Sakshi Gallery presents Family Fiction by Sudhir Patwardhan

Sakshi Gallery presents Family Fiction by Sudhir Patwardhan

Postby sayantini » Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:10 am

New Delhi: Sakshi Gallery presents a solo show titled Family Fiction by veteran artist Sudhir Patwardhan. The show will feature over 40 paintings and drawings and will be shown at Lalit Kala Akademi, Rabindra Bhawan, New Delhi from March 5 till March 11, 2011, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Says Geetha Mehra, Director, Sakshi Gallery, “This new series marks a turn for Patwardhan whose engagement in the last three decades has been with the common people on the streets of Mumbai. With this new body of work, the artist has shifted his focus to family and relationships and sketched an array of captivating paintings that explore family life, thoughts and feelings”.

The artist says, “Stories about people continue to be the main focus but the source of these stories has changed. The current body of work is a turning away from the earlier overtly social concerns in my work like street violence and killings. Many of the works in this show are interiors and images of people at home – situations that are familiar to all of us, feelings that are universal. But they also look below the surface to explore impulses that one would like to keep hidden.”

In the painting titled Family, cross currents of happiness, expectations and disappointments hold the figures together. Handing over responsibilities and moving off-center, the older couple face-up to a feeling of redundancy, as the younger couple begin to build their universe around a new center. It is a familiar and inevitable situation, the difficulties of which families manage with varying degrees with love and patience.

Passing through middle age and growing old together with your partner is for most couples a tragic-comic journey. Many of the brush drawings like Turning a Deaf Ear; Love and Evening are about the ups and downs in this journey. Apart from the daily household demands made on it, the husband-wife relation is subject to the high voltage of sexual impulses, making it a testing ground on which all the expectations and frustrations of a man-woman relation are played out. It can breed violence, as well as patient understanding.

Sickness and death are an integral part of every family story. Some of the drawings look at the sick bed as a place of waiting, anticipation. In the painting Full Circle, each member of the family is waiting for sickness to be over, either through death or through a return to normalcy.

There are many paintings in this exhibition in which the window plays an important role. The window opens the space of the home to the outside - mostly to the city. The frame of the window is a threshold. The view of the city through the window can be alluring. This may be due to the way the space of the room from which the city is seen, excludes the city. The sense of being in one space, looking out on another, of being receptive to the outside, yet safe inside, is explored in the small Window series of paintings. But the inside is not always experienced as safe, and the allure of the outside may be that of possible release from too tight an enclosure. Either way, the window allows a conjunction between the spaces of the inside and the outside, keeping the distance between them intact.

Some other paintings in the show like Migrant, Back, Injured, Jogger are closer to his previous work. After painting the street at eye level for many years, Patwardhan’s new found pre-occupation with home space raises many questions – has the street life lost its attraction or has it become more difficult to endure? As Patwardhan sums up, “The current retraction indoors is probably a phase that will pass.”

Born in Pune in 1949, Sudhir Patwardhan is a self taught artist who graduated in medicine from AFMC, Pune in 1972 and was a practicing radiologist till 2005. Apart from several solo shows, he has participated in international exhibitions like 'Aspects of Modem Indian Art' Oxford, U.K. 1982; Contemporary Indian Art, Festival of India, London, 1982; Seven Indian Artists, Hamburg, West Germany, 1982; Contemporary Indian Art, Festival of India, New York, 1985; Festival of India, Center George Pompidou, Paris 1986 and 'Coupe de Coeur' Geneva, 1987. he lives and works in Thane.
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