IT is not every day that you get to treat yourself to the works of masters like FN Souza, SH Raza and Jogen Chowdhury along with emerging and talented artists like Mahavir Verma, Sanjay Srivastav and Divya Mann on the art circuit. It is an opportunity one shouldn’t to miss. Up and running at the Open Palm Court Gallery, India Habitat Centre in New Delhi is a group art exhibition, Illusions that boasts of a wide range of paintings from various genres — canvas to paperwork to sculptures in fibre, brass and bronze.
As the show’s curator Ranbir Rathi puts it, “An illusion is essentially seeing and feeling something that is there but perceiving or interpreting it in a different way. It is an experience involving the apparent perception of something not present — illusions are best understood through art. This group show features pioneer artists as also the journey of emerging artists. The emphasis on visual illusions occurs because vision dominates the other senses like an artist can imagine flying horses on clouds or butterflies on human head.”
Illusion, Rathi adds, can describe a reality that doesn’t exist to convey a deeper meaning. “One of the paintings by artist Ashok Bhowmick depicts two women with birds on their head. The birds represent freedom in the mind of these two women who have restrictions and boundaries. In his painting, Whispering Silence, artist Sanjay Shrivastav generates the strong feeling of wanting to see the world from a different angle. The fears, frustrations and sorrows of the human being are shown in juxtaposition to other feelings like a search for happiness and for being loved and cared,” she puts in.
Talking about the show, artist Dr Nitin Majumder, who holds a doctorate in fine arts, says, “As the name suggests, the show has meticulously balanced the works of masters with contemporary art practitioners.” The artist adds that nature and human forms have inspired him since childhood.
“I am often requested to explain my works. And being able to say something that is coherent in response to an inquiry is probably an important tool in a toolbox of professional artists like me. It is my experience that an artist who works deeply often does not have a clue what he has done. Sometimes he knows what his original intentions were but not always. The reason being much of the best art is accomplished in a state of surrender. And art simply arrives in a rather mysterious way, often with no clear direction from the artist. So a subsequent explanation can be tricky,” he says.
Another talented artist whose works are on display is Shankar Thakur. A contemporary water colour artist based in Delhi-NCR, Thakur began painting as a child, and is doing so till today. “Ever since, I first picked up the brush in my childhood, I have never looked back. Water colour paintings are considered a unique way to creatively represent dreams, illusions, emotions and positive feelings using water-soluble pigments. Hence they call for a great deal of precision and control,” he opines.