K Laxma Goud at The Guild

Rare works of artist K Laxma Goud, on display at 'The Guild' art gallery, give a glimpse of a rich oeuvre of the artist.

The eminent artist was born in Nizampur, Andhra Pradesh in 1940. After receiving a diploma in drawing and painting from the Government College of Art and Architecture, Hydrabad in 1963, he studied mural painting and printmaking at M.S. University, Baroda (1963-65). He is one of the founder members of the SN School, Hyderabad apart from being the former Dean of the school and Head of the Department of Fine Arts discipline.

His versatile works reflects variations in attitude, technique and style over the years. It amply displays of this gifted artist's versatility over a range of mediums, from etching, gouache and pastels, to glass paintings. The power of his lines in black and white or in color is eloquent in its expression. The erotic, a recurrent theme in Laxma Goud's works, is treated as an active and powerful aspect of human consciousness.

When he started, his work was mainly done with pencil. The reason being, he found it economical and convenient to acquire the fine detailing in his work with pencil. His early black & white pencil portraits of men and women were based on childhood memories. His fascination with erotic subjects presented itself in his works and by the late 1960s he evolved a distinct style in his etchings that portrayed a pan-natural sexuality seen in terms of impulsive, aggressive passions rather than those of fertility. His 70s work seemed more evocative. The realist ingredient present in the highly and ornately contoured shapes presented realistic portraits of villagers with a gentle stylization.

Goud is also known for his watercolors series with single village women and men often with goats, as well as rural scenes. They are a robust draughtsman's paintings, line based, colored, aesthetic vacillating between a relatively realistic but generalized rendering a supple, expressionist distortion.

About colors entering his mid 80s work, he explains: "This was mostly because I knew people would sooner or later start asking me why I had not used colors," he said. Applying bright but limited colors, K Laxma Goud maintains the matrix of his drawing, which is actually the strength of his work. But for the artist, "emotions are an important element in my works" as he reveals. His philosophy as an artist is simple. "Art is there is all of us. We must learn to recognize it and give it a means of expression," he asserts.

Since his first solo show in 1965 in Hyderabad, Goud has exhibited widely, both within and outside India, including at the Ansdell Gallery, London (1973), in Hamburg, Germany (1975 & 1976), at the Sao Paolo Biennale, Brazil (1977), the Royal Academy, London (1982), the Grey Art Gallery, New York (1985) and at the 'Festival of India' in Geneva (1987) and with Saffronart & the Pundole art gallery, New York (2001 & 2002). Goud's works are in many collections including those of the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, the Salarjung Museum, Hyderabad and the Glenbarra Art Museum, Japan. The artist lives and works in Hyderabad.

The works on display as part of the show at The Guild are mostly the 'gouache on paper' paintings that belong to the 1970s.
(K Laxma Goud at The Guild, Colaba, Mumbai from July 8 to July 31, 2003)

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