NEWS AND FEATURES

A kaleidoscope scope of Indian art

This major show marks the finale of Delhi-based Kumar Gallery's Golden Jubilee expositions. The show signals curtains on the gallery's series of events launched to mark its 50th year. This show is of note as it features salient works by the most compelling artists on the Indian scene during more than half a century.

Lauding the efforts of the gallery, art critic Kesav Malik writes in his introductory note: 'The Gallery has justifiable claims to being the true art pioneer in the capital: terra firma for artists in the once artistic wilderness. The collection on view has works by almost all leading Indian contemporary artists.

There are works by artists including A. Ramachandran; K.H Ara, B. Prabha, B. Vithal, Badri Narayan, Ramkinkar Baij, N.S Bendre , Rameshwar Broota, Shobha Broota , S.R Bhushan, Sakti Burman, Arpana Caur, Sankho Chaudhuri, Jatin Das, Bimal Dasgupta, Prodosh Das Gupta, Biren De, Gopal Ghose, Satish Gujral, Sangeeta Gupta, K.K Hebbar, Somnath Hore, M.F Husain, Owais Husain, and Krishen Khanna

Each of these artists has an inimitable style and subject matter, which find a representation in the show. On view are works of veteran artists like A Ramachandran, whose vision and style have changed from somber expressionism to lyrical and metaphysical engagement with nature. In the process, the artist has explored diverse scale and mediums.

Late B. Prabha is known to have drawn inspiration from the everyday life of the Indian women -fisherwomen on the seaside, women selling vegetables in the market place, women with their babies, women getting married. On other hand, K H Ara's work is rooted in the delight of ingenuity, focusing on the female nude, still life and human figure studies.

Artist Badri Narayan's paintings bear many traces of the Indian miniature tradition. They are usually two-dimensional, on a small format and largely narrative in nature. Yet, in their use of popular iconography they also analyze contemporary society. KCS Paniker has always searched for indigenous idioms to incorporate in his style, and questioned international modernism. The line is a significant feature of his style.

Works of some of the most renowned Indian painters form part of the collection on view as part of the exhibition. Among them Ramkinkar Baij is considered one of the earliest Indian artists to experiment with abstract sculptural forms. N S Bendre's Boats on the Brahmaputra - Oil on canvas and 'Study Pose' - Crayon on paper hold a viewer's attention.

Also one gets to see creations by Devayani Krishna, K.S Kulkarni, Paresh Maity, Anjolie Ela Menon, Nasreen Mohamedi, Sailoz Mookherjea, Binode Behari Mukherjee, Meera Mukherjee, Akbar Padamsee, K.C.S Paniker, Ratan Parimoo, Sohan Qadri, Ram Kumar, R.D Raval, S.H Raza, Jamini Roy, Mohan B Samant, A.P Santhanaraj, G.R Santosh, B.C Sanyal, Bireswar Sen, Paritosh Sen, F. N Souza, K.G Subramanyan, J Swaminathan, and Rabindranath Tagore, the doyen of Indian art.

Works to watch out for include 'Man with Hukka' - Tempra on cotton (Jamini Roy), 'At the Temple' - Water color (wash) on silk - Binode Behari Mukherjee; 'Seated nude lady with maid combing her hair' ' oil on canvas by Ramkinkar Baij; 'On the Ridge' - Oil on canvas paper ' (Sailoz Mookherjea); 'Pounding' - Oil on paper board- (K.C.S Paniker); K K Hebbar's ''Tribal Sacred Ritual Ceremony' - Gouache on paper board. F N Souza's 'Nude with Her Shadow' - Oil on canvas and 'Portrait of a Man' - Oil on canvas ' leave a mesmerizing effect.

K S Kulkarni's 'Towards the City' - Acrylic on canvas; 'Seated nude' - Acrylic on canvas and 'Clown' - Acrylic on paper mount board are worth mentioning. His first and enduring love was for the `form', representational or pure, with or without any literary load. He was obsessed with its strange power of transformation or mutation in differing cultural context. M F Husain 'Tree and Fish and Man' - Water color on paper; and 'Five Senses' - Water color on paper apart from 'Chakki' - Oil on canvas, 'Lady with Bird' - ' - Oil on canvas; 'Lady with lamp' - Oil on canvas and 'Sisters' - Oil on canvas are works not to be missed.

Different art forms including sculptures form part of the show. On view are interesting works such as 'Convex-Concave in' in Bronze by Prodosh Das Gupta; 'The Three Divine Beings' again in Bronze (Somnath Hore); 'Archer' in Bronze (Meera Mukherjee). Creations by Sankho Chaudhuri, known for his human figures that express an innate sense of rhythm, represent his mastery of carving, There are artists who work in an unconventional mode that form part of the show. For example, Rameshwar Broota has evolved a technique of painting mostly in monochrome: On the canvas surface, usually painted in matte black, he works with a sharp, thin blade to bring in light and forms, exposing the white surface below, creating deep spatial dimensions.

According to Virendra Kumar Founder Kumar Gallery, this whole exercise, of art-making, with the unremitting labor of now renowned artists, over fifty years has called for a bit of celebration. Hence, The Golden Jubilee show! Kumar Gallery's Golden Jubilee show is open from October 29.

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