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Turning twenty

Apparao Galleries celebrates 20 years of its existence with an exhibition of 10 established and 10 up and coming artists



Fine detailing marks Maya Burman's work

THE APPARAO Galleries turns 20 this September. Started as The Gallery in September 1984, it has seen many ups and downs, but has stood its ground, gaining a name not only at the national level but also at the international level.

Any special memories that its owner Sharan Apparao would like to recall? Says Sharan: "There have been too many to mention; there have been happy occasions and not too happy ones. But what I cherish is the variety of people that I have been able to meet during the two decades and what I have learnt from them; many of them are discerning art lovers and their association has helped me develop a keen eye for quality art work and to maintain a standard."

About 20/20

To celebrate its 20th birth anniversary, an exhibition `20/20' is being held till September 4. It showcases the creations of 10 established artists whose works the gallery has been dealing with and of 10 promising young artists. While the seniors' works dwell on the technique, colour schemes and subject, it is more the mind that takes centre stage in the creations of the young artists. The very simple abstract image inspired by tribal art in the work of late J. Swaminathan makes one stop and ruminate; the glass painting of Laxma Goud catches the eye with the bright colours and details, Arpana Caur's large work has a brooding quality, while Jehangir Sabavala's group of people in subdued tones stresses his unique technique. The sad face in the painting by Anjolie Ela Menon, the caricature-like serigraphs of M. F. Husain and the dreamy image of Sakthi Burman have their usual attraction. Some of the Chennai artists who have been shown regularly in the past few years are prominent by their absence.

Young talent

The creations of the up and coming artists have an intriguing quality, each adopting a different approach. Dinesh paints scattered images of animals and birds on stark white boxes; Manish Nai's monochromatic work depends on mild variation of tones and textures, while Ganga Singh's paintings have a graphic quality. Fine pen work comes from Dilip Sharma, in which he uses the form of small flowers to create the entire face; similarly the colourful paintings of Maya Burman with an ethereal quality rely on fine details. Smirity Dikshit uses pieces of gauze and plain cloth dyed in varying shades of grey to create her imagery between two sheets of clear glass. The collages of Farhan Mujib make one catch one's breath. It takes a while to realise that they are collages and not paintings; so many minute details have been dealt with great care that one can hardly make out the pasting of the forms, be they birds, animals or architectural details.

A little less crowded display would have shown all the paintings to better advantage.

The show will move to Delhi in the second week of September.

LAKSHMI VENKATRAMAN

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