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Skill isn't all

What's interesting in the ongoing Camlin show is not so much the technical skill of the artists, but their choice of themes and the way they have dealt with them



Portraits and still life continue to be of interest for many an artist.

THE ART Exhibition 2004, which has on display a selection of entries for the Camlin Art Foundation's Sixth Southern Region Contest, is currently on at the Chitrakala Parishat.

Variety of themes

The show highlights a variety of themes dealt with by art teachers and students. As one would expect in a show of this nature, the quality of paintings is uneven — from incisive to mediocre to too academic. While most of the artists do display a certain level of technical skill, it was the choice of themes and the manner in which they were explored which proved the artists' strengths as well as limitations.

Shanmuga Sundaram's untitled work, showing a piece of cloth hanging on a rope tied to a bamboo stalk, not only made a robust composition but also a subtle social comment. Minimal use of colours heightened the eloquence of the painting, while the neatly outlined threads on the rag expressed a muffled torment. Kandappagoudar's Environment is another interesting effort with 16 small, squarish works arranged neatly on a bigger square panel. Depicting animals, birds and insects in different situations, a couple of panels also show a squatting and kneeling man. Raja's Can't Say What — VII, displaying sturdy structures across a colourful landscape, Rajesh Kumar's Hide Feelings with scattered images against a red background to represent fragmented thoughts and metaphors, Satish Multhalli's neatly executed Man With Nature, Mohan Kumar's expressive vertical composition Untold Story and Basavaraj Kutni's All The King's Men attempted to make compelling visual statements.

Portraits and still life continue to be of interest for many an artist, and one can find some good examples in these categories. Benitha Perciyal's Miss Benitha uses not only paint but also three-dimensional objects, all of which are enclosed in a glass frame. Sugumar's Self Portrait and Bakiya Raj's profile of an old woman are starkly dealt, while Reshma Govind's self portrait and Naganna's Jeevana are somewhat staid and academic. Alamu skilfully captures the innocence of a young girl in Expecting To Happen.

Still-life studies

Among the still-life studies, Selvaraj's watercolour, showing a pair of shoes in close-up, Vijaya Kumar's Reflection of objects enclosed in a wall-mounted box, Vishwanath's That Moment highlighting a huge earthen vessel in an empty corridor, Sri Balaji's My Favorite presenting an assortment of objects and Sadanand's My Room, focusing on a wooden door on which hangs a shirt, are fine examples, although some of them tend to be overly academic in their rendering.

The exhibition concludes today.

ATHREYA

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