A group exhibition in Delhi showcases the tryst of  prominent artists with life and realities

The exhibition that showcases a mix of recent as well as old works of eight acclaimed artists is on till November 20

author_img Rewati Rau Published :  24th October 2021 10:15 AM   |   Published :   |  24th October 2021 10:15 AM

In 1988, Arpana Caur painted a little girl, drawing a green circle around her in the middle of Delhi’s chaotic traffic. “The Capital was changing rapidly back then. In our childhood, we only had one or two cars on the street, but now every house has multiple cars, so many trees have been cut,” says the Delhi-born artist whose family came to India from Pakistan in 1947. 

Years later, Caur’s heart continues to bleed for the atrocities humans inflict on nature and which, according to her, resulted in the pandemic. And one of her recent artworks titled ‘Prakriti’ is based on this theme, which is part of a group show called Fluid Realities at the Art Alive Gallery in Delhi. The exhibition that showcases a mix of recent as well as old works of eight acclaimed artists is on till November 20.

Caur explains the idea behind the painting, which flirts with melancholy. “In ‘Prakriti’, my idea was to present how the green nature has many figures. She’s holding the green thread of life, but there’s a red streak at the bottom. It shows the violence we inflict on our environment,” explains the artist. Caur mulls over the heartbreak she feels every time she passes through the rubble of ‘destruction’ near India Gate.  

The artist also has a seven-foot work titled ‘The Last Supper’, which she hopes will be exhibited at the India Art Fair 2022, if there’s an offline one. Her take on the famous mural painting by Leonardo da Vinci too is around man-made destruction. 

Senior artist Jogen Chowdhury, who has given 16 of his small paintings to the exhibition, says, “The works show a couple of birds, and also faces and figures. My idea in any work is that whatever lines I make should have a certain kind of quality that vibrates with the surroundings and is lively.” One of India’s most eminent artists, known for his crosshatch style of paintings, has been shuttling between Kolkata and Shantiniketan during the pandemic. While his recent large-format works went to some collectors and will be part of an auction, Chowdhury loves creating art that the general public can buy. A recent exhibition in Kolkata showcased several such works of him. “There are so many middle-class people such as teachers, professors etc who would like to buy these since they’re not expensive.”

Explains curatorial advisor Lina Vincent, “The artists, each of them iconic in the discussion of contemporary Indian art, have showcased deeply individualistic approaches, both formally and conceptually.”

Just like artist Paresh Maity who participated in the show with three ‘larger-than-life paintings’ and a sculpture. The paintings displayed how the artist interprets reality in different stages of his life. “The painting titled ‘A Cycle of Life’ particularly shows my life as to how it plays with the perspective in time—external and internal world developing with time. It’s shaped like a circle to show things keep coming back to our life. This work is based on my first impression of Varanasi that I saw nearly 35 years back,” he says. Maity will soon showcase a retrospective of his works spanning 40 years of his career.