Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata to host an exhibition of four renowned artists from the city
Academy of Fine Arts is set to host an exhibition of four renowned artists from the city, beginning April 2. The exhibition, named Winter’s sun on a spring afternoon, will showcase the works of Nirmalendu Mandal, Anup Ray, Manoj Pal, and Swapan Chatterjee. All the artists are the alumni of Government College of Art, and Craft, Kolkata and have been pursuing art professionally for more than 30 years now.
Nirmalendu Mandal, who worked with a leading media house as an assistant art director, will be exhibiting works where he has used acrylic on canvas, to capture the changing facets of nature. He finds a likeness between feminine beauty and nature, which is represented in his works through a woman’s face.
His lyrical, almost poetic works, show a deft use of vibrant colours; whether it is olive green, mustard yellow, and rust, in Darkness & Eve or crimson, scarlet and yellow in the work titled To Spring with Love. He also uses some muted shades of blue and green in another work called Affection. Each of his works captures his feelings in the form of a bird, nature, plants, or even dried leaves.
One can trace the fiery beauty of an attractive woman in Sweetness of Spring, while one can also see the memory of a woman, enlivened through autumn leaves in another one, titled On The Memory. This will be Mandal’s 71st exhibition. “The subject of my work springs from the real world and my imagination draws from the obscure place, where the conscious and the subconscious move freely. That’s why my paintings are the paintings of solitude,” he says.
Artist and author Manoj Pal will be showcasing eight to ten works, such as Dusk, Morning Light, City light and others, which have been created on Wacom Cintiq with the software ArtRage. The subject of his works, created between November 2018 and March 2019 usually centers around common people- such as men working in the collieries, the milkman going about on his business, the rickshaw puller taking a breather and others. There are landscapes too, and scenes from urban life; with nature in the background and hazy outlines of immediate objects.
Photographs inspire Pal's works, which are recreated on the digital medium, which he has been using for seven years now. “According to me, the basic theme of every artwork or painting is that it acts as a means of communication, between the artist and the viewer. My affinity for depicting the life of common, working-class people have been prevalent in my other works too,” says Pal who has published two novels, a book of poems and a compilation of his lectures on art.
Anup Ray’s three works, namely, the Puppet Princess, Fallen Angels, and Gajanana, will also be on display. Fallen Angels, which has been created with mixed media on canvas (pencil and acrylic), is the most recent one, while the other two (acrylic on canvas), are some of his older works. The 65-year old who specialises in surrealistic paintings also worked as an illustrator with a leading media organization.
Puppet Princess has a melancholic woman dressed in white, brooding over an outcome, her melancholy reflected in the grim shades of red and bottle green, depicted in the four suits of the card game. The second one shows a mythical creature, a figure with devil’s horns and butterfly wings, in light green, with a part of its former self, depicted in an angelic pink/mauve. “I don’t usually plan my works. Instead, I follow my impulse to create and finish work,” adds Ray, who now draws with his left hand.
Swapan Chatterjee, another alumnus of Government College of Art and Craft, will be showcasing his most recent works in watercolour. His works depict natural landscapes or human beings in the tribal series. While Loco Yard uses monochromatic shades of white, grey, black and navy blue, to arrive at a realistic hue of the metal body of a train, in another, tribals are seen walking through the woods during a spring afternoon, when nature is aglow with colours. This work particularly shows the human silhouette against a burst of colours, namely red, yellow, blue and purple.
“I prefer watercolours because it helps in achieving the correct shade or hue found in nature. Because of their transparency, overlapping colours can be used easily in this medium,” says Swapan, who retired from Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan in 2015 and works as a full-time artist now.
The exhibition Winter’s sun on a spring afternoon will open at Academy of Fine Arts, South Hall on April 2, 6 pm