From galleries to subway

With an aim to bring public closer to diverse works of art, a new exhibition curated by Kishore Labar is on view at Janpath Subway in the capital city

Published: 16th January 2020 06:17 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th January 2020 06:17 AM   |  A+A-

(Left) Various art works on display at Janpath subway and (top) artist Sulu Mathew with her art work

Express News Service

You all visit galleries if you want to see an art exhibition. What if the vice versa happens? And the gallery visits you! Surprised? Don’t be! The NDMC has been trying to do so for the last four years now – getting art closer to you.I am talking about the fourth edition of the group art exhibition, Triump of Masterworks :Our National Pride, currently on view at Janpath Subway.

Curated by Kishore Labar, the exhibition is showcasing more than 200 works of over 50 professional artists and sculptors from across the country. Significantly, the youngest participant is an 8-year-old while the oldest is 80, proving the claims of the NDMC that the only aim of the show is to promote good art, irrespective of the age, gender or genre.

Stating that the objective of this show is to bring greater wellness into urban life, which is deeply stressed due to hectic pace of life in the city, NDMC Chairperson Dharmendra says, “This show is our unique initiative to promote art and culture among citizens as well as provide a platform to the artists to present their works.” Adds Dr Rashmi Singh, IAS, Secretary NDMC, “It is a unique initiative; we are bringing the art to the people.”

Each artwork is unique in itself, and each has a message, which as a viewer you can individually draw. So, you have the works of masters like Anil Tato who indulges in geometric forms to bring out different expressions and moods, Shailesh Sanghvi’s paper collage on acrylics that depict landscape of hills and rivers, the spiritual learning of Dr Suryasnata Mohanty on canvas through her series Colours of Faith and Sulu Mathew’s works that talk about maintenance of ecological balance and food chain.  

Then, there is artist Anjali Mittal whose portrayal of turbulent sea and flowers bring in a breath of fresh air in equal measure as do Manjula Kumar’s celebration of life through tulips and trees while Mamoon Nomani works of bright sun illuminating the landscape.

“The show is a confluence of traditional and unique styles. We have works in different genres, be it acrylic, oil, water colours – that take the viewer to the class of the familiar masters with the freshness of the promising and emerging artists,” says curator Kishore Labar, adding that this is the 15th time an art show is being held in the subway as apart from Triumph of Masters, he has also curated art exhibitions on Swachch Bharat, Independence Day and Republic Day for NDMC at the same venue. “This time we have also included a lot of folk art like Warli, Sujani (thread and colour) and Madhubani. The idea is to expose public to all kinds of art forms and also educate them,” he says.

Dr Mohanty states that participating in the show has been an inspiring experience. “It gives a lot of satisfaction when people moving through the subway, pause to have a look at my painting, at times seeking to know its meaning. An artist feels fulfilled when she has touched a chord with a commoner,” she says, adding that public art is akin to galleries visiting people. “It is much better than some selected people visiting galleries,” she opines.

“Showing in the Janpath subway is an interesting experience. The show is very well curated,” agrees Mathew, whose works – pen on paper or canvas – are a visual representation of her childhood fascination for elephants which are an integral part of life in Kerala where she grew up, as also her bid to spread awareness about their conservation. “Elephants play an important role in our eco system and we need to protect them,” she says, adding it is important to encourage public art as it helps to democratise access and makes art and its appreciation more rooted in local cultures.

“Time has come for art to move out of the boundaries of galleries, museums and auditoriums to open public spaces so that people can enjoy and art doesn’t remain the prerogative of a select few,” says Labar.Sure enough. This show is one good attempt at that.

Distinct artworks
Each artwork is unique in itself, and each has a message, which as a viewer you can individually draw. So, you have the works of masters like Anil Tato who indulges in geometric forms to Shailesh Sanghvi’s paper collage that depict landscapes.

TILL: January 18

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