Purva 2022 shines a spotlight on Indian art like Surpur and Kalighat paintings
The Purva 2022 art show brings together 42 pieces of work by 11 artists from across the country, all of whom practise heritage art forms
The tapestry of India’s traditional and folk art is a rich and diverse one. However, it is slowly losing its threads. Each state has several art forms that are lesser-known and some are almost on the verge of extinction. The Purva 2022 art show brings together 42 pieces of work by 11 artists from across the country, all of whom practise these heritage art forms. “We want to create awareness about these forms. Most of them, even if they are not necessarily dying, are not displayed in gallery spaces. We have been handpicking and working with these struggling artists,” says curator Sadhna Menon, from Artenblu, an art consultancy firm. The exhibition at MKF Museum of Art has paintings by names such as Abhishek Joshi, Josheela SV and Akshaya Kumar Bariki.
The Surpur style of paintings originates in Yadgir district’s Surpur taluk. It thrived under Raja Venkatappa Naik during the late 1700s. The highly intricate style of art is nowadays pursued by very few artists in the state. This exhibition features traditional Surpur miniature art by Jagadish M Kamble and Surpur line art pieces by Krishna Prakash. Jagadish’s work is inspired by classical Indian art, whereas Krishna takes a more revisionist approach to the style. Jagadish’s canvas boasts figures of gods and goddesses in muted colours. Krishna takes these same fine lines and creates a contemporary canvas with more abstract elements.
Purva also features Kalighat works by artist duo Sumana and Rup Sona. Hailing from a remote village close to Kolkata, the couple uses handmade natural paints — turmeric for yellow, burnt rice for blacks for instance. Larger canvasses can take up to three months to finish. The paintings have full figures and shapely eyes, all characteristic of traditional Kalighat style.
On the nose
Saurabh Sadanand Dingare is a Maharashtrian artist whose paintings derive inspiration from antique Maharashtrian nose pins or nath. The focal point of each watercolour or mixed media work is the stylised nose pin, along with rich fabrics with block printed motifs. Other paintings in the series include Pichwai art from Rajasthan with nature-inspired elements, Patachitra designs on cloth, and Tanjore and Mysore paintings. “We are lucky that the artworks are so beautiful. So it’s not difficult for us to promote it. We frame and present the work. So the artists can just focus on creating the pieces,” Sadhna concludes.
Until June 28. At MKF Museum of Art, Lavelle Road