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Four ideas, one show

Four artists from Karnataka are showcasing their paintings at the newly opened Launch Pad


LAUNCH PAD, which opened a few months ago, is a new venue for art exhibitions and other similar events. It is currently hosting an exhibition of four artists from Karnataka. M.B.Lohar, Sunil Lohar and Virendar Shah hail from Gulbarga, while Roopashri is from Bangalore.

M.B. Lohar is the principal of the Ideal Fine Art Institute, Gulbarga, where he also had his training. Lines play an important role in his paintings that deal with the Man-Nature interaction. Female forms in different postures are surrounded by plants and flowers in mildly coloured settings. The dark curvaceous lines of the forms lend fluidity to the images. The moulding of the forms is achieved by numerous broken lines in multiple hues filling the space, rather than light and shade.

M.B. Lohar's young son Sunil has done his B.F.A. from the M.M.K.College of Visual Art, Gulbarga. His human forms appear more like the missing link between the monkey and the man, even though they are clothed in modern costumes. His childhood memories are reflected through toys. After treating the canvas with a single colour at first, he builds the surface with other vibrant colours. However, the skeletal faces or the hairy monkey-like faces lend a surrealistic quality to the visuals.


Virendra Shah indulges in pure abstraction. His paintings balance the vertical and horizontal, as also the bright and pastel shades. Most often his space is divided into vertical sections, each with a different kind of rhythm obtained not just through the erect and prone lines but also by diagonal elements like droplets falling angularly, or by use of extraneous elements like rings, ear stubs, etc. pasted on the surface or sometimes through different surface treatments. If one half contains geometric shapes, the other is filled with curved forms such as the outline of the eyes. The two sections are linked through lazily drawn black file rings. Shah seems to think on the canvas rather than painting with a preconceived idea.

Though she has done abstract oil paintings in figurative idiom, Roopashri calls her works at the show as "portable frescoes". After learning the technique of fresco painting at the Banasthali Vidyapith in Rajasthan, she admits that she is able to discover the true essence of colour and its relation to Nature. As fresco involves painting while the surface is still wet, Roopashri has confined to a small format for her work. The paintings have been done on square blocks of lime with colours like red, yellow and green obtained from natural sources. The themes explore her relationship to her own self and that of Nature. The female form in different moods is placed in relation to elements of Nature such as water, leaf, flower or mushroom. The small blocks have been put in box like frames with dark backgrounds lending them an aesthetic charm.

The show is on till January 22 at Launch Pad, Level III, Chhotabhai Centre, 140, Nungambakkam High Road.

LAKSHMI VENKATRAMAN

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