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Complex imagery

A variety of themes, idioms and imagery make the paintings of artist V. K. Sathyendran unique. His works are on show till January 30 at the Palazzo Art Gallery.


LOOKING AT the paintings in various mediums by V. K. Sathyendran, an alumnus of the College of Fine Arts, Chennai and talking to him, it is possible to understand that work is a kind of catharsis for him. If one were to recall his creations of four years ago, one can understand how vastly improved are his paintings. In fact, in recent times he has turned out some excellent drawings, which he claims is his favourite medium, though none of them are shown at the exhibition at the Palazzo Gallery. The paintings on show are the result of his efforts over the past couple of years; there are as many different themes, idioms and approaches as there are mediums.

Some of the abstracts are a play of different sizes of squares, placed parallel to each other, cutting the edges, or within one another. The different shades of a same colour help identify their size and placement. The same way of playing around with cubes takes on a totally different dimension in the `City Scene', in which various aspects of city life are suggested in a complicated imagery, in multiple vibrant colours.

At the same time, the top left corner has a cubic form, which can be viewed from different angles and one can still feel as if one were entering into a square tubular area from each angle.

There are three paintings, which have grid-like patterns; one of them in oil particularly attracts attention. The hues used are a subdued grey-green with a dash of yellow, in which the grids are seen only vaguely; a line over this also moves without breaking, to form triangles and eventually forming patterns like the `Srichakra'.


`Snakes and animals' and `Tree climbers' have somewhat stylised animal and human forms in bright yellow, orange and green. Sathyendran reveals a remarkable sense of freedom in handling the lines, which flow with abandon in these works.

One small work has a copper metallic acrylic background, on which stylised waves are painted in bright hues; the centre has a rangoli-like design in a miniature form; on the whole, this is a very attractive piece. Another couple of frames show four small playing card-size paintings arranged together, with pleasant multicolour imagery on them. One has lilies, one just swirls of lines, and some of them are pointillist expressions of abstract themes.

`Expression I and II', in poster colours, show female faces with disturbed feelings; the fractured emotions are depicted through strong lines, dividing the face and the segments filled with strong colours such as green, red, etc.; the large eyes too are expressive.

More than 30 paintings in oils, acrylics, pastels and poster colours are on show till January 30, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Palazzo Art Gallery, (old No. 9 Seethamma Road, Alwarpet).

LAKSHMI VENKATRAMAN

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