Shobha Bhatia, Director, Gallerie Ganesha presents a solo show of Madhubani paintings, albeit with a modern, contemporary touch, by artist Neelkant Choudhary at Gallerie Ganesha, E-557, Greater Kailash II, New Delhi-48 from March 7, 2013 till April 5, 2013. Phone @ 29226043, 29217306.
Although Neelkant remains loyal to the traditional Madhubani templates, he has innovated with icons and figures in a manner no contemporary painter has. His motifs are traditional as well as modern - from depictions of Durga and Kali to charwomen and village children walking to school. He brings to Madhubani art the freshness of his keen eye and his courage to experiment and innovate.
Says Shobha Bhatia, Director, Gallerie Ganesha: “The sheer variety of Neelkant’s Madhubani is staggering. He belongs to the Madhubani School but is a bold individualist in his work. Madhubani painting is the traditional art form or a ritual community art of the Mithila region of North Bihar. Deeply rooted in Mithila’s folk culture, Madhubani painting has been traditionally done by women to decorate their home walls for festivals and occasions like weddings. It relies heavily on icons of Hindu mythology and figures from the nature. Madhubani's unique features are its uni-dimensional depictions, its intricate sketch work and its brilliant colour schemes.”
According to Neelkant Choudhary, “The fine lines of my works have been pulled from the deep and long tradition of the Mithila-Madhubani art form and married to modern metaphors under delicate ministering. Over the years, though, Madhubani has broken bounds, adopted new manifestations and expanded its constituency. My works mark a departure not merely of newly and widely imagined themes. I have also brought to the form an entirely new idiom of tone and tenor. Monotones and pastels, for instance, have rarely been infused into the Madhubani art form. Neither have human figures which, in my eyes, become a fascinating fusion of race and geography. This is an entirely novel line of work from my varied portfolio. It has always been a passion for me to work with fine lines very similar to the tradition of miniature paintings. Working with lines in the minutest details and trying to give expressions to the characters’ in these paintings, and also changing this traditional painting from very flat to a three dimensional and perspective effect has been like a great journey. As an artist with a traditional background it was very difficult and also very interesting to break away from the traditional to modern figures and subjects while also trying to work on the traditional lines so as to maintain the familiarity with the traditional paintings.”
Neelkant Choudhary, born in 1962 in Bihar, did his BFA from University of Punjab, Chandigarh. He has worked on a project to trace the roots of Madhubani and examining its contemporary state and relevance.