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Poetic images

`Verbal Passages' is an exhibition of paintings, prints and sculpture by six Bangalore-based artists. On at the Easel Art Gallery till April 24.

`VERBAL PASSAGES' at the Easel Art Gallery from April 19 to 24, is an exhibition of paintings, prints and sculpture by six Bangalore-based artists. The young artists Ganesh Shastry, Guru Siddappa, Nanaiah, Roopashri, Sharath and Shivaprasad are all alumnae of the College of Fine Arts, Chitrakala Parishad in Bangalore and have since moved on to different surroundings, situations and inspirations. Their works speak of their dissimilar lives and diverse experiences each comprising an individualistic poetry.

Ganesh Shastry's paintings have developed from time spent in Kala Bhavan at Shantiniketan, Bengal. Using crumpled and rough edged hand-made paper he allows texture to take centre stage. The colours are muted yet suggestive of landscape, the effect of which would probably have been enhanced by better framing of the works.

The paintings on rusted and torn metal sheets by Guru Siddappa are interesting in their use of the human skeleton as a motif through which the artist seeks to portray the `inward psychological structure of human relationships.' Such profundity of thought may be lost on the casual viewer, but the work still remains striking through its novelty. The familiar images on Indian currency notes seem to have been the inspiration of another engaging series of paintings by Siddappa.

Nanaiah's works derive immensely from Pop Art yet remain germane with post-modern implications suffused as they are with borrowings from Western and Indian masterpieces by the likes of Van Gogh and Edvard Munch, Rekha Rodwittiya and Bhupen Khakkar. Working on tracing sheets, verbal aspects are reflected by the typewritten word while outlined images of familiar masterpieces tease the mind.

The brilliant colours of the paintings by Roopashri are in stark contrast with her monotone lithograph prints, nevertheless they pertain to a single theme. They speak of germination, procreation and progression in terms of both plant and human life. The artist organically relates the banana leaf with the human body insinuating movement that is both fluid and poetic. The interrelation of these different forms is suggested and determined with great attention to detail. Themes derived from everyday life belonging to the `urban middle-class' from the crux of Sharath's art. His paintings reflect life around him, which is interpreted in a variety of ways. The viewer may read the passage in a totally different light based on individual experiences. The subject takes precedence over placement or arrangement, for interpretation is of great importance.

Shivaprasad's junk art involving ready-mades and found objects are reminiscent of the infamous `Urinal' by Marcel Duchamp and the much-admired `Bull's Head' made of bicycle parts by Pablo Picasso.

On a parallel plane, Shivaprasad's works include a down turned washbasin and bicycle handle-bars with sprocket wheel. However in the mental recall of the works of Duchamp and Picasso, Shivaprasad's sculptures lose out in terms of the significance of an issue and seem to exist bereft of wit.

`Verbal Passages' undeniably speaks of growth and experience and reflects but a brief phase from the initial sojourn of these young artists.

SWAPNA SATHISH

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