Tracing Time - Works on Paper
400 001 Mumbai
Using paper as a medium, has long given artists the flexibility to work on a more detailed and contained scale. And though the support has its limitations like all others, it allows for a playfulness that is unique and leaves us in the end with some of the most ethereal creations. Watercolors, acrylics, tempera, gouache and a multitude of other elements have been used here to bring to life landscapes and fantasies, abstracts that evoke deep-rooted emotions and the angst of separation and loss. Combined together they stand out as precious adjuncts to the métiers of all these Modern and Contemporary artists, giving us glimpses of the true skill and finesse with which they can transform with a few strokes of a brush, an ordinary blank page into a mellifluous ode.
On display are a combination of both Modern and Contemporary artists - Aji VN, FN Souza, Ganesh Haloi, K.G. Subramanyan, Manjit Bawa, Mithu Sen, NN Rimzon, NS Harsha, Nilima Sheikh, Ram Kumar, Shyamal Dutta Ray, Sudhir Patwardhan and Zarina Hashmi.
Aji VN’s work belongs to his famed charcoal on paper series and depicts a dark, brooding landscape that draws the viewer in with its intensity. While FN Souza’s chemical drawings stand disturbingly fluid and starkly different from Manjit Bawa’s capricious figures. On view are also studies by NS Harsha that depict the beginnings of his famed project Cosmic Orphans which was executed on the terrace of the Sri Krishna temple in Singapore. The entire floor of the terrace was covered with sleeping figures of children, vagrants and mendicants, all who lay in deep sleep blissfully unaware of those who walked over them. These studies show the gestation of this site-specific masterpiece, and rendered in pale blue watercolor are dramatically different from the finished project. Other works include a rare 1978 Sudhir Patwardhan drawing and two Nilima Sheikh works that depict her landscapes in their characteristic minimalism.
Together these works on paper comprise an eclectic mix of work by some of the most respected and critically acclaimed artists, that stand out as the products of the newly defined artistic niche India has carved for herself.