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‘Unveiling’ by Manish Pushkale

Manish Pushkale is one among India's well recognized and talented young painters. The artist's latest body of works unveils his unending quest for colours and texture that together generate a vibrant space.

A trained geologist, he studied art at the art college in Bhopal. He is also a recipient of the S. H. Raza foundation award. His early training as a geologist finds an intriguing echo in the organic textural quality of his works.

The artist's mystic vision and close engagement with colours that has played a significant role in shaping his new set of works titled 'Unveiling' on view at Bodhi Art, Mumbai. Providing an insight into his artistic journey, an accompanying note mentions: 'With little formal training in art, the artist has fast acquired a skill and insight into artistic creativity. This has led his vision and artistic idiom to grow and attain great levels of maturity and significance.'

Manish Pushkale's progress was never hampered by lack of any formal training or initiation into art. He more than compensated for it by observing and idolizing senior artists like S. H. Raza, attaining an identity of his own through his unique art practices. The latter counts him among the most promising emerging talents from India, set to make a significant contribution to contemporary art through a fresh approach, even while rooted in their history and consciousness.

A significant show of his works 'Criss-Crossings' at The Guild a couple of years ago was a mellifluous artistic symphony between the young talent and the veteran. Art historian Roobina Karode had then noted that their artistic practices share inspiration from homegrown philosophies and indigenous artistic sources.

Manish Pushkale's canvases glow with soft, muted tones. He works towards smooth, serene, reflective surfaces. He looks to transcend the fixity and finiteness of space within the borders of his canvas. He desires the continuity and expansiveness of the experiential space- hence the creation of mirages, shadows and shafts of light that trick the eye and the sense of touch, only to bring into focus, the illusory nature of things. The artist relinquishes traces of individual ego and autobiographical narratives in seeking a higher revelation.

Manish Pushkale is known to work in oil on canvas with a minimum intervention of the brush. He strives for freedom within set restrictions. For instance, color and line both are muted and toned down in his work. His entire process is worked out by the use of a cut-piece of fabric that acts as a sponge and absorbs the excess pigment and extra shine to impress the texture on to the surface, all by the process of taking away.

The artist's latest show brings forth his constant quest for colours and textures which unite to create a vibrant space in the works. Several layers of colours behold his canvas and seem to tenderly unveil themselves at the very first sight.

His meticulous choice of colours for layering the works and his method of applying and wiping off paint tangibly invoke his complex meditations on asceticism / worldliness, presence / absence and so on. The artist initiates viewers to join his quest for colours and textures; thereby allowing them to form their own meanings as they may prefer. However, he feels that the essence lies in conceiving the intriguing visual qualities which in turn unveil an exciting phenomenon of discovering space.

Manish Pushkale's solo show, titled 'Unveiling', continues in Mumbai till September 27, 2007.

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