The Living Insignia
Art activity this summer never seems to diminish! Yet another gallery makes its entry into the art world in the hope to create a niche for itself with its inaugural show. Aesthetically named Gallery Ensign, this is the brainchild of Seema Subbanna, a design professional, visual merchandiser & art consultant, who has put together a group show titled ‘The Living Insignia’ showcasing artworks on paper by twenty veteran artists at Gallery Ensign, B- 17, Geetanjali Enclave, New Delhi from May 27, 2010 to July 10, 2010. The exhibition includes more than forty works on paper in prints, watercolor, charcoal, drawings, metallic ink, etchings, Chinese ink & gold, crayons and more.
The participating artists are Thota Vaikuntam, Sunil Das, Sakti Burman, K. G Subramanyam, Laxma Goud, Jogen Chowdhury, K. R Subbanna, Gogi Saroj Pal, Ved Nayar, Rabin Mondal, S.G Vasudev, A. Ramachandran, Chameli Ramachandran, Jyoti Bhatt, R. B. Bhaskaran, Sanat Kar, Chinthala Jagdish, Surya Prakash, P. Khemraj and Arpana Caur.
Says Seema Subbanna (Director, Gallery Ensign): “My interest in art began when I got into consulting for some reputed art galleries. I have always been an avid collector and have a formal background in visual merchandising & design. It was Laxma Goud who inspired me to start this venture and my business partner gave me the necessary confidence to start this gallery. Ensign is a synonym for colours which are replete in the first show that I have put together. I want to stand apart from other galleries by focusing on paper works alone. In fact some of these artists may not be known for working in this medium.”
Jyoti Bhatt’s mission as a painter and a graphic artist is to preserve and to seek inspiration from the fast-disappearing folk art traditions of rural India. He has been inspired by the colourful stylised motifs of cross-stitch embroidery, rangoli motifs and the use of traditional calligraphic ideograms from his native Saurashtra. Teeming with signs and symbols in what can be described as decorative-figurative-narrative, Bhatt’s work are full of sound and movement, and the forms, patterns and gestures speak of multiple human relationships and an autobiographical experience while being placed in the larger context of a socio-political and cultural reality. He is also known for his mastery in printmaking especially intaglio and screen printing.
P. Khemraj, widely known as the ‘renaissance man’ of the Indian art, focused on creating ‘lasting art’. He had given a new dimension to modern art with his colourful and often mind-boggling depiction of the female form that reflected sensuality and extravagant view of life at large in his artworks. His acrylic, pen and ink on paper portray the delicate dreams of an idyllic world of lovers, birds and mystical creatures.
In Gogi Saroj Pal’s paintings, woman’s desire vis-à-vis prescribed societal roles is scrutinized quite persistently. Often her female figures acquire wings or extra limbs, expressing unspoken desires or predicament.
Over the years, Sunil Das has embraced different artistic flavours and preferences, never succumbing to the need for a single or fixed direction and approach. Covering a range of subjects that are also representative of his various concerns and connections with the world, in and outside India; the artist rocks the scene with his representations of ‘horses and bulls’, his favourites, drawn with a debonair flair and vivacious lines that brought the animals alive on the surface they are drawn- speeding, grazing, resting and thoughtful, capturing the animal in their mood and various stances.
Painter, sculptor, muralist, K. G Subramanyan uses his in-depth knowledge of various artistic traditions to create fantastical images of wit and eroticism that are universal in their appeal, yet coupled with iconic symbols drawn from Indian legends and folklore. He is among the few artists who have explored the possibilities of modern art from a different perspective, giving new dimensions to the human figure by making them appear more as characters from various myths and traditional narratives, populating a composition quite the contrary.
Born to Chinese and Indian parents at Santiniketan, Chameli Ramachandran’s works adeptly unite the lush, abundant landscapes of Bengal with the pensive, meditative quality of ancient Chinese philosophy. Her sensitive compositions capture the gentle, discreet amity of natural elements such as breeze and light, as they play with leaves and flowers. The hushed rustling of the trees and the sun’s translucent rays bouncing off the soft concave surfaces of flower petals is brought to life by her masterful amalgamation of metallic pigments with ink. The evanescence of pain and pleasure may also be sensed in her works, as turbulent waves crash against lonesome rocks, coconut palms sway gently in the breeze, and lotus flowers float calmly in a pond.
Laxma Goud displays versatility over a range of mediums, from printmaking, drawing, watercolour, gouache and pastels to glass painting and sculpture in bronze and terracotta. His portraits of men and women represent the dynamic Indian ethos rather than particular individual identities. A recurrent theme with the artist is that of the erotic, treated as an active and powerful aspect of male and female sexuality and existence. Goud’s work is dramatic; his protagonists are raw and vivacious in their appeal, imbibed with energy that reverberates through his strokes and textures. The artist’s art works is centered on the rural, recreating landscapes from his childhood as if they were frozen in time.