New Delhi: Art events in the capital are getting more serious with meticulous detailing and research into the chosen artist and his craft, hitherto ignored aspects of an exhibition. With art moving away from being the sole preserve of the elite, there is a concerted attempt to demystify the entire aura which the art fraternity has carried with it so far.
Paris based artist Vishwanathan’s showing in the capital after nearly four years had all the components of what an art event could be. A well thought out theme that covered his early works (1960’s and 70’s), traced his artistic moorings through the places he inhabited, from Kerala to Chennai and finally Paris, a place he says he reached by default but chose to make home.
Crimsons were the colours that Vishwanathan liberally used in the 60’s
The exhibition also had on display a special archived section which showed his personal pictures in a catalogued book on his life life and times by Roobina Karode with a biographical essay by Madhu Jain who has known him for over 35 years.
It chronicles his life till the 70s, bringing in episodes from his childhood, early adolescence and initial years of uncertainty and struggle in the pursuit of an artistic vocation. Views of French crtics who have been following his work have also been included.
The surprise of the evening however was a documentary film made by filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan titled ‘Colour and Form’ which gave a logical exression to the fluid strokes of the artist.
Vishwanadhan’s work stands apart by allowing informality to take over the composition, as his free hand geometry breaks the rigidity of both structure and surface.
His works from the 1960s and 70s, saturated with the reds and greens and then the crimson and mauves/violets simultaneously evoke memories that seem to be inextricably linked with his life lived in different geographies, locations and amidst diverse cultures.
These overlaps turn into memory folds that resurface and reconfigure creative and physical energies charging his artistic endeavors. A sense of adventure, constant seeking and discovery which are part of his aesthetic repertoire get reflected in his work, which in some places has a distinct free spirited nomadic appeal.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Ashish Anand, Director Delhi Art Gallery said, “Vishwanadhan is a master of lyrical proportion. He has subtly but decisively made an impact on the art scene both in the sub-continent and Europe. His early works are a milestone for they bring out the transitional phase in his long significant career.”
Showing their solidarity to the artist and a collective appreciation of his style, were artists A Ramachandran, Laxmi Pai, Amitav Das, G R Iranna, Krishmachari Bose, Gopi GajWani, Manu Parekh, Paramjit Singh, Probir Gupta, K.S Radhakrishnan, Kanchan Chander, Subodh Gupta, Mona Rai, Manisha Gera, Kavita Nayar, Shukla Sawant, Veer Minshi, Manisha Parekh, Yurika, Vivan Sundram who were all present on the inaugural day. A liberal sprinkling from the celebrity world was provided by photographer Raghu Rai, curators Gayatri Sinha and Roobina Khorde and actress Kitu Kidwani.
On view at the Delhi Art Gallery from 25April to 30June