Thursday, May 9, 2013

An ageless master’s amazing artistic quest

At 85, Akbar Padamsee shows his new creations, the oil on canvas works - created over the last couple of years for a new solo, entitled ‘Past Forward’ at Priyasri Art Gallery in Mumbai. His oeuvre primarily revolves around a meticulous revisiting of three distinct genres: the landscape, the nude and the head. It involves a dynamic, recursive, additive process, according to Nancy Adajania. Revealing how he sees the concept of repetition in relation to his practice, the celebrated artist mentions to her that it’s change of the kind, which doesn’t abolish all that had gone before.

Repetition is a complex gesture, in any case, the writer explains to elaborate on the artist’s ongoing series of heads that never fails to surprise us since each of them comes across as unique, precipitating convergence of the past and the future in spite the family resemblance, which unites them. Adajania states: “While they share a distinct genealogical link with Old Master paintings and drawings, they also point forward to a post-apocalyptic future of the kind spelled out by science fiction. These heads are haunted by the aura of the icon.

“At a broader level, Padamsee’s practice may well be built on the awareness of dominant polarities, albeit not devoted to entrenching them. Instead, it looks to celebrate the shimmering intersections, synergies and mirrored doublings-redoublings generated when opposite poles step out of themselves, cease to be static points in a confrontation, and engage with one another, the writer concludes.”

Among his recent significant solo shows are 'A Visual Metaphor', Giclee Prints on Canvas at India Fine Art, Mumbai (2013); 'Lithographs and Photographs', Art Heritage, Triveni Kala Sangam, New Delhi (2013); 'The Body Unbound', Rubin Museum of Art, New York (2011-12); and ‘Sensitive Surfaces’, Galerie Helene Lamarque, Paris (2008). His work has been shown at many renowned museums and institutions like the Foundation Nationale des Arts Graphiques et Plastiques in France (1985) and Royal Academy of Art, London (1982) as well as several prestigious Biennials - Venice (1953, 1955), Tokyo (1959), and Sao Paulo (1959).

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