“Beauty is to be found not only in nature – it was the main reason for building.”
Leon Battista Alberti, Architect
The degree of ornamentation of cityscapes is truly influenced by the beauty and aesthetics in the architectural compositions and the spatial forms of its buildings. ‘Architecture as Inspiration’ explores this architectural character through the visual connotations of artists; bringing forth the edificial riches of the cities and urban spaces of yore and present day, the riches assumed in small degrees but over turns of centuries.
The resplendence and grandeur of Benares, a city as old as history and thriving with spirituality, is enlivened most effectually in the works of Amit Bhar and Tapas Ghosal. Amit has portrayed in a sublimely naturalistic effect, the spiritual appeal of Benares’ scenic landscape: the loftily rising temple spires, the royal palaces, the serenic ghats, crowded market places. The refined detailing and the use of rich warm colours make his works appear almost lifelike and photorealistic, quite in reminiscence to the Company school of painting. In high contrast to Amit’s style, artist Tapas Ghosal also narrates the Benares’ cityscape but in a semi abstract style with the fluidity of his brush strokes and rich hues to encapture the city’s truest essence.
The works of artists Kamal Pandya and Sohini Dhar finds inspirational source from the architectural rendition in the Indian miniature paintings, with both artists tending gradually the elements of miniatures to set foot in their variations of contemporary urban spaces and city layouts. Kamal’s works in his assemblage of colourful buildings, construe the miniaturist details of arches, domes, pine trees whereas Sohini subjectively portrays her avowed enchantment with nature in the miniature styled landscapes. She puts forth the issues of urbanisation and the rather detrimental encroachment of human’s activities into natural forays featured as the web of road trails, the long sequence of fences, barricades and map-like contours against the landscapes.
The variances in the portrayal of cityscapes find a whole new dimension in the works of Somenath Maity; imbued in layers of rich palette and pictorially noting the cultural connoisseurship of Kolkata with its empirical buildings, arterial formations, causeways and narrow winding alleys. The artist terms the abstractual imprints and the rather silhouetted impressions of the buildings and edifices as ‘Structures’ aptly suiting his work’s imagery. Somenath’s works without human any representation is well contrasted with Arindam Chakraborty’s works; metaphorically relating the structural deterioration of buildings in cities with the ever- transitional phases of a person’s emotional sojourn. Arindam highlights through his works the abandonment of human occupations in constant attempts to find better prospects eventually leading to the somewhat structural sabotage of the prevailing architectural forms.
The artworks of Krishnendu Porel, Pallon Daruwala and Pradip Maitra interpret the cultural, emotional and humane aspects allied with the structural forms in the uniqueness of their styles with Krishnendu’s works evoking a compelling sense of musing as he subjects the farcical state of architectural monuments, being razed off the in the face of turbulent war situations; with the rose emphatically suggestive of the peace amongst all the turmoil. Pallon encapsulates through his fine art prints the visual expressions of the temple architectural façade from Kutch and the grandeur of the ‘Aina Mahal’ of Maharao Palace also in Kutch whereas Pradip Maitra works in the wash technique of water colour representing the historical monuments from Rajasthan as tourist places and the dependence of local population on them for sustenance in the arid desert region.