Home Art/Culture Recovering art mart dishes out reality-innovation combine

Recovering art mart dishes out reality-innovation combine

By Madhusree Chatterjee, IANS,

New Delhi : Delhi-based artist Asurvedh crafts birds in bronze and makes them fly out in droves from sculpted homes, nests and cages, symbolising freedom from captivity.

“I have been sculpting birds since I was in college. Most of the common species of birds like sparrows, brown robins and small colourful bulbuls have almost disappeared. Birds lift spirits and the morning birdsong fills up empty spaces in life. They spell freedom,” Asurvedh told IANS.

Reality is the theme of art on the autumn-winter exhibition calendar this time despite artists probing new creative frontiers to stand out in a market that is recovering from a slump and is wary of parking money in young art.

“My sculptures are never far from reality, though the expressions are different,” the 1969 born Asurvedh said.

He also sculpts heritage monument replicas in bronze. “I have sculpted India Gate, the Gateway of India in Mumbai and the old ‘havelis’ of Rajasthan. I try to spread the message of conservation of both natural and built heritage through my art,” Asurvedh said.

His first solo exhibition of sculptures, “Birds Home Coming”, began Wednesday at Gallery Ragini in south Delhi’s Ladosarai.

Naren Bhiku Ram Jain, the director of Art Mall, one of Asia’s biggest art retail houses, told IANS: “The market is looking up. But principally the market was never down for ‘affordable art’. Buyers were mainly speculating.

“The hyperbolism – hyping of art by the media – has actually created an awareness about good art over the last two years. The aesthetic trend this season is more realistic, figurative and innovative.”

Jain said most artists this season were using multi-media techniques and blending genres. “A sculptor told me that he was fusing his fibre glass sculptures with oil colours,” Jain said.

Singapore-based artist Sunaina Bhalla uses the ancient Japanese tradition of “gouache on silk of the Haiku poets” to paint on large-format canvases. Her exhibition, “Towards Utopia”, began at the Experimental Art Gallery in the India Habitat Centre Sep 27.

She has been inspired by religion and socio-political and economic realities of India for her largely “concept-based images”.

The metaphors of her expression, however, are drawn from nature. “I have experimented with textures this time – using block prints and gels. My work has grown larger but I have returned to my roots of my textile designing days. As a result, the patterns I draw are repetitive (as in patterned fabric),” Bhalla told IANS.

Most of her canvases are in monochrome. Bhalla’s works speak of “rulers, oppression, money and how religion can guide man to a better life”.

Poonam Belvi Sahi, a Delhi-based artist, whose exhibition, “Over The Moon”, opens at the Alliance Francaise Oct 7, is inspired by the moon, Indian figures and artist Manjit Bawa.

Most of her figures are “people from across the states of India romancing a half moon” – a relationship that the artist says is “older than history itself”.

“I travel to the countryside to seek inspiration,” said the artist, who paints with a broad fan-shaped brush gifted to her by her tutor, the late Bawa.

It helps her “get the tonalities and even out the colours”.

Sahi has experimented with mediums for her moon series. “I have used real gold leaf to paint a woman’s feet, Indian tea liquor and turmeric for the yellow, brown and ochre shades that predominate my figures,” Sahi said.

“I think realistic figures painted with a new perspective still appeal to art lovers,” the graphic designer-turned-artist, who is planning a new series on goddess Durga, said.

(Madhusree Chatterjee can be contacted at [email protected])