Art Perspective Presents ‘Silent Dialogues’

Art Perspective Presents ‘Silent Dialogues’

Postby Apeksha bajaj » Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:25 am

Collaborations between artists who have worked on the same artwork may not be too uncommon, but it is indeed a rarity for an established contemporary artist to work with a traditional or folk artist on the same canvas. Silent Dialogues, a group show hosted by Art Perspective is a unique attempt at opening up the pictorial dialogue between these two spheres of creativity, between high art and traditional crafts, between the celebrated and the unknown masters of Indian arts and cultural milieu. The show will be on at Art Perspective, F 213/D, Lado Sarai, New Delhi, Phone @ 01140564889, 11. a.m. to 7 p.m., from September 5, 2012 till October 30, 2012.

The artists who have worked together creating a common canvas are Anupam Sud with Nankushiya Shyam, Achuthan Kudallur with Neela Akbari, Akhilesh with Anil Kumar, Jai Zharotia with Narayan Bariki, Rini Dhumal with Luthfa Chitrakar, Seema Ghurayya with Narayan Bariki, Shipra Bhattacharya with Komal Ramesh and Poonam Devi, Vasundhara Tiwari with Rahim Chitrakar and Lalitha Lajmi with Nirmal Yadav.

Says Suruchi Saraf, Director, Art Perspective: “As a new gallery that’s hosting its third show, we wanted to highlight the traditional folk artists who remain on the fringes of our art heritage. And what better way to showcase their work than in collaboration with some of the most reputed names of Indian contemporary artists. Also, the division between traditional arts and crafts and modern art are fast disappearing as people have started recognising the worth of our indigenous arts.”

In Anupam Sud and Nankushiya Shyam’s Untitled canvas in mixed media, a bluish figure appears to be swimming in a crystal-clear lake where several marine forms –fish, crocodile, turtle - swim alongside the floating body. In the backdrop stand billowing trees and animals that have come to drink at the waterhole. While the main figurative form, rendered by Sud, has been made in her quintessential realistic manner, the animals and marine life are painted in the signature style of Gond art and have been made by Shyam. This collaborative effort creates a perfect harmony between the two styles, creating a utopia world where all can coexist with each other.

Achuthan Kudallur and Neela Akbari’s colourful rendition of a city life looks like a patchwork quilt, with the Rajasthani images in fine miniature-like lines by Akbari juxtaposed with masterful abstract strokes of Kerala-born Kudallur. The main image in the work is a blue horse that looks like a Rajasthani cloth puppet while the other figure in the work, that of an elephant has been rendered as a hybrid creature of both tradition and modernity. While the front of the elephant begins with modernist abstract strokes, its flank is characterised in the Indian miniature tradition.

The joint work by Amitava Das, Narayan Bariki and Nirmal Yadav is dominated by the presence of a central figure that looks like a maze like form, and has been painted by Das, an abstract expressionist, while the left side of the work is characterised by a colour band decorated by traditional Patachitra motifs, seen painted upon cloth. In the background is a figure mounted on a horse with a sword in hand. A true hybrid of tradition and modernity, this figure is essayed in the modernist manner employed by Das, yet the subject matter harkens back to the traditional painting of Patachitra, a style that was born out of the art practiced around the famous Jagannath temple of Puri, that Bariki is trained in.

Bariki also collaborates with Jai Zharotia to explore the relationship between the hunter and the hunted, nature and mankind and their joint canvas is replete with a plethora of forms and figures. A delicate herb like plan inside a glass vase, a bull, a tortoise, a snake, a horse and several other beasts form part of this imagery and on the margins stand archers with arrows to presumably shoot at the animals. All this is set
against a sea of red that could be the blood-bath that we are constantly engaged in the race for the survival of the fittest. While the more abstract animal forms are rendered by the Delhi-based Zharotia, the archers, who are also invocations of Arjun and Eklavya, are rendered in the traditional Patachitra style that Bariki follows.

In Rini Dhumal and Luthfa Chitrakar’s painting, a tribute to goddess Durga, the central image of a four-armed Durga seated on a fish, has been rendered by well-known painter and graphic artist Dhumal who is known for her modern renditions of traditional Devi images. In the other four corners of the composition are versions of Durga mounted on a tiger and a cow. These Durgas have been painted by Lufthfa Chitrakar who works in the typical Patachitra style. The images are playful and lively, for instance, one of the goddess figures is flanked by two attendants, in another the tiger playfully munches on the leaves.

Seema Ghurayya’s quiet abstraction merges with Narayan Bariki’s bold blue lines depicting Durga as the slayer of the demon Mahishasura. While Ghuraaya’s sublime white background is as abstract as it can get, Bariki’s figurative miniature of Durga on the right margin of the canvas makes the canvas a coherent piece of work.

Warli artists Komal Ramesh and Poonam Devi have worked with Shipra Bhattacharya on the same canvas to create a the world that exists outside the central figure on the canvas – that of a masculine body made by Bhattacharya. On the rest of the canvas, the Warli artists have created stories and myths around their everyday activities from pastoral festivals like sowing and harvesting to important death and birth rituals.

In one of the more stylised and unique interpretations of the mythological story of Krishna dancing on the many hooded Sheshnag, Vasundhara Tewari and Rahim Chitrakar have chosen to reinterpret the theme by essaying Lord Krishna as an everyday person who is seen holding a larger than life serpent above his head. The pastel colours in the backdrop serve to contrast with a sense of calmness of this confrontational moment. While Tiwari is known for her sensitive portrayal of issue of suppressed womanhood through subtle abstraction, Chitrakar draws from the rich tradition of his tribal Santhal painting that works with natural colours.

Pining and waiting for one’s beloved is the theme of Lalitha Lajmi and Nirmal Yadav’s joint canvas, where the nayika waiting for her beloved as she gazes at his reflection in the mirror has been painted by Lajmi, one of the best watercolourists in India, while the two attendant sakhis on either side of the central image have been essayed by Nirmal Yadav, a master craftsman and miniaturist who has also added horses, elephants and camels that border the composition to add an epic dimension to the tale.
Apeksha bajaj
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