Art News & Views

Musings from Chennai

The Month that was

by Vaishnavi Ramanathan

Bengaluru based artist S.G.Vasudev, who is also associated with Cholamandal Artists' Village, was here in the city for his solo show Recollections, Reconnections at Forum Gallery. Since the inspiration for this exhibition was the rhapsody, a form of improvisatory music, the works were more abstract and lyrical and the colours, applied over a textured white background, more luminous. However, the interesting feature in the works was the dynamics between the different layers of the canvas, wherein the forms were created in such a way that distinctions between the foreground and the background often became redundant. Along with the exhibition, Chetan Shah's The Open Frame, a film on S.G.Vasudev's life was screened.

Vinnyasa Premier Art Galery, along with Vatsal Poddar, presented Heroic Past and Contemporary Present. The exhibition, which began with a painting event by artist Thota Tharani, featured artists like Krishnamachari Bose, Jogen Choudhury, S.H.Raza, M.F.Husain, Harshavardhana, Rm.Palaniappan, Mithu Sen, Arpana Caur, Laxma Goud, Vivan Sundaram etc. While this was a rare opportunity to view a varied group of works together, the drawings and sketches were the highlight of the show. K.M.Adimoolam's pen and ink drawing made use of contrasts of light and shade, created by hatched lines, to evoke a mood of mystery and nostalgia. On the other hand, Somnath Hore's works were marked by an economy of lines. But in these lines, the entire suffering of the poor was distilled. However the most interesting work was Krishen Khanna's dry pastel sketch of a destitute and his dog. With broadly chalked out planes and an unusual cropped composition, that gave the dog a presence beyond the frame, the artist captured the strange floating quality of a life lived along the fringes. Laxma Goud's portrait of a woman was also unique since it had a slightly dreamy quality that was unlike the earthiness with which he usually depicts women.

A group show, Lives and Livelihood of Fisherfolk was held at Cholamandal Artists' Village. Featuring the works of Shailesh B.O, Alphonso Arul Doss, S.Jayaraj, Asma Menon V.Ravindran and Manohar.N.S, the theme of the exhibition was water and the lives of those associated with water. Cholamandal also presented the works of K.P. Krishnapriya during its Artist of the Month event. Her paintings are predominantly autobiographic and are centred on the body and feminine experience. Childhood experiences, events from daily life and the world around form the backdrop to her work. Her language is fairytale like, invoking metaphors from poetry and mythology. It will be interesting to see how her works evolve in the future.


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