Notings from the eventful world of art

A retrospective of artist D.L.N. Reddy's works
Artist D.L.N. Reddy's works in different media done over last two decades was on view at the Lakshana Art Gallery, Chennai. The exhibition offered a glimpse of his varied style and technique. As is known, the artist largely prefers the figurative idiom, a fact that was amply evident from the show.

There were female faces in gouache, most of them in grey apart from his highly stylized nude figures of women, also in gouache. The exhibition also had his few watercolors. The etchings and pen and ink drawings pointed to the artist's evolution over a period of time. The three drawings of still life - black ink on white - revolved around the simple everyday objects. The artist's few glass paintings were also on view.

The artist, born in 1949, received his diploma in painting from the Fine Arts College, Hyderabad in 1969. He later studied Graphics at the Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S. University, Baroda. He has had many solo shows in India including ones at the Jehangir Art Gallery (1973) and at the Pundole Art gallery, Mumbai (1997). He has participated in many group shows including the Indian Graphics Exhibition, Cuba, in 1981 and the First International Exhibition of Graphic Arts, New Delhi (1974). Apart from being a prolific painter, Reddy has been teaching for several years now. He has won several scholarships, awards and prizes. He has represented India in the British International Biennales in 1972 and 1979. He has also been awarded gold medals from the Lalit Kala Academy and the Hyderabad Art society. The artist lives and works in Hyderabad.

The exhibition was a perfect opportunity to get a kaleidoscopic view of the artist's oeuvre.

Collection of art that speaks for today's generation
For his new collection of 32 paintings titled "New Breed/Hybrid" Chintan Upadhyay has used digital art to produce the desired look to his paintings. According to him, this (working on images on the computer) helps him to explore all possibilities before transferring the images on the canvas.

For this show he didn't want to render human-like figures and created almost robot-like stiff figures after looking at several 3-D software. According to the artist, his paintings speak about today's techno-savvy generation that still values our culture and traditions. He describes this generation as a "byproduct of globalization, technology and traditional values" and hence has named his collection so. His robot-like figures have a touch of miniature painting style that is synonyms with his desert state of Rajasthan.

Chintan's father Vidya Sagar Upadhyay was an art teacher in Rajasthan. Curiously, Chintan did not aspire to become a painter. He wanted to be an architect. Ultimately, he took to art (The current one at Jehangir is his seventh solo oil painting exhibition) Chintan's wife Hema is also an established artist. Besides painting, Chintan Upadhyay also indulges in photography. The versatile artist plans to work on sculptures in the near future.

His project on commemorative stamps exhibited in Delhi and Jaipur in 2002 received rave reviews. He had 32 paintings of renowned personalities such as Mother Teresa and even Marilyn Monroe, highlighted in an Indian backdrop.

Chintan Upadhyay's "New Breed/Hybrid" show at Jehangir Art gallery continued till August 24.

A documentary on legendary painter Raja Ravi Varma
There is a revived interest in Raja Ravi Varma. Earlier in 2003, the single largest private collection of his works in India was unveiled at the National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai. To coincide with the show, Saffronart exhibited a range of works on the pavement gallery at the Kala Ghoda Fair 2003, which characterized the importance of Raja Ravi Varma as an artist and a pioneer for 20th century Indian art.

Now, Kerala-based filmmaker R. Sarath intends to pay a cinematic tribute to the legendary artist. A documentary on Raja Ravi Varma's works and a feature film on his life in Baroda and Mumbai are his dream projects.

Three aspects of Raja Ravi Varma's (1848-1906) work, which have taken on the greatest aesthetic and historical significance are iconic references to Indian Gods and Goddesses or mythology; Royal Portraiture, and Printmaking as a mass media art genre.

Rama Varma, a descendant of Ravi Varma, will play the artist in the film. Yukta Mookhey plays the Maharashtrian model. According to the film-maker, some of Ravi varma's paintings had an almost integrated look, like the Maharashtra lavani (a popular folk dance) attire, and bangles from Bangalore and the nayika concept was very different from the prevailing accepted norm.

O. Sundar is the art director for the documentary. It has no narration or dialogues and is supported by English subtitles.

Artists share their concern on women's issues
It's art with a cause! On the occasion of completing 10 years, well-known NGO 'Men Against Violence and Abuse' (MAVA) organized a purposeful art exhibition at Artists' Centre, Mumbai. The show featured 24 noted artists including Suhas Bahulkar, Sudhir Patwardhan, Gieve Patel, Madhvi Subramanian, Navjot, Lalitha Lajmi, Suryakant Lokhande and Bose Krishnamachari.

The week-long show on till August 24 let the participating artists express their concern on women's issues. The work shared a broad theme albeit with different articulations. Each individual artist had a point to make on the concerns and aspirations of women in the context of current socio-political scenario.

So, you had Badri Narayan and Riyas Komu depicting the harmonious man-woman relationship. Sudhir Patwardhan and Gieve Patel, the two doctor-painters, raised a few questions through their work on female beauty and femininity. Navjot's sculptures too tackled some tricky issues related to the complex theme and Lalitha Lajmi touched upon its subtleties and complexities.

MAVA, considered to be the only organization that involves men in action against gender-based violence, provides face-to-face and telephonic counselling and guidance (free of cost) to men and women. MAVA also conducts gender-sensitization sessions. Part of the proceeds from the sale of the paintings, sculptures and ceramics are to be donated to MAVA's Counselling and Guidance Centre.

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