanning over 60 years, is known for his unique mixed-media works in collage, blending and layering paper cutouts with acrylic and ink washes in brilliant hues, creating striking artworks. The playful collage of Radha and Krishna, will bring a lifetime of pleasure to art connoisseurs, and considering the talent of the artist, accrue in value as time passes.
Suchit Sahini’s stories are driven by dominant elements of geometrical patterns. His cityscapes reveal a riot of forms and colours. A red car and high-rise buildings capture the striking divide between industrial and traditional views, challenging the dichotomies of yesteryears.
Bhaskar Rao is inspired by childhood memories and Indian mythology that illustrate the sacred balance and role of ‘trees’ in the ecosystem. They have a significant role in our cultural landscape, and remain a constant motif in his oeuvre. Trees, in a new context of colour and textures, extend reverence for the beauty present within them.
Nayanaa Kanodia has established a niche in a genre unseen and unheard of in contemporary context. An economist-turned-painter brings strong individualism which makes the viewer feel they’re seeing an exuberant snapshot of life, bursting with energy and absurdity, to be interpreted by viewers in disparate ways, each equally plausible, logical and thought-provoking.
Nupur Kundu trained in Kathak, and effortlessly combines her passion for art and dance. Her works take you into an unknown labyrinth of explorations of the human psyche. Vibrant well-balanced colours, using small instruments rather than spatula and rollers, she imbues the work with the intricacy of the rhythm of dance, thus making the paintings livelier.
Ganpati Hegde weaves natural elements in his affinity for flora with a playful juxtaposition of elements in an energetic palette. Metaphorically speaking, the fleshy and sensual figures pulsating with desire, are symbolic of various Indian deities, and are surrounded by flora in uninhibited strokes, lending joyfulness.
Madhuri Bhaduri’s abstraction goes deeper than a mere juxtaposition of colours. It’s about understanding the complexities of emotional experiences in a dialogue of brush and paint, vividly sensual, resounding with her spirit of spontaneity, joy and fulfilment.
Brinda Miller is known for her strong amalgamation of realism and abstraction of architectural elements in various mediums. In her painting in vivid hues of red, one needs to study the minute elements incorporated into the composition.
Pradeep Naik’s monochromatic semi-abstract portraiture blends Hindu and Christian cultures. His painting is inspired by Kaavi art, an ancient decorative art-form indigenous to Goa, found in churches, Hindu temples and homes.
Shripad Gurav, provides insight about the Portuguese rule when local families adopted Western attire and customs. The colourful palette, tender glazes, luminous surfaces, form crisp sounds to the expressions, in his semi-abstract portraiture, of scenarios in Goa.
Kamar Alam, breathes life into his work experimenting with mediums, faultless, balanced play of light and shade. His vision and focus permeate inter-relationships and dialogues overlapped with neutral elements and geometrical connotations, emphasizing spiritual inspirations, simplistic in thought and form, bringing forth emotions in his painting of a ‘boat/tree’.
Shiv Kumar Soni, inspired by childhood memories, captures the spirit of that special stage of life, beauty, wonder and innocence; then, loss of childhood. Energizing colours, fluid brush strokes flood his paintings of clowns.
Nitish Bhattacharjee is always visually balanced, his pictorial plane 'organized' by striking a bright flat colour panel, exhilarating brush work rendered with abandon on large expanses of paper and canvas are confident of his innermost conflicts and resolution, suggesting a burgeoning energy in his unique painterly lexicon, depicted in abstraction.
Anu Malhotra, a self-taught artist, writer, filmmaker, photographer, has created a distinct style by pouring paint onto the canvas, tilting it to blend colours. Her series of totem poles, made with papier-mâché, beads, wood and enamel paint, full of vibrant colours, impart a sense of joy and harmony in modern aesthetics.
You can read about more artists in the second part of this article.
'Rhapsody in Red', an exhibition of contemporary art, is on view at the Polka Art Gallery, the Grand Hyatt, Bambolim till May 11, 2023