Art News & Views

Art Events Kolkata

The Month that was
October - November 2011

by Mrinal Ghosh

Solo Sculptures by Subrata Paul

Academy of Fine Arts                               
14 October to 20 October, 2011

The young sculptor Subrata Paul is a member of the group 'Calcutta Sculptors'. In this solo exposition he has showcased his figurative bronzes, most of which are based on the relationships between man and woman. He has transformed the body towards lyrical rhythm with romantic sensibility. His lines, curves and contours, positive and negative volumes – all express this sonorous sensibility where Western modernistic modes are synthesized with Indian classical idealistic expression. A very large piece titled Dancing Nature where two rhythmic dancing human figures are composed within a leafy natural environment, attracts attention for its lyricism and monumentality.

Kalighat Paintings: An Exhibition of Paintings from the Victoria and Albert Museum

London and Victoria Memorial Hall   Victoria Memorial, Kolkata
15 October to 11 December, 2011

The 'Patas of Kalighat' is the name of a genre of painting executed in water colour on mill made paper around the vicinity of the temple of Kalighat between the beginning of 19th century and first quarter of 20th century. It may also be probable that the genre was not confined around the Kalighat temple only but was produced and sold in other religious centres of the city. The artists who executed these works were very skilled folk painters, who had migrated from the villages of Bengal and resided near the temple to earn their living through painting. The boldness yet simplicity of lines, the illusion of sculpturesque voluminousness, the luminosity of colour, adoption of the mythical and religious elements and also social reality as subjects in witty and humorous lyrical tune are some of the characteristics of these paintings, which are now considered a great achievement during the pre-modern era of our art activity. Recently we had the pleasure of seeing a very illuminating collection of such paintings from the collection of Victoria and Albert Museum, London and Victoria Memorial of Kolkata.

Recent Works by Uday Mondal and Soumen Das

Galerie 88                                             
22 October to 12 November, 2011

Both of these young artists have done their Master's in painting from MS University, Baroda and presently live and work in Baroda. Their forms and approach, however, are entirely different. Paintings of Uday are human-centric. His forms are expressionist and rebellious in nature. He enters deeper into the distress and agony of life. He has applied paint in frenzied layers through use of scrapers, squeegees, rollers, brooms and the hand. But within the inner violence of application of pigment there is a delicate sensuality and lightness of touch. Soumen's paintings are comparatively soft and soothing. He transforms landscapes and cityscapes into geometrical patterns and builds a bridge between concrete and abstract. City, the view from the hill, from a road running parallel to the sea, a medieval citadel, ruins, human habitations are some of the subjects that frequently appear in his paintings. Both of them have a unique approach towards form where they have created a sense of originality.

Voyage: A Solo Show of Sculptures by Mrinal Kanti Gayen

Academy of Fine Arts                            
28 October to 3 November, 2011

Mrinal Kanti Gayen, a Post Graduate in sculpture from the Government College of Art & craft, Calcutta, is now serving as Assistant Professor in the same institution. He was born and passed his childhood at Kakdwip within the delta of Sundarban. The rivers and forest of this isolated land far from the urban environment has made a permanent impression in his artistic consciousness. Greens and flowing water have been an important part of his expression. In this first solo with works in bronze, marble and ceramics a journey through water ways have come up as a primary theme. Boats and other water vehicles has been a recurring subject, which has been treated with imagination and aesthetic accomplishment.

Shesh Lekha: The Last Paintings of Rabindranath- Paintings by Paresh Maity
Translation & Calligraphy by Pritish Nandy

CIMA Gallery                                          
4 November to 19 November, 2011

Shesh Lekha is the collection of the last poems by Rabindranath. It contains 15 untitled poems by the poet written between 1939 and 1941. It was published in September of 1941 when Tagore was no more. The last verse of this collection was dictated by the poet in the morning of the day he underwent a surgical operation, after which he never regained consciousness. The verses are short, profound and without rhetoric. They convey deep philosophical realization. Pritish Nandy translated these verses in 1973 and published as a limited edition book. Now on the occasion of the 150th birth anniversary of the poet, Paresh Maity did a series of water colour paintings based on these poems. These paintings along with the calligraphy of translated poems made by Pritish Nandy was exhibited at CIMA after these were shown at Mumbai and Delhi.

This End to the Other: Recent Photographs of Rameshwar Broota

Aakriti Art Gallery                                   
7 November to 30 November, 2011

Rameshwar Broota, the Delhi based artist who started his carrier during 1960s and culminated in art activities as an incisive and rebellious painter during the 1970s, has evolved since about last one decade as a self taught photographer. A sense of realism is an essential feature of his creativity. In this set of photographs, where he has used camera along with computer softwares the optical reality has been transformed towards a kind of fantasy that unveils the inner essence of that reality. As commented in the curatorial note, 'Broota explores the transgressive possibility within the visual, working with the awareness that the photograph is both, frozen in time, for time.' Broota very wittily and intellectually plays with the time, analyses its inner essence to extract mystery out of it. The mystery within the visual reality is the essence of these photographs.

Shuvaprasanna: Recent and Retrospective

Emami Chisel Art                                   
8 November to 8 December, 2011

The exhibition showcases more than 100 works, drawings, paintings, graphics, and sculptures of Shuvaprasanna from early 1970s till the recent time. During these four decades he has worked in various styles and expressions, but all his formal structures have evolved from a basic mode that is naturalist delineation. He is one of those artists of the 1960s and 70s who have a strong naturalistic base of execution. From this base he diverts, distorts the form towards expressionist, fantasy oriented, often surrealist expression to posit the angst and decay of social and human values. Under these criticality and rebelliousness lies the strength and originality of his expression. Even within the apparently soothing and harmonious subjects like abodes, owl, crow, fishes, butterfly a sense of melancholy and void persists. This retrospective displays divergent shades of his commitment both to art and human values.

Dream and Destination: Paintings of Bipul Roy

Mon Art Gallery                                     
11 November to 3 December, 2011

Bipul Roy is a young artist just completing his part one MVA in painting from Government College of Art and Craft, Kolkata. He was born in 1986 at Siliguri in West Bengal. After completing schooling at North Bengal he came to Kolkata and joined Art College in the year 2006. This is the first solo show of this competent young artist, whose paintings have revealed his journey from dream to destination. His water colour landscape and cityscape paintings express his dreams for beauty, where as in acrylic paintings on canvas he posits an urge to find a destination. Everything is disintegrated. Consumerism has engulfed everything, all the higher values of life. Within this void how to bridge the gap between dream and destination? This grinning question haunts the young painter. He tries to find an answer and goes on painting. For him creativity is the only bridge.

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