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Original art, affordable rates

ATIYA AMJAD

The summer show at Surya Gallery is an ideal time to collect art as it offers paintings, graphics and sculptures at affordable prices.


Woman with a cow, Ravi K.

A WORK of art is an impassioned rendering attempting to create a pictorial dialogue: a singular composition, created skilfully with a concept to evoke the aesthetic faculty in the artist and the spectator. While pictorial pleasures are reciprocated, the idea of commercial value hardly matters. But once a work of art is put on display it becomes a valuable piece making those who want to collect it possess it. Indeed, art is expensive. But then, the value of art cannot be calculated in material terms. The pictorial sensitivity decides the worth of a work of art. Often the discouraging factor of possessing art is rooted in its high pricing. The Summer Show at Surya Gallery, currently displaying graphics, drawings, paintings and sculptures is an ideal time to collect some original works at affordable prices.

The range of all the works is between Rs. 1,000 and Rs. 10,000 and the pieces are an amazing assortment of big names and art of high calibre. Most of the works are a decade old and more. Balraj's woodcut of Man and Trees is dated 1989. Gopinath's Untitled acrylic (1993) was collected by Surya Prakash during the first anniversary of the gallery. P.T. Reddy's Dancing and Seated Ganeshas are historically relevant as these works are from the last series executed by the artist at the fag end of his artistic career.

This exhibition displays some works which deserve a special mention. In the graphic section the colour etching by Amita Chakraborthy is an illuminating impression of a technically competent printmaker. The radium green reproduction splendidly accentuates the human forms which evolve from the dark background. Bangalore-based printmaker, Ajit Dubey's The Priest is an irresistible work. Highly stylised, in a muted monogreen, the etching is an engaging narrative of a fictitious kind. Although, the principal character, the priest, is positioned in the upper half of the left, the supportive characters do not take away the spectator's attention from the centric one. Anil Bihari's lithograph in sepia tone is yet another graphic to be considered. Here again is a well-composed content for the discerning eye. The cautiously textured litho is a remarkable reproduction of an ancient printing method.

A printmaker by option, Dakoji Devraj, has dedicated his entire career to popularise print-making. Although, Indian artists have done adequately to universalise their styles and streams, the art of printmaking as a whole is yet to receive its due. The fascinating layout of animals in Devraj's prints explains the artist's childlike way of playing around with forms.


Etching, Dakokoji Devraj

The painting section has the work of well-known art critic, Santo Dutta. His Flyover in wash technique is a precious piece of an ancient painting technique used to depict the delights of modern architectural sensuousness. The curvaceous run of concrete is dramatically covered in various shades of blue greys. Adopting the wash technique of Biswanath Mukherjee, a wash technique artist and Principal, Fine Arts College of Hyderabad in 1995, Dutta enlivens an old technique which is getting lost in the myriad mediums initiated by the new generation of artists.

In the sculpture department, the two human profiles by Dakshina Moorthy in stone are quite arresting. The tactile factor is played to the optimum as the sculptor textured the works heavily. An interesting fact about Moorthy is that although he is known in the art circuits as a remarkable sculptor, he is a trained painter from the Madras school. In fact, a couple of his paintings are also on display. Rekha Menon's See the Invisible, a mixed media work, is an intelligent collage that works out dimensions using magazine clippings, xerox, fragment of a script and paint.

Rajeshwara Rao's Untitled in acrylic on acrylic is from an earlier series wherein the artist was preoccupied by global concerns. The prevailing urban situations of chaos and competition, war and depravation are articulated in a personalised imagery worked out on a tersely coloured area which enhances the mystery and majesty of the painted surface. Other artists on display are K Ravi, Srinivasan, Palaniappan, Akhilesh, R.B. Bhaskaran, Sisir Sahana, U. Vijay Kumar, Kavita Deuskar, Subash Babu, Srinivas Reddy, Adimoolam, Biswapati Maiti, Sitansu Mukhopadyay and Sanatan Dinda.

The Summer Show will be on till June 15 between 3 p.m. and 7p.m. at the new premises in Sheetal Enclave, old road # 5, Banjara Hills. Tel: 6544240.

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