Artist Paresh Maity brings snapshots of Kerala to Delhi

March 25th, 2008 - 1:13 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Ambika Soni

By Uma Nair
New Delhi, March 25(IANS) An exhibition and book entitled “Enchanting Journey” comprising 50 of landscape master Paresh Maity’s works opens at the Taj Mahal Hotel in New Delhi Wednesday. Maity’s Kerala brims with “Green Zen” - a softening of aesthetic qualities and a few limpid details of the landscape that is a result of two years of travel through the countryside.

“Two years and a lot of silence and a lot of working hours have brought this show together,” Maity said about his historic collection of large watercolours, some as big as 20 feet, in an interview to IANS.

“Watercolours on paper present a great challenge,” Maity said. “It has a grain and a subtle quality that easily makes the brush stroke look for light and spaces within spaces,” the artist said.

There will be an installation of two snake boats, coconuts and lots of bananas in the hotel’s terrace garden an. “It will recreate the Kerala ambience,” the artist said.

Kerala’s big rice boat turned tourist ferry becomes his workshop and the watercolours and mixed media are a feast for the gods. Echoes of the backwaters of Alleppey, elephants that move betwixt the verdant foliage and the crowded roads, the Chinese nets at Cochin harbour; each fragment of the lived idiom enters his canvas.

Spanning almost 50 works based on his travels in god’s own country, Maity’s treatment of watercolours calls for close scrutiny. The monsoon of Kerala comes into his frame and the gust of winds is ephemeral.

The marvel of his palette and his brush lies in the ability to weave a quality of quietude through the limpid strokes of colour. These are quasi realist studies done in the mood of Turner, the watercolour genius who is Maity’s favourite. The result is a series of watercolours and paintings that have laid the groundwork for impressionism using the Chinese technique of minimalist renditions.

The forests, the tributaries, the Kumarakom lake and the lifestyle, along with the literary notations, the scripted newspapers become collages in the hands of a skilled and deft craftsman.

In many ways this show also inspires a new school of landscape studies, as the voyeur in Maity embraces the subject he paints, working side by side with paints, sheets exploring the mind and eye’s potential to reveal natural Kerala in a fresh and unadorned manner.

The book on Paresh Maity’s “Enchanting Journey” in Kerala will be released by the minister of tourism and culture Ambika Soni and deputy chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

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