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Category: Press Release
Date:     17 July 2009
Time:     06:18 AM


New Delhi: Bajaj Capital Art House (BCAH) celebrates its first anniversary with Beyond The Form; a
group exhibition of more than forty works including paintings in water colour, oil, pastel and
acrylic on canvas & aluminum, digital archival ink on canvas, mixed media on paper and sculptures by
fourteen contemporary artists from August 05, 2009 to August 07, 2009 at Visual Arts Gallery, India
Habitat Centre, New Delhi, India. The exhibition will continue at Gallery Art Positive, L -26,
Kalkaji, New Delhi, India from August 08, 2009 to August 14, 2009.  The show will then move to
Jehangir Art Gallery, 161/B, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Kalagodha, Mumbai, India from August 24, 2009 to
August 31, 2009.

The participating artists are Anil Gaikwad, George Martin P.J, Jagdish Chinthala, Jayasri Burman,
Krishen Khanna, Maya Burman, Murali Cheeroth, Nitish Bhattacharjee, Paresh Maity, Satish Gujral,
Sunil Padwal, Viveek Sharma, Vivek Vilasani and T.M. Azis.

The celebratory mood will also witness the launch of BCAH’s ‘Bajaj Capital Art House Artist
Fellowship’; a one year fellowship aimed at mid-career visual artists who have had at least two solo
and six group shows to their credit and are in the age group of 25 – 40 years. The final selection
will be made on the basis of the artist’s track record, current body of work, project proposal and
future potential. The selected artist will be awarded a fellowship of Rs 50,000 as cash grant which
can be used for research, travel, materials or acquiring facilities as outlined and agreed in the
project proposal. The fellowship will conclude with a curated solo exhibition accompanied by a
catalogue that BCAH will sponsor and present showcasing the new work created during the year.   

Says Anu Bajaj, Director, Bajaj Capital Art House: “BCAH has brought forth an eclectic mix of
quality art that promises to bring a cheer for all art aficionados. There are stunning paintings and
sculptures by star artists Krishen Khanna, Satish Gujral, Jagdish Chinthala and Paresh Maity while
equally remarkable canvases have been contributed by some of the young luminaries including George
Martin P.J, Viveek Sharma, Nitish Bhattacharjee and Sunil Padwal. Mixed media has been used
dramatically by Vivek Vilasini and Murali Cheeroth who will also be presenting a video installation.
While Anil Gaikwad works with juxtaposition of old and new materials, T.M. Azis works is oil on
canvas.  Jayasri and Maya Burman bring alive the old world charm and reflections of folk form in
their contemporary coloration. The works in the show are all unique and refreshingly special -
indeed a collector’s delight.” 

Says Sushma Bahl, curator of the show: “Beyond the Form attempts to focus on the underlying
concerns, issues, emotions and stories that artists as creators delve into beyond what the eye can
see as a ubiquitous form. Most of the artworks have been specially created for the exhibition in
response to the theme and give the viewers an interesting visual and aesthetic panorama of
contemporary art in varied expressions, oeuvres and genres.”  

In Vivek Vilasini’s digital archival ink on canvas work titled Mind the Giap, he has portrayed
General Wong Neo Giang Giap, a general in the Vietnam army who fought and defeated the French and
American armies while his other work Untitled 'Holy Bible' is based on the actual existence of a
Bible that can be bought of the shelves in Bangalore and online at Says the artist:
“Both my works are an anomaly because Vietnam being a small country could resist such powerful
invasions while the Bible, covered in camouflage, reminds me of the historical period of the
crusades.” The delicate irony they evoke impacts existing ideologies, and influences the cultural
and social consciousness of the viewer. Vivek examines our existing social structure, various
expressions of cultural identity prevalent in society today and raising questions about the
continually changing global scenario that every individual battles to keep pace with.

Artist Viveek Sharma’s oil on canvas, for instance, delves into our social milieu and makes the
narrative self explicit as if hidden behind the forms. The situations in either of his works are not
ubiquitous like in the case of Bullet proof, the image of an invincible Chathrapathi Shivaji on the
horse back signifying the terror attacks in Mumbai defended by commandos bearing the tricolour and
the peace pigeons in flight, are coalesced images bearing a national identity that is distinctively
Indian. On the other hand Brain wash depicts the urban and rural masses of India, their heads as
repository and brains as receptacle for an earmarked product of mass consumerism.

One can see a similar aura of its own in Anil Gaikwad’s oil, pastel and acrylic work titled Shadow
Becomes Reality where the light emanating from the colour pervades the canvas, resulting in a
sublime and serene landscape. Says the artist: “My paintings are like a mirror to me through which I
look at myself. My images are identified with certain terrain, valley or a landscape, but in reality
I delve deep into an inner space, which unfolds gradually and creates a terra incognita. Thus, my
canvases become a meditative place.” Each brush stroke aimed at the surface of his canvas is not
innocent; it reveals and conceals, encodes and decodes at the same time. 

Taking the canvas beyond the concept of hyper-real figuration and colourful abstraction, acclaimed
artist George Martin P.J’s acrylic on canvas paintings titled A Touch of Elegance and Looking For
Closure enact an enigmatic drama of contemporary life in simplistic urban situations. Applying a
unique methodology - first by the mediation of a camera and then by a program that enables the
artist to deconstruct the first image - the unity of the images are broken down to make it look like
colourful patches. George Martin P.J captures the outer layer of urban spaces which reflect the
post-modern sense of reality. Says George Martin P.J: “Interaction with our urban surroundings and
environment is the basis of my consciousness, my ability for creation. There are many touching
incidents and events that make me agitated and prompt a spontaneous artistic reaction.” The artist
tries to strike a chord with the viewers by stimulating their memories, their inner and invisible
sensory powers. 

Inspired from the built environment, rather than the luxurious flora and fauna he grew up with in
Kerala, Murali Cheeroth’s new video work is based on research on the use of pesticides on cashew
crops in and around rural South, which is leading to some serious health, environmental and genetic
disorder issues among farmers. In the paintings, his current explorations include the architecture
of the city, urbanization and urban cultures and looks closely at the idea of re-construction,
infrastructure, technology, speed, change, local and global intersections and multiple layers of
urban identities. The colorful theatrical images here that appear surrounded by machines in one of
the works and under the arch-light in another, seem to unveil human body and mind entangled in
multiple identities and society’s increasing technology dependency.  Though, mainly he works on
paintings and videos, he has worked on printmaking and theatre also.  

Unlike Murali Cheeroth, T.M. Azis’s oil on canvas work titled Untitled is steeped in the
expressionistic figuration of Kerala from where he too hails. A young and promising artist who has
worked in mixed media; his characters reflect situations that represent state of mind, body, gesture
and dramatic movements from life. He says: "I have never been particular about maintaining a style
as experiences change with time. I accept the new environment, people and like to adapt new
techniques and colors in my works. My works are like documentation of my personal experience and
knowledge of my time.”

Similarly, Sunil Padwal too works in mixed media and explores the androgynous urban male by giving
him a definite form and identity. A mélange of colors, graffiti and Russian icons come together on
his canvas and effectively convey the angst ridden facet of brooding mankind. He enjoys adding
dimension to his works, an unusual curved surface instead of a flat one, a molded back to make the
painting move away from the wall, a form of twisted metal or an old signboard.

On the other hand, femininity is the world created by Jayasri Burman who creates a balance between
beauty and nature through her mixed media work on paper and canvas. Her paintings have a dream-like
lyrical quality with unique sensitivity, using mythic elements - strange hybrid animals with human
heads, coroneted ceremonial bird, mother Goddess or creatures of the woods etc. 

Maya Burman’s watercolours are delicate and detailed with a strong fantasy element. Reminiscent of
the French art nouveau tradition, her paintings have a tapestry like effect. Maya first sketches in
pencil and then applies a layer of watercolour, finishing the outlines and details in black ink with
a pen. A meeting ground of two cultures - Indian and French, her paintings blend the genres of
Indian miniature painting and European Middle Age architecture in her art. Not only that, literature
and poetry is also very significantly present in her paintings, while her typographies are
predominately figurative. She says: “Painting is my life, my emotions and my pains which are coming
on the paper.” 

One of the most promising young painters of contemporary Indian art, Paresh Maity started out as a
painter in the academic style, but over the years began to shift from atmospheric scenery to
representations of the human form. Gradually the imagery and form became more and more abstract
until the young painter with flourish of a brush laden with transparent colours began to create
paintings of great evanescent beauty. Deriving his inspiration as much from the surrounding
landscape as from folk forms and contemporary life, Paresh Maity creates a web of fantasies and
stories soaked in beauty, pulsating with romance, passion and intrigue. Though recognized as a water
colourist, the young painter is equally at ease with oil on canvas as is evident in his acrylic and
mixed media on paper or canvas work.

Similarly, Nitish Bhattacharjee too worked with realistic imagery in his early body of work but has
for some time moved to abstract art or “non-representational art” as the artist prefers to call it.
For the show, Nitish has created acrylic on canvas work and his narratives may be described as
passionate encounters between lines and hues. In fact, the degree of abstraction is so immense, that
the viewer is compelled to question the content behind the inexhaustible layers of texture and
colour as well as the frantic movement of brush strokes that occupy his canvas. 

A well known name in contemporary Indian sculpture, Jagdish Chinthala uses papier-mâché and aluminum
to create his sculptures titled Anniversary, Best Man, Room Mates and Man at Miami Beach. Inspired
by folk sculptures, toys, acquaintances and incidents from his childhood in India, his recent
papier-mâché creations are three dimensional, columnar figures, developed into busts, masks and
life-sized figures. Each piece depicting the artist’s astute perception of the outside world and the
fallibility of human nature are specific and unique; its character subtly revealed through clothing,
facial expressions, posture and use of hands. It is the artist’s depiction of intimate and human
emotions that gives his works such universal appeal, affectionately commenting on society and
dramatically narrating his stories. The charm of his sculptures lies in their simplicity which is so
inherently alive as to vitiate all criticism.

Among the few artists who have constantly dominated the Indian art scene, Satish Gujral has been
internationally acclaimed for his multi-talent in paintings, graphics, mural, sculpture,
architecture and interior design. It is the pain and anguish of homeless during the partition of the
country that took shape in his artwork. Says the artist: “My works always gets inspiration from the
prevalent elements in contemporary living. I create forms that I consider not only modern but are
infused with energy and motion. All my four paintings made for the show are in acrylic and gold on
canvas. They are composed of elements that are part of day to day contemporary man’s life and his
involvement in mundane functions. They depict man’s attempt to harness power.”

Krishen Khanna, deft in drawing and painting has some large scale pen, pencil and ink works that
rotates around human experiences and situations. Through the surface of his paintings immersed in
thick impasto, familiar figures appear and disappear jogging one’s distant memories. The two
drawings here feature one of his most popular and engaging subjects- the bandwallas. Wearing their
typical hats and coats holding up their brass instruments the bandwallas are seen to herald a time
for celebration and joy for others though they themselves have to struggle to make a living. The
compositions in immaculate and detailed line work and rubbed portions evoke two consummate scenes.    

These artists have created artworks that are bound to go beyond the expected reality and create a
long-lasting impression of meaningful art!

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