Colours of the week: Raza Foundation awards young artists

January 23rd, 2009 - 1:46 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 23 (IANS) Every year, the Raza Foundation, instituted by senior artist S.H. Raza, awards talented and young Indian artists.The foundation, a multi-discipline cultural platform, promotes young aspirants in the fields of fine arts, performing arts and poetry.

Delhi-based gallery Art Alive has brought to the capital a consolidated exhibition, “Divigations: Spaces of Possibility”, featuring works of the Raza Foundation awardees for 2006-2008 - Atul Dodiya, Jayashree Chakravarty, Avadesh Yadav, Vanita Gupta, S. Harsha Vardhana and Sheetal Gandhi.

The works combine abstractions and figurative drawings in medium to large formats - with the amazing plurality in styles, approaches and visions that characterise younger artists.

Atul Dodiya’s works, “Angkor, A Poem” - a 70′ X 60′ composition on paper in water colour, charcoal, acrylic and marble dust - and “Song of the South”, an exciting large format mixed media composition in water colour, charcoal, soft pastel, gesso, glass marking, pencil and gold leaf on paper, stand out for their narrative style and spiritual profundity.

Dodiya uses calligraphy and poetry to highlight the mysterious quality of his works and give them an antique feel - like sacred religious texts. The colours are muted, dark and rich.

Kolkata-based Jayashree Chakraborty’s works are experimental on layered paper created by the artist. She uses motifs from nature and abstract lines to complicate notions of time and space in her drawings of railway tracks, heart beats, botanical drawings, graffiti and calligraphy.

“From a vibrant art scene, dominated by the young, it is always difficult to choose artists for the annual awards. We try to choose those who have dared to carve a niche for themselves,” said Ashok Vajpeyi, Lalit Kala Akademi chairman and a Raza Foundation adviser.

“Divigations…” closes Jan 24 at the Art Alive gallery.


Haute art in exile

Jaipur is now a city bustling with haute art.

Meet young and talented photographer Nikhil Bhandari, a former Mumbai-based “advertising lensman”, whose experiments with the camera, women’s anatomy and light have set a new metaphor in creative photography.

Bhandari, who works out of Jaipur now, is showing 12 of his photographs in an exhibition titled “Absorbing Flux”, at the Clarkes-Amer Hotel in Jaipur.

The frames - studies of the disembodied female forms bathed in artificially-created studio lights - are part of a larger body of 44 works, “Magico Occhio” or “Magic Eyes”, that is bound for Rome, Amsterdam, Berlin and London in April.

The two-day exhibition is part of the Jaipur Literature Festival.

“You can describe my work as my own directed performance with models with lights, projections, shadows and reflections - all processed in the studio. It takes a long time to create one. I am actually a believer in orthodox photography,” he told IANS in Jaipur.

Bhandari works in series. The one which rivets the eye is a series, “From Beyond Eros”, two photographs that merge the human figure with an infinite space of psychedelic lights. The prices range from Rs.25,000 to Rs.150,000.


Atul Dodiya’s iron canvas

Leading contemporary artist Atul Dodiya, who was in the capital last week, is busy creating new artistic formats for his solo show at the Vadehra Gallery and abroad in March-April.

“I am doing large-scale oil paintings on the canvas and trying to develop mild steel as a base for my works. I want to use it as a canvas for my paintings,” Dodiya told IANS.

His mild steel canvases have a twist, the artist says.

“I am using the stretcher technique to mount the canvases. A scaffolding-like framework rails will support the canvas from the rear and I want to paint on the support beams. But I will not divulge at this point what I plan to do with the surface (front face) of the iron canvas. You will have to see it,” Dodiya laughed.

The artist likes to play with diversity.

“My genres are as grammatically opposed as personal references, natural history, art history, popular cinema, poetry and literature,” he said.

Dodiya has been instrumental, along with peers like Subodh Gupta, in carrying contemporary Indian art to the global stage.

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