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Promising proteges

THE PROGRESSIVE Painters Association (PPA) founded by the late K.C.S.Pannikker, is having a revival of sorts. The younger painters of Cholamandal artist's village organised a small camp last month to kickstart the PPA once again. Brimming with the enthusiasm of youth they felt that something had to be done about the "stagnating" Chennai art scene.

On a shoestring budget, the artists were able to arrange a cultural evening to coincide with their camp. Plays were performed and artists, senior and junior, came together at Injambakkam.

Paint manufacturers Camlin and Fevicryl provided the art material for the young artists. Later, the paintings that were done at the camp were exhibited at the Chola Hotel. The show, which was on for a few days, was a compact event. A painting by each participant was displayed. Kept on a table on the side were works by the senior artists of the village who seemed particularly contented with their proteges.

Among the artists who had come from far and wide to Chennai were Ameen, Blodsow, Dinesh, Jacob Jebraj, Maria Anthony Raj, Milind Limbekar, Raju, Raviram, Sai Prashadh, Saravanan, Shailesh and Uma Shankar. They had produced paintings in all kinds of idioms. There were abstractions, figurations and even painted collages. Stylistically, the range was exactly as one would expect in Chennai. There was the organic fantasy and familiar "distortion" of the pseudo-cubist and the expressionist variety.

Subjectwise there was the familiar reference to popular culture for the purpose of expressing profound truths.The impression was that many of these artists would become successful sooner or later. There is no doubt that they will mature to become the next generation of talented painters looking over a subsequent group of upcoming bunch of "young artists", as so many artists in the village have been doing over the years.

SHANKAR NATARAJAN

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