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Serene, pretty pictures


IT'S A business strategy that works well for these five young painters. They always exhibit together, thereby reducing their gallery expenses. The spin off is that even as they split costs they also share artistic experiences, discuss works of old masters and study their techniques. On a typical day they would work together at an outdoor site, taking their cue from landscapes that form the core of their subject matter. Nature provides the stimulus but none of them profess a faithful rendering of it. The resultant styles are different, albeit marginally.


Manoj. B paints in watercolour, exploiting his medium to create colour contrasts and give an enhancing impact to the picture. Everyday scenes are rendered with sensitivity, to retain their serenity. In fact, serenity is what marks this entire exhibition. The pictures on display are not incisive, deep works of art but vignettes of daily life. They capture the humdrum of city life with simplicity. Somewhere a boat is moored on the beach. Elsewhere cyclists dismount, rest under the shade of a tree in the foreground as their vehicles lay abandoned close by. Dabs of colour that make up the tree lend a decorative element to all of Manoj's works.


Sunil Rockey V.G's picture surface is less busy than Manoj's. Scenes from street life still inspire, but Rockey concentrates on capturing the play of light and shade, catching the effect of the sun's beams and the shadows that it casts. He sometimes paints the same picture at different times of the day. So, while an evening scene is bathed in purples and blues, the morning events are suffused in warm colours like yellows, made all the more apparent by the shades in the foreground. Quick touches of colour make up the human figures so as to remove their solidity. This way congested public places are dealt with skilfully.


Dhanish Kumar mutes the structures and a sky to light greys and greens. His shorthand, linear strokes are almost casual in their rendering. The simplicity of the themes and the tender shades that he employs makes these works pretty pictures that look good in an airy, modern estate.


Sanil Antony V.G. tries to get more light into his pictures. In a hurry to capture a moment on the pavements of Mattancherry, he dumps the pencil in favour of his brush, painting directly on the paper. The buildings are not defined by an articulate outline but by broad applications of colour.

Biju Kumar's collection is refreshing for it is different. His works are figurative, proclaiming the unity of animals and humans, "humans are also animals, only they are clothed," and a respect for nature. A heavy, almost monumental figure in the foreground is adjusted to a spacious, sketchy background. Pure yellows and dark greens highlight the contours of the woman, while light colours fill up the scene behind her, complementing the two work areas.

SUNANDA KHANNA

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