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Spell of the spirit

The Chivas Art Experience included some well-known names of a bygone era as well as those of the contemporary art scene



Paresh Maity's Man. The show was a mixed bag of tightly composed images and some run-of-the-mill stuff.

PROVIDING A rather unusual setting for an art exhibition, the lawns of the Taj West End turned out to be the venue for an exhibition of paintings and sculptures last Saturday evening. Curated by Poonam Sarin, Delhi-based art collector and consultant, Chivas Art Experience included some well-known names of a bygone era as well as the contemporary art scene.

Strong lines

Characterised by strong lines, expressive colours, and simplified forms, Jamini Roy's works are known to delight by their refined charm and tender romanticism. The tightly composed image of a squatting woman's profile, rendered almost entirely in grey, escorted the viewer into a nostalgic mood and quiet introspection, thanks to the protagonist's simple yet striking pose and her dreamy eyes.

Moving closer to a more contemporary milieu, another Babu Moshai, Ganesh Pyne, was represented by a well-attired Magician, whose compelling presence was sustained by the magic wand in his right hand and a blue bird flying out of his left. The vicarious grin of the skeletal skull in the vicinity added to the overall aura.

Krishen Khanna's painting was another enthralling portrayal. Rendered with great sensitivity and feeling, the delightful young girl with a winsome smile was painted using minimum colours and was a real treat to watch. Yusuf Arakkal's offering was a poignant portrait of a lonely figure set against a stark background, with the angled lines of the charpoy on which he crouched completing a gripping image.

Among the other masters whose works shone under the arc lights included Prabhakar Kolte with his arresting abstracts, Badri Narayan shaping his warm characters with vibrant watercolours, Dhiraj Choudhury sighting his gangling women amidst mysterious setting, Gogi Saroj Pal engulfing her protagonist with colourful flowers, Rini Dhumal with her flying angels, S.G. Vasudev swamping his canvas with a deep blue tinge, Satish Gujral using multihued pigments to enhance the dramatic feel of his dancing figure, Sunil Madhav Sen dazzlingly profiled Durga, and Ved Nayar Living Together with long-legged women surrounded by a plethora of animals and plants.

Gen-next

There was a fair sampling of relatively younger artists on show. Sanjay Bhattacharya's Dali peered threateningly through the invisible door, while Sanjay Kumar set his handsome couple in a tightly composed Blue True. Asit Kumar Patnaik set his easel to capture some decisive moments filled with amorous glances of a cavorting couple, even as Ashok Roy Karmakar indulged himself in several powerful nude studies. When it came to abstracts, Bose Krishnamachari's vigorous and glittering strokes seemed to be serenely contrasted by Ravi Mandlik's muffled colours and flying objects.

At the same time, the viewer was also treated to some run-of-the-mill stuff by several other artists. Mostly decorative in nature, quite a few works were characterised by a fixation on style rather than substance, which did not do much to raise the toast.

Of the sculptural pieces on display, Radhakrishnan's small but competently executed bronze and a couple of Asurvedh's blithe figurines stood out.

ATHREYA

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