Sunday, March 24, 2013

‘Uninterrupted Speech’ at Vadehra Art Gallery

A new series of works by acclaimed artist Shibu Natesan at New Delhi-based Vadehra Art Gallery is part of an ongoing ‘inner talk’ that he has with himself and his surroundings. These canvases capture two kinds of contrasting scenes that the artist experiences there – vast empty landscapes and a close view of human intimacy.

These new works are an articulation of his life in London where he experiences a loneliness that is both physical and existential. His paintings, however, are not complaints but are about his awareness of being inserted into a place and situation that is not his own.

Incidentally, ‘Uninterrupted Speech’ is Shibu Natesan’s first show in India after a gap of 8 years.  It is also an attempt on his part at refocusing attention to nature and landscape painting, which the artist feels is disappearing from the art scene in India. “But the idea is not so much about the landscape as it is about trying to capture the sense of an absent or present self within this landscape,” he says.

Shibu Natesan, who did his BFA in Painting from College of Fine Arts, Thiruvananthapuram, and his MA in Printmaking from MS University, Baroda, was one of the pioneers to bring back realism to the art scene in India in the 1990s. In the 1990s he was instrumental in initiating ‘Mediatic Realism’ in the Indian art scene. His new series is an extension of this style but is also more fluid than his previous work.

Born in 1966 in Vakkom, Kerala, he completed his BFA in Painting from College of Fine Arts, Thiruvananthapuram, in 1987. In 1991, he completed his MA in Printmaking from Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda. He has been an artist-in-residence at Rijksakademie Van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam. He has participated in ARCOmadrid in Spain. His previous solo exhibition in India was in 2005; Existence of Instinct organized by Sakshi Art Gallery in New Delhi. His works have been displayed at the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan; The World Economic Forum, Switzerland; Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland; Blackburn Museum, England etc. The artist lives and works in London.

(Information courtesy: Vadehra Art Gallery)

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