Step into the world of ‘Monochrome Melodrama’ by Studio3 that celebrates the works of the following artists – Ajay De, Amol Pawar, Ashif Hossain, Datta Bansode, Gurmeet Marwah, Jatin Das, Jogen Chowdhury, Nagesh Ghodke, Nishant Dange, Paresh Maity, R K Laxman, Ramesh Gorjala, Shuvaprasanna, Santhana and Vivek Kumavat.
The work presented by these artists, with their storytelling skills and imagination, evoking dramatic emotions in the mind of the aesthete, contributes to the ‘Melodrama’. The palettes used by most of the artists with sparse and prudent usage of colour, representing the Monochrome aspect.
Ajay De’s masterful technique with charcoal includes employing his fingers, thumb and palm to achieve a phenomenal effect and a multitude of textures. Having found that his truth is reflected through the challenging black and white effect, he still dares to experiment with certain colours depicted by the strokes of red and blue in some of his canvases.
Amol Pawar’s work displays a strong connection with nature and the Indian mythology. His work is a melange of figurative and abstract art, brought alive with the usage of earthy hues to symbolize nature’s beauty. Pawar’s canvases are layered, bringing forth additional elements of colour dimensions, calligraphy and textures.
Ashif Hossain’s artwork encapsulates metropolitan cities across India embodying the secular fabric and vibrant cultures of the country.
Hossain uses brown and black to create a whimsical sense of nostalgia while playfully incorporating red and blue to disrupt the monochrome/sepia effect in an eye-catching manner. The masterful usage of the colour white creates a sense of openness in one frame.
Inspired by the life that prevails around him and the chaotic life of the city, his paintings create a sense tranquillity. The subtle nuance of using acrylic paint that appears to be water colours, ties his vision together seamlessly.
Datta Bansode has derived his inspiration from Buddha by promoting the philosophy of peace across his canvas. An earthquake that ravaged the city of Latur, where he spent his boyhood and its subsequent devastation, drained his need for using colour to express emotions. This transitioned his style of work from bright colours to a neutral palette with the combination of charcoal, white and beige.
Gurmeet’s works are based on narratives at two levels – the personal and the societal. The images are sarcastic expressions that have their origin in deeply felt emotions. The heart, the crown, the jars, the soda bottles, the donkey, the owl, and the cow are amongst the various symbols that he presents in his works. The series depicts examples of human behavior and interactions as satire, using animals as metaphors. He works in different mediums like charcoal, acrylic, oil, watercolour, lithograph, etching, linocut, and his personal favorite – woodcut. The usage of colour, especially red, makes the central idea of the art works even more salient.
With six decades in the industry, Jatin Das is a painter, sculptor and poet. The creative mastery of his repertoire has been a tribute to the human form in a poetic manner, channelling the human essence, energy and expression. Having created a plethora of art installations, murals, sculptures, his works are created using oil, watercolour, ink and conté.
Known as the master of line, Jogen Chowdhury uses unbroken lines to create a distortion of caricatures of men and women. Chowdhury’s work includes the usage of ink, water colour and pastel. It evokes a feeling of familiarity, wherein the face is a figment of imagination but the characteristics of the person give his work an effect rooted in reality.
Nagesh Ghodke draws inspiration from his geographical and cultural background in his work. An homage to village life and the Mediterranean hills is reflected in his acrylic paintings. The primitive shapes are reminiscent of a simple time. The colour palette remains monochromatic with a breath of fresh air in the usage of warm reds and yellows, alternated with cold blues and greys, provoking different emotions.
Nishant Dange’s works in charcoal on paper are odes to female beauty. Drawing a fine line between the sensuous and the sensual, Dange’s figures are graceful; yet executed with confident, bold lines. Using dark charcoal, the artist adds drama to the moment, striking a contrast with the other colours on the surface. Dange’s paintings draw on almost photographic aesthetic combining it with the bold drama of minimalism. The peacefully gradating black and greys are lit by a flood of monochromatic hues seeping through the canvas.
Paresh Maity is a maverick artist and his adventurous, experimental personality has prodded him to explore in all mediums – drawings, watercolours, oils, mixed media, installation and sculptures, photography and filmmaking. Paresh’s uniqueness lies in his rediscovering the charm, flavor and magic of India in his paintings. He has done series of works on almost all facets and destinations of India and then across the seas to London, Venice, China and Japan. He has painted them all. While in school he made clay images of gods and goddesses and sold them to earn money for his education. He started painting watercolours of river scenes while still at school and then then oil painting thereafter. He mastered the technique of oil painting at Government College of Art, Kolkata. His single minded determination to acquire formal training paid off when he came to Delhi to join the College of Art in New Delhi.
R K Laxman
Rasipuram Krishnaswami Laxman, famously known as R. K. Laxman was an Indian cartoonist who created the comic strip ‘You Said It’, featuring the “Common Man”—a silent observer representing the average Indian. The comic strip chronicled the life of the average Indian, his hopes, aspirations, and trouble. The character is a much beloved one among the Indian masses and has entertained generations of Indians over the past several decades. Laxman’s fascination with drawing began early on and he loved to look at the illustrations in magazines and newspapers even before he could read. He began drawing as soon as he could and filled the floors and walls of his house with doodles. It did not take him long to realize that drawing was his life’s calling and set about to make a career for himself as an artist.
Ramesh Gorjala’s work can be traced back to his strong artistic background. Being a family of weavers, his father was a prominent artist and his uncle instilled the love of the skill of Kalmkari into Gorjala at a young age. The canvases of this contemporary artist reflect a melting pot of art, divinity and storytelling. His homage to Indian mythology showcases Hanuman, Vishnu and Krishna, depicted in warm colours such as red, orange, saffron, gold with the playful inclusion of greens and blues.
Gorjala’s work can also be seen at the Hyderabad International airport. His multitude of shades bring out the multi-layered meaning to his work, which highlights the religious text and various other miniature details, meticulously placed in his work
A multidisciplinary artist, Ritu Kamath’s art transcends beyond the immediate and the personal to the level of the eternal and the universal. Ritu Kamath has experimented with several métiers and forms in her career as an artist. Her primary concern has been to create beauty and impact whether she is exploring the feminine form or exploring satires or themes of urban breakdown digitally in print series. She has created superbly conceived and executed each multilayered impactful work that projects its subject in an amazing quality of workmanship, I would say. The bounce and flow of these works is far beyond their frames.
Spending his early years in Chennai, Santhana’s creative eye was caught by the doors he used to pass daily. His muse of doors was furthered by his fascination of the door frame, the materials used that indicated the financial condition of the inhabitants as well as the manner in which the light hit the threshold. The slight peek beyond the door, attracts the imagination and wonder of the viewer. Thus, the unique concept of Santhana’s work became a reality.
His oeuvre is brightly coloured, finding home on wood in addition to canvas. The attention to detail in the rusting lock, saffron marks, the nostalgic look on the wall outside turns back the clock and reflects artistic brilliance in a simple form.
Born in 1947 at Kolkata, Shuvaprasanna, full name Shuvaprasanna Bhattacharya, who is fondly addressed as Shuva, studied Art at the Indian College of Arts & Draftsmanship in the city. Evoking irony as well as empathy, his work comes in an assortment of media – oil on canvas, drawings on paper, charcoal, and mixed media while he has also experimented with sculptural forms and installations. Shuvaprasanna often works in series and his themes range everywhere from cityscapes to clocks to crows and owls. His repertoire also includes passionflowers with their discrete erotic undertones and a divinity series that includes paintings of Radha and Krishna.
This exceptional group of artists chosen by Studio3 for this exhibition, have excelled in their field. They bring a new dimension with each of their individualistic styles and emphatically add to the Melodrama of the Indian Art space.