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Geometric interplay

The abstract works of K. Balasubramaniyan are inspired by the triangle, square and the circle


SINCE THE 1980s, there have been only a handful of prominent artists from the Government College of Fine Arts marking their territory on the national scene.

The show of K. Balasubramaniyan, a graduate of the Government College of Fine Arts, who displays his abstracts, has the echoes of stalwarts such as K.V. Haridasan very obviously. It is on at the Vinyasa Art Gallery.

His abstracts, based on the concept of `panchbhutas', attempt a translation of the harmony of Nature symbolically. Says Bala, "I arrived at depicting Nature symbolically after an exhaustive study of it in a realistic manner."


Playing with a few geometric shapes, particularly the triangle, the circle and the square, Bala has evolved interesting compositions marked by a strong predilection towards design. The mixed media allows a free play of his imagination with these shapes, which are structured to be meditative and harmoniously blended.

Bala has arrived at his visual language through a process of experimentation and exhausting all other possibilities in his repertoire.

He travelled extensively to absorb the images and impressions, which could be translated according to his sensitivity on the canvas. Working only in the conventional medium, that is with the canvas and or/either oil and acrylics, it nevertheless limits his creative forays. His evolved language of symbols appears stereotypical with dominant echoes of the veterans of the Madras Art Movement.

The preferred colours of the artist are in dark and sombre tones producing an ambience of heaviness and gloom. They are predominantly deep blues, reds and browns. Some of the colours, nevertheless, have lively electric blues and verdant greens to provide relief within the gallery space. Monotony also manifests in viewing his canvases except for a few which show interesting juxtapositions and integrations of dynamic shapes as the star, the conch and the ubiquitous triangle.


The frames do not have the power to capture the attention and the colours do not provide any relief. Undeniably though the artist is attempting to work through in a different visual language mode, they strike as placid, incapable of neither holding the viewer's attention for long nor inviting him through interplay of forms, shapes and colours to explore them.

The adventure in exploration with other materials and methods is lacking with the artist, who has been showing consistently for the past 20 years. Or may be in the context of commodification of objects and with art falling in the same category, Balasubramaniyan has succumbed his individuality to this process.

The show is on till October 10.

ASHRAFI S. BHAGAT

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