Taking contemporary to a whole new level

BANGALORE: Art in India has always been an integral part of our lives. Ancient art forms indicate that we managed to achieve the highest form of sophistication and abstraction at an early age.

Published: 19th March 2012 12:54 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 06:38 PM   |  A+A-

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(Express News Photo)

BANGALORE: Art in India has always been an integral part of our lives. Ancient art forms indicate that we managed to achieve the highest form of sophistication and abstraction at an early age. Rooted in spirituality, Indian art has drawn inspiration from several cultures including Persian, Oriental and European. Experimenting with diverse styles and mixed media contemporary Indian art too has emerged strongly today. Taking contemporary to a whole new level, Amit Bhar’s latest exhibition titled The Spiritual, The Sensual, The Cityscape explored the rustic landscape of Kolkata, divinity of Buddha and Banaras, and the sensuality of a woman. City Express takes a look at the mesmerising artworks created by him which were on display at Mahua Art Gallery recently.

An artist always chooses to express what he feels sans any preconceived notions or boundaries. Exploring art work ranging from acrylic, oil to pencil; Bhar has managed to merge divinity with fine art. Clean lines, crisp texture and wonderful interplay of light and shadows were observed with his interpretation of Ganesha (acrylic, pen and pencil on board). Spirituality forms a central theme of most of his paintings which are realistic with hints of metaphysical elements.

With Mother and Child, he has managed to capture both fragility of their relationship and the innocence of a child. The artist’s obsession with bucolic backdrops led him to discover the rich heritage and spiritual culture of Kolkata. Dusky vintage setting, contemplative eyes of the rickshaw puller and the creative portrayal of electric wires transport you to a realm of solitary bliss. Each of his pencil works exhibit sheer poetry and is reminiscent of a memory rather distant from reality. As one looks at Victoria Memorial Hall, a feeling of awe and admiration surpasses all senses. For, in these works lie the true meaning of artistic mastery that is nostalgic yet alive, and rustic yet contemporary.

Amit Bhar has often spoken of his style as a new semi realistic technique of texturing with an interesting play of light and shade. In fact the artist has a knack for examining the threshold of reality and illusion with every subject. Delving into a whole new dimension of alluring sensuality, Bhar’s depiction of women bathing in the Ganges deserves special mention. Bold strokes and creamy texture coupled with warm undertones added a certain mystic

feel to this series.

Undoubtedly, the serenity of Buddha came alive with his series on Varanasi. The canvas adorned with lotuses (symbolic indicators of peace and purity), the cracked metallic texture and minimalist theme of the paintings instill a sense of peace and calmness. This series was inspired from the images of Ajanta paintings and Gandhara sculptures.

Amit carefully blends the two forms of ancient Indian art and adds his own dynamic style to them.

He discovered different perspectives to the luminous city of Banaras too. Through the confluence of rivers, religious rituals and beliefs, he managed to capture the tranquility of the place. Bhar strikes a perfect balance between symbolical mysticism and fantasy. Be it misty mornings, the hypnotic eyes of a Sadhu or amber skies, everything about this place entices both the artist and the observer.

And, paying a tribute to Rabindranath Tagore, Amit Bhar’s experimentation with parched paper, rustic gold and wavy features led to the discovery of beauty in its simplicity.

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