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Date: 28 Sep 2010
Time: 02:58:10 -0500
Gallery Art Positive presents ‘Gandhi-giri’- a solo show of new art works by Jaipur-based artist Gopal Swami Khetanchi from October 1 to October 31, 2010 at Art Positive, F-213/B, Old MB Road, Lado Sarai, New Delhi- 110030 (Tel- 011- 41602545, 011- 46604128). A part of the proceeds from the show will go in support of Dastkar, the Society for Crafts and Craftspeople, in synergy with Gandhi’s passion for the handspun and handmade. The exhibition has been mounted as a tribute to the father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi. The exhibition opening on the eve of Gandhi Jayanti attempts to take a closer look at today’s India of post-Gandhi era. Gandhi’s dream of an independent India, free not only from the Imperial rule or domination but also from poverty and hardships for the people, it seems, has remained a dream! Says Anu Bajaj, Director, Art Positive: "When I first saw Khetanchi's new series of paintings on Mahatma Gandhi, what most struck me was the tenderness with which he has portrayed a complex subject. Several artists have used Gandhiji as their muse, but what sets this artist apart is how he demystifies the context in which he portrays the father of the nation. When we look at his paintings which are replete with images of an India quite different from what Gandhiji would have wanted, we realise the craftsmanship of the artist lies in not his subject but the treatment itself. Contemplative and subtle in its approach, Khetanchi's work creates a harmonious balance between the notion of 'what is' and 'what could have been'. Says curator Archana Bahl Sapra: “Gopal Swami Khetanchi’s creative track in the recent past has meandered mainly through petite feminine imagery evocative of love, grandeur and an old world charm in refined texture and a rich palette, that has brought him much critical acclaim and financial gain, but now he seems to have had a change of heart moving onto a new track inspired by his readings on Gandhi’s philosophy and the stark reality that he finds all around. The contrasting picture of shining India and whining Bharat is what has been the trigger for this new series of about 15 large oil paintings on canvas and an installation that he has created for the show.” “I am trying to portray the difference between India and Bharat on my canvas,” says the artist. Gandhi more than half a century later, is shown looking almost lost, as he confronts a modern, fast moving, IT savvy, busy and Bollywood obsessed India of today, whilst in other canvases he finds people continuing to struggle and live in abject poverty as preys to the country’s corrupt bureaucracy and naïve government policies. Gopal Swami Khetanchi following his graduation in art and painting from Rajasthan School of Art worked in Mumbai on art direction for feature films including Mukaddar ka Sikander, Kalia,Jawalamukhi and Abdullah and then as an illustrator for a fortnightly magazine before turning to his passion as a full time painter. Khetanchi’s art has journeyed through various phases and styles including realism, surrealism and abstraction, and comes in a fine assimilation of tradition and modernity with a marked influence of Raja Ravi Varma school and miniature art in some of the recent series. The suite of works in the exhibition are beautiful, subtle and contemplative in turn and engage the viewer in myriad different ways emphasizing the relationship between man, society, and the surrounding environment. They challenge notions around what painting stands for and where or how creativity impacts on our lives. Partners Dastkar A part of the sale proceeds from artworks in the show, will go in support of Dastkar, the Society for Crafts and Craftspeople, in synergy with Gandhi’s passion for the handspun and handmade. Dastkar, that started with 14 groups in 1982, today works with over 200 NGOs and 25,000 craft people in every corner of the country, adapting and re-designing traditional craft techniques into contemporary products that one can buy; helping craftspeople hone skills, materials, and production systems. Gallery Art Positive Gallery Art Positive with its focus on seminal exhibitions including work by young and established artists has expanded over the last couple of years to include other art initiatives such as specialized and personalized art advisory services. As a unit of Bajaj Capital Art House with its in-house expertise in wealth management and in its new location with more and especially designed space in the latest art hub of the capital city at Lado Sarai, Art Postive combines an art gallery and a Book CaféArteria, to offer a relaxed and creative ambience to appreciate art from across the country in its varied modes, media and prices.