Eminent artist V S Gaitonde is once supposed to have negated the classification of his work as ‘abstract’, retorting that a painting was a painting irrespective of whether it was ‘abstract’ or ‘figurative’. It is the same sensibility that marks Satish Bhaisare’s art. For Bhaisare, the perception of the image and the effect that it can have on the viewer are of greater relevance than the tags one may use to classify it.
Viewing Bhaisare’s works is a compelling experience. Pulsating with energy and rhythm, his linear canvases display a trance-like quality. This is due to the vivid colours and his process of work. Working with acrylic pigments on canvas, he seldom gives in to the temptation to apply colours rapidly in broad areas. Instead, he restrains himself and builds up the colour in slow, steady lines that lends a meditative feel to the work. A solo show of such works titled Between The Lines is being presented by Apparao Galleries in Delhi currently. One may even read his technique of using lines to create broad tonal areas as a metaphor for another kind of tension within the work. There is a distinct urge in Bhaisare’s works to create forms that are oval, triangular or rectilinear. Yet the moment he articulates this desire, he also seems to erase it by dissolving the form into a mass of energetic lines. Hence, there is a two-way process within his work. His work is poised at the brink of coherence and incoherence, form and formless. This liminal aspect gives his work a dynamic tension while revealing his profound awareness of the nature of art.
Nandalal Bose commenting on Rabindranath Tagore’s art says that a “significant fact about Gurudev’s painting is that they always deal with life in its process of unfoldment, suggesting energy... This emphasis on what may be called ‘aliveness’ is a natural characteristic of Gurudev’s paintings”. These words could very well be used to describe Bhaisare’s art too since he creates taut energy fields. He does so by using vivid monochromes with sporadic interventions of a contrasting colour. The energy in Bhaisare’s canvases can perhaps be explained by his interest in the work of Jackson Pollock. However, there is a key difference between the works of Pollock and Bhaisare. While the former’s works have an uncontained energy, Bhaisare’s are distinguished by their inherent sense of harmony and music.
Listening to classical Hindustani music as he works, Bhaisare explores the sublime connection between art and music in his imagery. While in his earlier series of works, Bhaisare created a lyrical quality through the use of synchronised lines, in his present body of works, he achieves the same effect through the manipulation of colour, especially through the use of various shades of blue. Bhaisare is keenly aware of the relationships between colour, form and effect. He uses blues, alternating with blinding white or deep blue to create deep voids or towering spaces that create a multiplicity of effects. Ranging from the sonorous to the quiet and meditative, he creates infinite spaces that have a cosmic connotation.
(Poonam Goel is a freelance journalist who contributes articles on visual arts for unboxedwriters.com)