Artist Ganesh Haloi's works on display at Akar Prakar Kolkata
Gallery Akar Prakar will be hosting a solo exhibition of renowned painter Ganesh Haloi called Form and Play by Ganesh Haloi, which will showcase paintings of the artist. The works at the show are mostly associated with nature in water bodies, and gouache works in watercolours, with natural pigments, on Nepalese handmade paper. He has chosen bright colours including yellow, red, green and blue. Art critic, Soumik Nandy Majumdar puts it very succinctly when he says, “His observation of the submerged and floating aquatic plants, their gentle movements and life cycle has been an enchanting experience, which resurrects continually through glowing layers of colour and floating shapes and lines.”
Haloi, through his paintings, induces a sense of incessant drama that seems to be an organic part of nature and independent of human intervention. While at the same time, he also depicts the dried-up stratosphere and invokes a sense of pain at the absence of life and visualises a ‘lost space’, fusing his own pain of leaving his beloved land, Bangladesh with that of nature’s slow decay. Haloi’s composition is minimal and his visual vocabulary includes minute dots, calligraphic lines and broad colour fields, which sometimes seem to be pictorial signs, while otherwise they look like evocative marks. All of this indicate a modernist trend in his works, feels Soumik.
A veteran artist, Haloi was born in the Jamalpur district of Mymensingh, Bangladesh, and moved to Calcutta in 1950. He completed his degree in art at the Government College of Art & Craft Kolkata in 1956. In the subsequent year, he joined the Archaeological Survey of India, and was appointed to copy the murals of the Ajanta caves. Both the partition of Bengal and his work with the murals of Ajanta, left a lasting impression on his mind, and influenced his work as an artist.
His choice of colours, lines and geometric shapes speak in an implicit language that evokes myriad emotions, as he combines the act of ‘image making’ with elements of nature. Although Haloi started out with figurative works, his creations gradually moved towards non-figurative and abstract concepts, even as he refuses to accede to the fact that his works are abstract, in the sense of being nonrepresentational.
Instead, he agrees to the term, ‘sensual abstraction’, which takes into account ‘corporeal responses’ too, as a process that helps him create his paintings. “I can sense and feel everything out there and in my works — not only physical life and its regenerative forces, but also the atmosphere, the ethereal ones, the wind, air, light, darkness, sound, resonance, silence, movement, rhythm everything. You can find all of these in my works,” he says.
Form and Play by Ganesh Haloi is scheduled to start from January 18 at Akar Prakar, Hindustan Park. Till February 11.