Saturday, May 25, 2013

Devidas Dharmadhikari, In Favour of Labour and More


Faces of Freedom-  Devidas Dharmadhikari

Devidas Dharmadhikari’s recent show of figurative and portraiture works can invoke such intense feelings in the viewer urging them into an introspective mode, observes Sushma Sabnis.

(Devidas Dharmadhikari)

‘Imagination, like Pegasus, takes flight to claim the sky,
Imagination like a pebble dives into the abyss to claim the ocean...’

For Pune based artist Devidas Dharmadhikari, the concept of an inner and an outer realm of existence features prominently in his works. Devidas in his show titled, ‘Freedom within the Bonding’, brings to fore a concept which has diversified from his earlier shows. He has  displayed his earlier works a few years ago in a show called ‘ Don’t Stamp Me’, focused on the bias that any and every human being faces in their lives. The ‘stamp’ could be gender based, psychological, social, political, religious, or conceptual branding of humankind as a whole. Devidas believes everyone is branded from birth and perhaps even before birth. His show focussed on how an individual’s persona is shaped subtly using these sublime parameters, in turn forming an entire society and a nation of like minded groups of individuals, irrespective of their individuality.

In his latest works, he explores the human psyche as opposed to the surrounding influences. Taking off from the Stamp series, this series deals with the individual’s interactions within a society and structurally specific scenario. Devidas believes that no individual is devoid of an unseen bonding which allows them a kind of a freedom, ironically, this freedom also allows this bonding. He believes that freedom and bonding are like two faces of a coin which are inseparable and each has its own need of the other to exist, almost a symbiotic existence. Mutually limited in expression, the bonding and the freedom can express only to a certain extent and this duality and balance of existence can be well understood by anyone who has probably committed to something.

(Painting by Devidas Dharmadhikari)

Devidas, a G D in Art (painting) from the Dalvi's Art Institute, Kolhapur, has worked in various mediums and the Freedom within the Bonding series is entirely rendered in acrylic on canvas. The works are portraitures of people, perhaps known to the artist, in very similar poses, namely, with their heads slightly bowed down and their eyes in a semi open state as if they were in meditation or lost in deep thought about something or someone. Perhaps they are introspecting about their own lives. The visual and the palette focuses entirely on the emotion that the face evokes in the viewer.

One could come across such a visage in a journey, or as a co-passenger in a bus, or just some person who sits alone lost in thought at a coffee shop. The faces have a familiar expression, one which can be seen on people who are probably lost in a delicious memory of a loved one, or perhaps in preparation of something profoundly serious in their respective lives. Some faces even hint at a romantic memory being reminisced or in anticipation of a romantic memory, some are in absolute communion with the Supreme in a dialogue not privy to the outside world.

 (Painting by Devidas Dharmadhikari)

Devidas captures all of these emotions accurately without giving out too much information about any of the protagonists or their thoughts. They are silent, but they speak volumes with out even making eye contact with the viewer. The alluring paintings almost make the viewer ask the question, ‘what are you thinking about?’

The visuals have tiny markings, typography, words, florals and symbols which are interspersed quietly into the painting without being domineering or taking the attention away from the protagonists, at the same time they are of relevance because they are perhaps keys to the answer of the above question. One of the paintings, has the face of a young girl, her lips about to break into a smile, a similar image has been graphically styled into four monochrome sections in another painting, and this one has a winged horse subtly implying the girl’s state of mind.

The silent thoughts of the protagonists and the viewer’s curiosity about those thoughts creates a bonding between them, yet the viewer has the freedom to interpret as they deem right and perhaps that is in itself a connect between the artist and the viewer. Devidas’ works are on view at the Hirji Gallery at the Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai till the 27th of May 2013.

Devidas Dharmadhikari lives and works in Pune.


Melange - traditional and contemporary art

Pearl Art Gallery, New Delhi, presents a show titled, ‘Melange’ showcasing the exquisite works of a group of upcoming and established artists in the country. The show displays works as paintings and sculptures, rendered in various styles and mediums.

The works are mostly figurative in style and with intricate details depicting a variety of themes. The vibrancy of the canvases evokes a certain kind of infectious energy in the viewer. The works are replete with the courage to depict human figures and interpret their interactions in various scenarios urban and rural. The show displays a mix of traditional and contemporary art merging in an eclectic expression.

The participating artists are Ramesh Gorjala, Kishore Roy, Sachindernath Jha, Laxman Aelay, Nisha Singh and Shashi Paul.

The show is on view till the 8th of June 2013.

Resonating emotion through Art

 Artist’s Centre, Mumbai presents a solo exhibition of art works by artist Medha Rangnekar, in a show titled, ‘ Resonance 2013’. The show displays Medha’s attempt to let feral ideas take shape and voice in the language of colours and forms. These ideas blend into narratives in the paintings reflecting the myriad moods of the artist.

Medha is a J J  School of Art graduate in Applied art and her theme of the art works displays an unbridled use of colour, texture, technique and style. She boldly and confidently applies on the canvas not just colour but colour dipped in emotion. The outcome is a bold expression which is eye catching, vibrant and very powerful.

The show starts on the 3rd of June 2013 and will go on till the 9th of June 2013.

In favour of the Labour

The Ganges Art Gallery, Kolkata, presents a group show by six artists titled, ‘Shrom O Shramik’. The show focuses on the idea of labour and laborers in independent India.  The works have been rendered in a variety of mediums such as acrylic on paper, acrylic on canvas, oils on canvas, installations created with iron rods and fibre glass, mixed media works with acrylic, brick dust and clay, photographs, found objects installations and steel.

The variety of the show is also in the kind of works on display from paintings to paper work, from steel installations to mixed media and photography and collage works.

The artists participating in the show are Debraj Goswami, Pratul Dash, Chandra Bhattacharya, Sanjeev Sonpimpare, Prasanta Sahu, Chhatrapati Dutta.

The artists have tried to depict the hard working class of the underbelly of society, the labourers who toil day and night to make ends meet or build mansions while living in dire circumstances. The show tries to portray the class divide in society and inhuman treatment subjected to them and raises questions about such sections of society which are blatantly ignored.

The show is on view till the 30th of May 2013.

(News Reports by Sushma Sabnis)

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