Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Monday, Jun 07, 2004

About Us
Contact Us
Metro Plus
Published on Mondays

Features: Magazine | Literary Review | Life | Metro Plus | Open Page | Education Plus | Book Review | Business | SciTech | Entertainment | Young World | Property Plus | Quest | Folio |

Metro Plus    Bangalore    Chennai    Coimbatore    Delhi    Hyderabad    Kochi    Madurai    Thiruvananthapuram    Vijayawada    Visakhapatnam   

Printer Friendly Page Send this Article to a Friend

Professionalism on display

The Annual Exhibition at the College of Fine Arts in the city was refreshingly different this time around.


THE ANNUAL Exhibition at the College of Fine Arts in the city is an event that is eagerly looked forward to by the art fraternity.

First, the good news. The commercial art exhibits, this year, were refreshingly different and striking in their visual appeal and conceptualisation. They were replete with creative professionalism that one scarcely comes across, even in the advertisements created by those with decades of experience behind them. The sculptures and installations proved a match for the ad men of tomorrow. The lensmen were not far behind; though small in number, there were some beautiful snaps that captured the moods of people, nature, landscapes and still life.

The promotional items for campaigns to promote vegetarianism, environment, Athens Olympics, India as a tourist destination, sports accessories, and many others revealed that the artists had not ignored the emerging trends in a globalised world. `Clean Image', the political cartoon magazine, took on the titans on the political stage, conveying strongly the role it intends to play. Exhorting you to use `Deed' for safe courier delivery were the reassuring ads with the joey in the kangaroo's pouch, or egg trays that protected fragile shells.


The sculpture section seemed to be monopolised by Arun Kumar, Balaji Siddharth and Gireesh. Imaginative use of traditional raw materials such as coir, earthenware and tiles lent the works an air of distinction. A sample of what the Yankees call trash art was on display - a work using automobile spares such as sprockets, toothed gear-wheels, cables and spark plugs. Lifelike busts in fibreglass, ceramic and metal arrested one's attention. `Untitled' and `Lost Freedom' are worth a mention. If one had totemic power, the other vividly stated it. Arun Kumar's `Targets' (9.7`x 8.5` x 0.5`) in coir and carpet was simple but imposing.

A notable feature of this year's collection in the painting section was the size of each frame. Large canvases that one could not shun, worked on in dull, dark hues. With so many individuals expressing themselves, one would have expected diversity in the assemblage. But, barring a few, most of the paintings seem to have flowed from the same brush and palette. So much so that several of the faces delineated by different artists reflected the same expression. Their individuality seemed to have been obliterated, like the characters in Ayn Rand's `Anthem'. Or, were the artists collectively trying to convey to the viewer that modern life has made each of us conform, behave in a `prescribed' manner and sport the same mien on our visages? `Yes' would be a convincing, if untrue, explanation.

The angst of living (`Chess Board'- R. Mahesh), edgy figures who expressed tensions and quirkiness (`Waiting For' - Ratheesh T.), turmoil and haunted expressions realistic to the point of being blank (Untitled - oil by Rajesh A.) and the attempts of many to configure their own language (works by Santha, Resmi, Bijoy B. Chandran, Asa R., to mention a few) made for interesting viewing.

The imprint that Vincent van Gogh had made on the impressionable minds was evident - at least two artists had painted sunflowers. One of them had done several paintings of sunflowers and even his e-mail address bore testimony to his unflinching loyalty to the great master! Ratheesh Vincent who had more than one frame with sunflowers painted on them explains thus: "I want to reveal the truth behind colours and someday will accomplish this."

At the end of it all, one is left wondering how much more impressive these works would have looked had they found a place in a well-appointed gallery. Over the years, the College has groomed many greats in the field and probably it is time for the artist community to work towards this end. Perhaps they could take a leaf out of the IIT-ians' book and contribute generously to improve the facilities in their alma mater and handhold their departments to acquire state-of-the-art facilities.

BHAWANI CHEERATH

Photo: S. Gopakumar

Printer friendly page  
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail

Metro Plus    Bangalore    Chennai    Coimbatore    Delhi    Hyderabad    Kochi    Madurai    Thiruvananthapuram    Vijayawada    Visakhapatnam   

Features: Magazine | Literary Review | Life | Metro Plus | Open Page | Education Plus | Book Review | Business | SciTech | Entertainment | Young World | Property Plus | Quest | Folio |


The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | Home |

Comments to : thehindu@vsnl.com   Copyright 2004, The Hindu
Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu