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Veteran artists on view in Mumbai

Small format works in oil, acrylic, watercolors by 10 renowned artists are on view at Jehangir Art Gallery’s newly renovated Hirji Gallery. The show courtesy Art Musings features works by all these senior artists done in their trademark style. Laxma Goud, Anjolie Ela Menon, Paresh Maity, Jayasri Burman, Sujata Bajaj, Maya Burman, K. G. Subramanyan, Satish Gujral, Sunil Padwal and Maite Delteil.

Among the artists on view, Jayasri Burman successfully weaves the decorative and design element of the folk idiom into the intricate patterns of her canvas, without losing the natural charm and naiveté of her work, which is uniquely her own. The imagery in the artist’s work has a dream-like and lyrical quality with a unique sensitivity which, although inspired by the Indian folk element, retains a quality of refreshing candor and reflective honesty.

One of India’s established artists on view, Anjolie Ela Menon has regularly revisited and e-envisioned her role as an artist. According to her, dissatisfaction is the source of growth, encouraging an artist to abandon known (and often acclaimed) ground for new territory. She has noted, "When repeated often enough, a motif becomes a symbol which in turn becomes a cliché; a cliché becomes an absurdity". The body of work she has produced over the years bears testament to the fact that she is averse to categorization.

Satish Gujral’s experiments cover almost all spheres that fall under the umbrella of plastic art, graphics, paintings, sculpture murals, object design and architecture. He has been internationally acclaimed for his multi-talents.

'Rustic', 'raw', 'potent' are the words that come to mind when looking at Laxma Goud's works. The portraits of men and women represent the dynamic Indian ethos rather than particular individual identities. The power of his lines in black and white or in color is eloquent in its expression. A recurrent theme with the artist is that of the erotic, treated as an active and powerful aspect of male and female sexuality.

Watercolors are my heart and soul, Paresh Maity he has stated once. The artist has achieved astounding proficiency in the medium on whatever surface he may choose, be it paper or canvas. Even if the medium remains constant, the artist is invariably seeking the new possibilities in it. The colors are vibrant, and echo the passion of the artist. They dazzle the viewer.

Maya Burman’s compositions are mostly figurative and are often an expression of her individual realm. Her paintings recreate a realm of lyricism and allegory. They are delicate and usually carry an element of fantasy. The striking aspect of her creation is the fine detailing in it. Her paintings have a tapestry like effect where everything is subordinate to patterning, reminiscent of the French art nouveau tradition.

Her recent works enmesh the vital core of Sujata Bajaj’s vision and amplify the indefatigable spirit of line, space and pigment. Internal structures possess a rhythm of their own and create a labyrinth of private spaces with an occasional beam of light on a fragment of alphabets.

Maite Delteil’s works have a languid quality and have an old world charm. Her subjects are seemingly simple like landscapes and figuration but the artist uses them as a means to explore the depths of her thoughts. The detailing and expressive use of colors camouflages much deeper thoughts. On the other hand, Sunil Padwal is experimenting with new forms of expressions, and in the process forcing us to delve further into his magical and mysterious art.

A multi-faceted artist and eminent professor of fine art, K. G. Subramanyan has achieved a successful synthesis of India’s linear folk tradition and modernism. His sense of design, especially the manner in which he plays with pictorial space by filling the entire surface with Indian fauna and flora, makes his paintings vibrant and rooted in Indian spirit.

Each artist has a unique style and artistic process honed over the years, which can all be seen together thanks to the diverse range of works showcased.

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