HYDERABAD: The ongoing exhibition Nouveau 8x12, at Chitramayee: The Telangana State Fine Art Gallery, is an inspired effort by 13 professional artists who have come together to form a collective called ‘The Coal Group’. The agenda: To create an assertive and vigorous dialogue in the ecosystem of the plastic arts, specifically in the city. Opened recently Nouveau, is a first step towards inviting the audience to see creative statements in a larger-than-life dimension, especially based on the scale of eight by twelve feet. Besides, paintings and sculptures, installations, videos installations and art performance formed the format of this totally aspirational art event.
Briefly about ‘The Coal Group’: It is an informal group of artist friends, seeking new ways of expressing the continuum of their dialogue. Anand Gadapa, participating artist and art historian writes: “A few are drawn by the new thinking which was disseminated through pep talks, field trips, and conversations… Moreover, at least a few members have been trained in College of Fine Arts, Hyderabad and regrouped during their research at The English and Foreign Languages University of Hyderabad, MS University of Baroda and largely stimulated by inter-disciplinary ideologies of the institutions.
Thus, their studies focused on documenting films, folk-performances, visual art forms of Telangana employing new methodological tools. Gradually, the group started realising the significance of praxis, reacting to the existing gallery practice in the city of Hyderabad and changing modes of visual expressions, both in terms of disciplinary and alternate art practices in the sub-continent”.
Their collective field trips to art events like India Art Fair, Krishnakriti Festival, and the Kochi Muziris Biennale was an experience to assess their our own artistic practices which refreshed their thoughts and exposed them to alternate approaches. In fact, Nouveau 8x12 is a step towards creating a shift in the scheme of things, of reviewing the ongoing methodologies and rewriting the new memorandum of the creative agenda which would provide many more alternative possibilities for the plastic artists in the city.
Says Laxman Aelay, the mentor and guide of ‘The Coal Group’: “We have several plans that will open avenues for the coming generations of artists. In future, we have plans to host and organise, art events which will weed out the commercial tone from art and will attempt to bring in the academic or the intellectual aspect. To support such events we will have seminars, talks, lectures etc to create a new exhibiting and viewing culture in the city.”
While most of the artists in the existing show know that an 8x12 feet is a difficult deal to sell, they have, all-knowingly, invested their creative time and effort in mounting a show which aims at shifting the ways of seeing art. Although the content of the artwork is merely magnified onto a larger-than-life canvas, few of the artists have certainly contributed to creating a framework for future events that might have a lot more to offer. For instance, Priyanka Aelay’s Part of her mystery is how she is calm in the storm and anxious in the quiet, art performance attempts to remove blinkers of gender discrimination so rampant even in contemporary urbanised societies.
Other artists who also have mounted video art and installations are Nirmala Biluka, Laxman Aelay, Masuram Ravikanth, and Anand Gadapa. The mammoth works on display create a museum ambiance, challenging the artist to engage with space which is almost like producing a mural. Anand Gadapa, Bharath Sayam Yadav, Jayaprakash Doma, Kumaraswamy Bhaktala, Laxman Aelay, Nagesh Goud Bolgum, Narsimlu Kandi, Nirmala Biluka, Priti Samyukta, Priyanka Aelay, Ravikanth Masuram, Shankar Pamarthy and Shivaramachary Yerraginnela have taken up this challenge seriously and are sure to inspire many more contemporaries and the younger generation of artists to come forward with fresh ideas of expressions. The show is on till November 21