He is preoccupied with saffron and its relationship with India.

Colours are crucial to my works. They hold everything together. The images as well as the sentiments are created by them. They hit you in the face, be it the bright red, the orange and the saffron, making you blink. Figurative and with highly original themes depicted in the best story-telling traditions, Subash Awchat tries to bridge the gap between...
Read More

Colours are crucial to my works. They hold everything together. The images as well as the sentiments are created by them. They hit you in the face, be it the bright red, the orange and the saffron, making you blink. Figurative and with highly original themes depicted in the best story-telling traditions, Subash Awchat tries to bridge the gap between cultures, and tries to bind humanity together. From the ‘Warkari’s(a religious sect of Maharashtra) to porters and the current ‘Parampara’ (tradition) series, Awchat draws on the rich cultural heritage of India and transposes them on to the canvas to create images of great beauty.

Awchat emphasises on the human being in all his works and also the Indianness of his art that does not borrow from foreign sources. In his own words: “All my work, even the sculptures are figurative with human touch. These are all Indian subjects. I am not influenced by the European trend.” Giving point to this is the ‘Parampara’ series that is completely based on our glorious past. “The bright orange, the red and saffron bring alive our tradition, our history. I grew up in our ancestral home at Otur near the Sahyadri Mountains (region in Maharashtra). In those days, so many spiritual seekers would come and stay at our home, including even the Shankaracharyas. It is that tradition, that parampara that I am trying to capture in this series,” elucidates Awchat.

Not that he is indifferent to other worlds and alien cultures. His paintings of Christ, inspired by the church restorations he witnessed during his stay in Zurich, are an eloquent testimony of his love for the picturesque. “I saw this huge restoration work in progress in the cathedrals and I would marvel at the images. On one hand, there were these powerful images of Jesus. Juxtaposed against them, were these contemporary construction material. Wooden planks, metal bars, repairing material. I was most impressed by the contrasting images. The subdued colours of spiritual iconography, the faces serene and beautiful in sharp contrast to the rough-patched construction work going on. I tried to capture that on my canvases.”

Jostling for space with tradition and Christ is a whole range of paintings that are noticeably darker and more abstract. “That is the unknown face of the actor. These paintings try to capture that: the sinister quality of Mephisto or the actor as a lover; the actor as a mad man and a villain. It is all about masks that people wear,” says Awchat. He further elaborates about the chiaroscuro( light and shade effect) in them: “ The quality of lighting is intrinsic to the work; to highlight the element of darkness in these works and to focus on the faces and the masks. It is deliberate. I created these canvases keeping in mind how I would light them.”

Although he experiments with more subdued hues, his love for brilliant colours is the most noticeable feature of his paintings as is evident in the canvases that have railway porters holding centre-stage. Explaining how the series originated, Awchat says, “Whenever I went to the railway station, I was amazed to see this red rectangle, which comprised of the uniformed porters sitting together in a huddle. From a distance, it always looked like a red rectangle. Then, the moment the train came in, the red rectangle suddenly dispersed in all directions. They were running for their livelihood, to pick up baggage they could carry and earn their pittance. Each ran in a different direction. It was a visually dramatic sight.”

That is the essence of Subash Awchat, a painter who takes up ordinary images and transforms them into an extraordinary visual treat.

To be notified when works come up for sale on Saffronart:
Thank you. You have been subscribed.
X
PAST AUCTIONS          
Showing 2 of 2 works

Lot 182 Details

Auction 2001 (December) 6-12 December 2001

Subhash Awchat

Untitled

Oil on canvas

47 x 37.5 in



Lot 183 Details

Auction 2001 (December) 6-12 December 2001

Subhash Awchat

Untitled

Oil on canvas

70 x 70 in




PAST StoryLTD AUCTIONS          
Showing 2 of 2 works

Lot 74 Details

The Year-End Absolute Auction 16-17 December 2019

Subhash Awchat

Untitled

Acrylic on canvas

47 x 35 in

Winning bid
$379
Rs 26,520
(Inclusive of buyer's premium)


Lot 89 Details

No Reserve Art Auction 21-22 May 2019

Subhash Awchat

Untitled

Oil on canvas

34.25 x 34 in

Winning bid
$759
Rs 52,356
(Inclusive of buyer's premium)






Need help? For more information on Indian Art, please see our Art Guide. For help with buying through Saffronart please click here. If you have any other questions, please contact us.