The story of lines
LINE OF UNCONTROL Shirdhar Iyer's work.
In 1995, an artist not frequently mentioned in the list of those mattered on the art horizon, was silently working on his canvases in Bharat Bhawan, Bhopal when Satish Gujral met him. Gujral went to his studios and saw his abstract works. In one go he bought his 13 works, saying, "They are something unusual". The artist was Shridhar Iyer who is a handpicked disciple of the undisputed ruler of the abstract, J. Swaminathan who watching him would often say, "Despite everything, art is still alive".
A shy and low-profile 45-year-old Iyer who is now busy in the "celebration of the first drop in the cosmos, its travel, its co-existence with some chosen hues" through his lines, is showcasing this celebration in "Jatra - A journey though colour, lines and images" at Shridharani Gallery. This exhibition that lasts till this coming Tuesday, has Iyer's latest works in abstract with a pleasant surprise. This time, unlike his earlier acrylic on canvases, his lines and images harmoniously blend with colours; blobs of gold and silver too. From the very beginning black has been dominant colour in his works. "Black is the key to my work. For me it is a manglik ritual. But I have always loved red. So this time, a natural urge to ornate my black and white hues with red gave birth to these canvases," says Iyer.
Iyer who has shown his works in countless solo and group exhibition in India and abroad, is also among a few doing installations on socio-political subjects and is a filmmaker too. He has been through that phase in which a few would understand his complicated lines and wouldn't find them worth procuring. "It used to pain me earlier. Now it doesn't. I have undertaken a painful and long journey to reach these line and images so how can I expect my viewers to reach that stage so early?" reasons Iyer. And this reconciliation shows bright in Jatra "which changes its meanings, shape and often leaves me exuberant with its surprising elements." The phase is almost over now. Now people tell him that they couldn't understand yet enjoyed them. "A dialogue is continuing," he says happily.
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