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Native art

The collective display of works by 18 Hyderabad-based artists at Kalakriti gives an insight into their visual language


THE EXHIBITION titled `Contemporary Artists from Hyderabad' by 18 artists on view at Kalakriti Art Gallery is an ideal space to initiate a dialogue on contemporary art practices in the region. This is a group which has, for years, been trying to establish an individualistic language. It means the artists adopt a certain process, based on their respective medium such as painting, sculpture, graphics, etc. The spectator may not have seen the process, but he gets to see the end result (maybe supported by text) which then becomes the style, a signature, or the `individualistic language' of the artist. As this show holds multiplicity, it would be best to study the artists from their school .

From the Sarojini Naidu School of fine arts, University of Hyderabad, A.M. Murali, Gouri Vemula, Hamid Bin Amar (discontinued), Srinivasa Chari, L.N.V. Srinivas and Sajid Bin Amar pursue an individualistic line of work. Murali who loves to play with the optics, disregards sophistication and utilises colour to create a space generally visited by the subconscious. Gowri Vemula is an established name in the Delhi art circuit. Living up to the grand tradition laid out by her guru Laxma Gowd, Vemula executes fantasies of an erotic kind. Humans and animals make up her world.


The Amar brothers engage the spectator not merely by their fine execution but by subtle alterations in their work which reveal their sincerity of purpose. Executing his imagery in his favourite media of egg tempera and acrylic on paper, Srinivasa Chari conveys a discipline which he enjoys. L.N.V. Srinivas has trodden a very different path. A lone abstractionist, he seeks his anchor in scapes that are alien to us. The colour applications and space formations in his work convey, if not graphically, the experiences of the artist. Next comes the M.S. University of Baroda from where artists like Srikanth Kurva, Srinivas Reddy, Rohini Reddy, Chippa Sudhakar and Venkat Rao graduated. Incidentally, three in this group are sculptors — the husband-wife duo Rohini and Srinivas Reddy have negated narration this time round, by merely putting heads. Rohini's work, in fact, contained some degree of narration. And, Venkat's sculpture is converted into an installation with interesting segmentation of black-and-white. Kurva and Sudhakar reinvent the narrative of holding a set of elements together. From the Vishwa Bharathi, Shantiniketan, we have Sisir Sahana, Hanumantha Rao and Stanley Suresh. Here again, there is minimal schooling. Stanley's rendering may be that of Bengal but the content of Sahana is nostalgia, of which he maintains a tempo — be it his glass sculptures or paintings.

From the Delhi College of art, the sole participant is Venkatesh Bhadra. A highly conceptual artist, Bhadra donates a larger-than-life scale to objects that consume the very scale of the viewer. If Bhadra permits to be read, besides Anish Kapoor, it would be easy for the spectator to realise his purpose. While Anjini Reddy and Narendranath graduated from J.N.T.U., Hyderabad, Sreekanth Dhunde is from J.J. College of Arts, Mumbai. Anjini is a broadcaster of lyricism. Her work is poetic with soft delineating tenderness many seek from art. Similarly, Narendranath portrays contemporary life in Srikakulam. On the contrary, Dhunde is an abstractionist who freely articulates his madness in colour and form. His methodology lives in the moment. This is a good opportunity for art lovers in the city. A word of caution: the catalogue misleads one into thinking that most of the works published there are part of the exhibition. Unfortunately no. The participating artists are to be blamed as they did not realise that publishing a catalogue is an equally important aspect of the exhibition.

ATIYA AMJAD

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