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Different STROKES

A show by three Chennai-based artists is marked by diverse styles



Dhinakara Sundar's work: uncluttered, yet architectural

THE GROUP show by three artists from Chennai, presently on at the Lakshana Art Gallery, brings out their diverse channels of expression as also their differing styles. While S. Dhinakara Sundar has worked on woodblock prints, N.S. Sathish Kumar sticks to formal paintings on paper and canvas. K. Gukanraj uses the medium of ceramic pottery.

Of the three, it is Sundar who impresses most with his colourful, architectural, and design-oriented works. His setting is Japanese, alluding to his training in the Land of the Red Sun, where he learnt the unique woodblock technique. The figures, both male and female, wear rich expressions, postures, and loaded hand gestures. In one of his works, Sundar incorporates the rural landscape, with varied surroundings such as the rivers, mountains, bridges, boats, and snow-covered homes. Despite the inclusion of several elements, he keeps the painting uncluttered and manages to attract the viewers' attention, thanks to the human figures seen engaged in assorted activities. In another work, the masked characters display their stark expressions as if they are in a performance. Their colourful costumes complement the snatches of multi-hued, mosaic-like background. Other works — incorporating flying birds with their outstretched wings, female figures basking in the midst of blossoming flowers and swaying weeds, and musicians with their intense listeners — are quite well-composed, but are somewhat excessively ornamented. Gukanraj's ceramic pottery is pleasant, but hardly exceptional. A few works such as Anger, where an inverted face is marked with an extended tongue, and Friends, where two figures squat facing each other, are feeble attempts to break the repetitiveness of other pieces, which mostly appear as vases and pots.

Sathish Kumar's Fantasy paintings are lofty by intention, rich in colour, but weak in emotions and expression. The artist looks at the female form to convey his emotions and thoughts. The standing and vertically stretched figures, amidst richly coloured flora, can best be described as decorative.

(The exhibition concludes on December 26.)

ATHREYA

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