Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Collection of NGMA captures crux of Indian art trends

In the early 1970s and and the 80s, many Indian artists used narrative devices in different ways so as to transform the seemingly mundane into the magical. They located the mythic into a realm of memory, using fantasy to express their own fears and personal anxieties, imparting them with a dream-like intensity and feel. The strong fantasy or mythical content in their paintings was well evident. They continued to explore it and gave a new thrust to visual language.

KG Subramanyan and A Ramachandran

The former’s ‘Goddess at Goalpara’ at the NGMA is a witty pastoral image where the four armed goddess is seen chasing the buffalo demon. On another level, A Ramachandran endows the temporal with a sense of timelessness. In ‘Incarnation’, the beautiful tribal woman, framed by the blossoming flame of the forest tree, stands on a turtle, also a self portrait of the artist.
Prabhakar Barwe
Another artist who brought a metaphysical dimension to his images was Mumbai-based Prabhakar Barwe. In ‘Blue Lake’ at the NGMA, the fish form floating on the surface of the canvas and its skeletal reflection hint at disjunctive references from a dreamscape, and the realization of ultimate reality.
Madhvi Parekh and Gogi Saroj
Madhvi Parekh’s mythic world bristles with folk and tribal imagery of Gujarat. For Gogi Saroj Pal, the mythic image is the expression of a personal mythology. It is linked to the construct of women in a patriarchal society.
K Khosa and Ganesh Pyne
The former’s work is steeped in meta-reality. A ‘Happening’ is clearly located in an imagined Kafkaesque world, in which the real takes on an eerie, unreal quality, whereas a personal mythology also informs the shadowy image world of Ganesh Pyne. The experience of angst pervading the layers of existence harks to an umbral presence.
Jogen Chowdhury and Amit Ambalal
In the late 60s and early 70s, Jogen Chowdhury brought into the public domain personal erotic fantasies that burgeoned with a life of their own in a nocturnal ambience. Both Amit Ambalal and Dharmanarayan Dasgupta introduce a whimsical note into the fantasy images.

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