Charcoal artist, life’s reflections and philosophical art (Rainbow Palette - IANS weekly art roundup) (With Images)

November 21st, 2008 - 2:38 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 21 (IANS) A journey through the national capital’s bylanes of high art and related activities threw up variety this week: Ajay De’s icons in charcoal

Life for Mumbai-based artist Ajay De began at age of six when he picked up a piece of charcoal and gave an expression to his innermost feelings on paper. One of India’s leading charcoal artists, he has travelled a long road since then with solo shows in the US, London, Tokyo and all Indian metros.

De, who trained at the Government College of Art in Kolkata and Sir J.J. School of Art in Mumbai, is showing his latest mosaic of work - a bohemian but profound series of Buddha in charcoal, Mother Teresa at work and in prayer, and Kolkata in the monsoon.

The exhibition, “Works in Charcoal”, is on display at the Visual Arts Gallery at the India Habitat Centre till Nov 27.

De’s frames are stunning with their interplay of deep shades of black and natural white space along with flecks of bright red and gold to highlight the depths of charcoal as a medium.

Two vertical frames of hand-drawn rickshaws in central Kolkata and a riot of umbrellas misted in rain stand out for their contrasting techniques - the detailed lines of the subjects juxtaposed against shadowed impressionism of rain. The Buddhas, on the other hand, are voluptuous and pensive.

“I am influenced by people, iconic figures and glimpses of cities. As for my rounded Buddha, I think people in India like to see their gods and icons healthy and well-fed,” De - who is married to a Japanese master of tea ceremonies - told IANS.

The artist also practises Vipasana, a form of Buddhist meditation. Last month, he showed his works at the Cork Street in London.


Kishore Shinde reflections of life

Abstraction artist Kishor Shinde uses vivid colours to transcribe his visions of life on the canvas. In his seventh solo show in the capital, “Colours Cadences”, at The Mint Gallery, Shinde has used raw oil paints in rainbow compositions to recreate reflections of nature and urban landscapes.

“I used to make figurative canvases till 1986. But I gradually I switched over to abstractions, inspired by industrial imagery. I tried to create new forms and they looked abstract,” the artist told IANS.

Shinde says his colours reflect his inner joy, which is his present state of mind - a change from his muted colour schemes earlier. His palette is more earthy now and his forms have a sculptured three-dimensional feel.

Shinde, who graduated from M.S. University in Baroda in 1981, received the Lalit Kala Akademi Award for painting in 1998 and the state Lalit Kala Award in 1978. His show here will close Dec 5.


Prabhakar Kolte’s book on art

In his new book, “From Art to Art”, leading abstractionist Prabhakar Kolte offers insights into the links between Hindu philosophy and Indian art through a series of essays and critiques.

As one of the top abstraction artists, Kolte has been at the helm of contemporary art in the country. He has observed Indian art grow from the European influences of the pre-Independence era to become an independent genre on the global stage in the beginning of the 21st century.

Kolte talks about the role that artists and art need to play in an independent society, the primitive religiosity of abstract art and why it is his genre of choice.

The artist also comments on the current art scenario and many of his peers. The book, priced at Rs.695, was released at the Vadehra Gallery’s The Bookstore Nov 19.

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