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Art of the abstract

exhibition While Shamendu's works exude serenity, Lalita's are dynamic



Colourful canvas One of the works by Lalita Sonavane on display at Vinyasa Art Gallery

The father-daughter duo, Shamendu and Lalita Sonavane of Mumbai, are showcasing their abstracts at Vinyasa Art Gallery. The commonality between these two artists is not only of language, namely abstraction, but also of theme, which is premised on Nature. But their artistic vocabulary is diametrically opposite and this is where the works of the two artists strike an interesting chord.

Sonavane the senior has crafted Nature into abstracts that convey a sense of déjà vu since one can read the shoreline of Mumbai's beach. The artist has evolved and constructed his paintings in horizontal format implying a sense of infinity. If `art is man's nature then Nature is God's art' is a famous quote, and in this instance, contemplating the serenity of Sonavane's beachscapes, one tends to perceive it as a redefinition of God's art through His creation, namely Man. This redefinition is the byword in post-modern art today, and in the process, even the creator is redefined. Ironical indeed.

Aural impact

Yet Sonavane in his canvases, painted with acrylics, has defied the craftsmanship in working out laboriously and passionately the nuances and refinement of his colours, tones and values. As one surveys his canvases standing within the gallery space, there is an aural feeling of the waves having thunderously crashed on the weathering sands and receded in silence; or there is the brine of the sea invading the viewers' sensibilities. Such is the magical aura of his canvases, which have the potential of completely overwhelming, leaving a residue either of emotional nostalgia or unpleasant memories of the capricious sea.

A brilliant colourist, Sonavane has judiciously juxtaposed fragmented patches of brilliant, contrasting and harmonious colours to create a kaleidoscope of detritus found on the urban beachfront. The intimate details are warmly appealing and it is this dimension of the artist's art that makes his canvases palpable within any confines, either domestic or otherwise.

Lalita's canvases painted with acrylics, employ the theme of Nature's topography at the macro level as hills, mountains, valleys, rivers, or at the micro level as a scrutiny of rocks, foliage, etc. Like her youth they are exploding with warm vibrant colours and this defines her individual style as well. Her sense of colour is amazing as she juxtaposes and creates a dynamics of opposites and harmonies in her paintings. Nevertheless, there is an organic quality perceivable in her works to an extent even surrealistic, as the forms suddenly morph into recognisable shapes and contours.

Playing with textures, Lalita has adroitly used a variety of wire meshes to create impressions varying from diamond shaped to oval to square to rectangular and within its web has worked out intricate and detailed shapes and forms that convey a sense of perennial growth as one would accord Nature.

While Shamendu's works impart a quietude and grandeur in terms of its horizontal format as well as colours and tones, Lalita's works come forth as challenging and dynamic, creating that seesaw for the viewer as his glance darts from right to left within the gallery spaces.

The exhibition is on till April 19 at Vinyasa Art Gallery.

ASHRAFI S. BHAGAT

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