The exhibition is on display at Suryakanti Art gallery in Thiruvananthapuram till September 30
Is man’s existence predicated upon any intrinsic logic or is the linear progression of life merely haphazard? Perhaps, it’s hard to argue and arrive at a definitive conclusion. But what’s incontrovertible is the cycle of life that refuses to cease. ‘Circle of Reason’, an ongoing exhibition of paintings by 20 artists at Suryakanti Art Gallery is perhaps a take on the human condition as seen through diverse prisms, separating the spectral hues of emotions.
Encompassing 40 individual works, the display showcases various styles and treatment such as experimental, surrealistic and abstract in diverse media, including acrylic, acrylic and ink, printmaking, water colour and so on. News from the Middle East by Ramesh Narayana Rao who goes by his artist name Rameshchandra, is essentially a polyptych of four paintings depicting scenes from strife-torn regions of West Asia. If one of the pieces shows a military tank in the thick of action, another one is a poignant portrait of a father carrying his son on his shoulders while both helplessly watch a column of fire raging before them.
Sreelal KS’ sombre-toned works An Apparition in the Middle of the Night and A Window to the Wilderness, in geometric strokes, attempt to capture the same helplessness of man, only in more domestic settings. Calling a spade a spade, Lal K’s The Target in printmaking sends the explicit message of how humans have become their own ‘target’. While Sajitha R Shankhar’s works from her ‘archetype series’ come across as abstract takes on the meaning and origin of life, Tom Vattakuzhy’s Lessons of Life depicts the tenderness of a mother-child bond.
Upending the thoughtful solemnity of some of the works and looking at the other end of life’s spectrum is Roy Thomas’s One Thousand and One Winks, a set of four close-ups of rose-cheeked babies sleeping peacefully, one presumably smiling in its dream. Looking on the bright side are Kaladharan T’s Greeshmam, a blast of shades of green, and Vasantham, a riot of shades of red and yellow. The dazzle of his life-affirming strokes are matched in Biny Roy’s two ‘Bloom’ paintings that are hypnotic floral swirls.
Some of the works feel like companion pieces, for instance Kattur Narayana Pillai’s Green Complex and Brown Complex and Abhimanue Vadakkoot Govindan’s two works, both titled Second Skin. Another experimental piece on display is an untitled set of works by Murali Cheeroth in three circular canvases. Sandwiched between two paintings of fish bearing a tightly buckled belt around its belly in crimson waters is the disclaimer ‘Due to copyright restrictions, I am unable to illustrate this work’, a sly dig at modern-day strictures gagging art.
Jackson Pollock-Krasner Foundation Fellowship winner Pradeep Puthoor’s intricately crafted Mingled Mangled Hills in water colour is an abstract reflection of repercussions of man’s action, while Tensing Joseph’s surrealistic Mad of Macondo is a nod to the Latin American literary icon Gabriel Garcia Marquez and the fictional town of Macondo. Deepti P Vasu’s two slice-of-life pieces are essentially paintings of “selfies” by the artist herself with a cat and a squirrel for company.
The exhibition, which opened on Monday, celebrates the 20th anniversary of Suryakanti.
‘Circle of Reason’ will be on at Suryakanti Art Gallery, Sasthamangalam, till September 30. Timings: 11 am to 6 pm