This is not the first time artist Shalini Gupta is presenting an exhibition, but she feels the same jitters she felt during her first show a few years ago. Titled ‘Colours and Textures Beyond Forms’, the exhibit is her third solo exhibition. She is excited and nervous, something that has been a constant ever since Gupta started showcasing her work in the public domain. “This show displays 25 of my abstract paintings. Having worked on them diligently for the last few months, I am happy to see the response. I often stand in the exhibition room and try to gauge the reactions of the visitors. When somebody stands in front of one of my artworks for a long period, I feel them being appreciated,’’ she says with a smile.
After several group shows and art camps, Gupta, who hails from Jaipur, considers Jackson Pollock and Vasudev Gaitonde as her inspirations. Like them, she too aspires to be one of the finest and cloistered abstract painters of India. ‘‘They have impacted my work tremendously. Goes without saying I have learnt a lot by just observing their works,’’ says Gupta.
Trained as a commercial artist, she moved from rigid boundaries of form and structure to the freedom colours and textures. Her experiments with the same opened new horizons of creativity.
Keshav Mali, a prominent Indian poet, critic, arts scholar, and curator, who inaugurated the show, says, ‘‘Her colours vary from the naturalistic colour like that of an old-time master of atmosphere to the flat colour areas of a stained glass window. In either case, her works seem to please the viewer’s contemplating eye.’’
With her latest exhibition on till October 11 at the India International Centre, Lodhi Road, Gupta has her hands full. Scrambling for time, she manages to tell us how elated she is to be able to find a space that truly does justice to her works. ‘‘Part of the popularity of the show accounts to the kind of place you put it up at. India International Centre has been the perfect place as I see sincere patrons of arts and culture come in every single day,’’ she says.
With every painting showcasing a different emotion, Gupta made sure she broke the monotony of form and pattern. ‘‘All my paintings have different themes and textures. No two paintings are alike. I don’t follow any set rules. I paint what I feel like at a given moment in time. Of course, my hallmark is using rich vibrant colours that prove to be an asset to my artistic expressions’’ she says.
The joy of abstraction should not be confined to artists and critics is something Gupta feels very strongly about. It could be a visual delight for everyone. “It has always been my quest to strive to engage the viewers through my colours and textures within formlessness of my compositions. That is also the reason all my paintings are untitled and I refrain from any pretentiousness.”
With aesthetics and simplicity being her trademarks, Gupta’s compositions are unique. She feels proud of being able to enjoy the freedom of expression through colours without having to fall into the trap of interpretations.