Artist Laxman Aelay’s solo show Euphonic Myths to be exhibited in Kolkata
Euphonic Myths, a collection of recent artworks of Laxman Aelay, a renowned artist based out of Hyderabad, takes a deep dive into the realms of myth. With the incisive precision of a skilled painter, he employs the expressionist medium both on canvas and paper. Laxman happens to be a versatile character himself. A prominent figure in Telangana’s art world, he depicts the musical life of rural communities, in which he was born and raised.
The male and female figures that he draws are all euphonically animated in all their vitality and splendour. They wear their robust physicality and unapologetic sensuality with a disarming charm. Laxman captures them in his artwork, engaged in a dialogue with their surroundings, and with themselves. The symphony of traditional musical instruments, such as, pharrah, dhamaru, dappu, dolu and kommu is brought alive in his paintings, which represent marginalised and subaltern communities including the Kommu Koya, Budubukkalodu, Beda Budaga Jangalu among others.
All the images serve as embodiments of an understated culture, and its essence that narrates the untold mythologies of the so-called unskilled and uneducated nomads, and their unsophisticated artistic expressions. His works talk about the enigma of return, not of arrival.
Born in 1964 at Kadirenigudem, a small village in Nalgonda of Telangana, Laxman did his PhD in visual culture and his research took him to various parts of Telangana, which is reflected in his work too. According to art critic Anand Gadapa, unlike his early paintings, the body of works presented in this show may be seen as a critique of his own ingenuous nostalgia. The poverty-stricken entities, strong beautiful women bedecked with ornaments, and the celebration of life, all are now replaced with tangible corporate realities that reverberate in their existence. “He consciously avoids poly-chromatic renditions, and the highly toned pictorial spaces in order to draw a plain visual text and carefully adopts a blend of quasi-realistic and expressionistic approach consolidating his nuances of practice, and the mastery of draftsmanship,” says Gadapa.
There is a perfect blend of heavily treated tanned bodies, and the camouflaging Cubist anthropomorphic forms in his drawings. By amalgamating these dichotomies, the artist tries to bring together multiple narratives in an attempt to bridge the ever-widening gulf between old and new modes of dissemination.
As Gadapa says, “Laxman successfully attempts to build his own visual language, which demonstrates his artistic dexterity, and his critical view about cultural dynamics in Telangana. There is an urge to ornate the pictorial space with a kind of aesthetic without sacrificing his visual grammar. Also, there is an attempt to show his personalised view of representational politics that brings continuity in his work.”
What: Euphonic Myths, an exhibition of Laxman Aelay’s works
Where: Art Exposure, 54B, Mahanirban Road, Kolkata – 700 029
When: September 14-October 6, noon to 8 p.m. (Sundays closed)