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A series of impressions

Seven budding artists showcase their works at the Vinyasa Art Gallery



"Landscape": oil on canvas by C. Purushothaman

THEY ARE young, creative, experimental and most important, raring to take off in the world of art. They are a group of seven. The number is a mystical one in religious tradition, either east or west. The coming together of the seven aspiring artists, who have freshly graduated from the Government College of Fine Arts, Chennai, to put up a collective show at Vinyasa Art Gallery, is reflective of the ebullient talent that now wants to be given a free rein.

The inventive and imaginative pulse of the seven artists manifests in the variety of genres and media they have chosen to work with. The artists are S. Kalaiselvan, R. Magesh, C. Purushothaman, Rukmini Thiagarajan, S.P. Saravanan, S. Sureshkumar and Vinay.

Exploring formal elements

The thread of commonality running through the group show, which besides making each frame distinct, is their exploration of formal elements. Kalaiselvan's works are invested with energies of vibrant hues that cover a range from dramatic to cool deep colours. His brushstrokes exhibit naοve spontaneity and painstakingly worked out decorative details that are mannered and stereotypical — a feature that once made the Madras Art Movement distinct. His themes range from nudes to landscapes, iconic Ganeshas to representation of life underwater.

Firm brush strokes

Purushothaman's urbanscapes profile the congestion and crowded narrow lanes and are marked by his firm calculated brush work. They are bold and defined with Gauginesque echoes particularly in their definition of broad planes and arbitrary colours.

Magesh's single canvas of `Nude' is interesting in its expressionistic distortion and acidic colours. Rukmini's abstractions are evocative of human forms manipulated crisply through line and colours. Though she professes to think in colours and line takes a secondary role, the colours hardly impress or communicate audibly in her abstracts.

Saravanan's works defy definition of either sculpture or installation but are in the nature of assemblages clinically enclosed in glass-fronted boxes coloured brightly. The artist's idea of juxtaposing mundane materials such as utensil cleaners and metal rods, with a red cloth to signal danger though not entirely new or innovative, has nevertheless been inscribed with his concepts by mediating through them to make it intense and deeply experiential. His works are expressionistic and absorbing, drawing the viewer to its vortex through his philosophy emanating from social matrix. Saravanan clarifies by his comment "life and its trials have had a deep impact on my thought."

Thought-provoking

Suresh's abstracts are thought provoking in their distinct forms, colours and shapes. A complexity underscores all his canvases painstakingly worked out in terms of simulated and real textures. He has skilfully juxtaposed the real and the painted to trick the eye, inviting a closer inspection of his works. Suresh has deployed the idea of a collage but translated it into paint, marking them with calculated geometry and growing organic forms. His canvases vibrate with vitality bound together with strong defining black lines.



"Experiment 1"... a mixed media by S.Sureshkumar

Vinay's works are lyrically linear. The artist has explored every nuance of this versatile and poetic element to visualise a rural subject. Line in every manifestation finds an expression from dots to slash to curvilinear and geometric configurations. Reinforcing the linearity are the flat areas of brilliant and contrasting colours.

Though loads of talent, skill and innovation underpin the works of these young artists, echoes of the pioneers of the Madras Art Movement reverberate with obvious intensity as one reads Adimoolam, Bhaskaran, Santhanaraj or Munuswamy in nearly all their works. The exhibition is on at Vinyasa Art Gallery, the Music Academy premises, TTK Road, till September 30.

ASHRAFI. S. BHAGAT

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