PUSHING FRONTIERS

Review by Hemavathy Guha
April 15, 2018

 

On the Threshold of Time
Showcasing works of 17 young artists
March 24 to April 12, 2018
Art Heritage, New Delhi

While most of the galleries in India are engaged in promoting artists with a high sale quotient irrespective of the artistic merit of their works, and some other galleries are happy to ride piggybank on already successful artists for which they do not have to do any hard work. Delhi-based Art Heritage is one gallery, which has consistently been encouraging and investing in fresh talent and supporting artists at a time in their life when they need it the most. Each year Art Heritage hosts an exhibition titled ‘On the Threshold of Time’ to promote young, emerging talent. As they say, “Each year we seek to cultivate and support new work that is not only aesthetically superior in a variety of mediums, but also work that is engaged with our times. This is our way of pushing the frontiers of art beyond the known into often uncharted territory.”

The works that are displayed as part of the Threshold exhibition are in various mediums ranging from charcoal and pen and ink drawings, ceramics, mixed media on paper, new media and acrylic in vibrant colours. The display has also been done aesthetically.

As we enter the gallery, and turn towards the left, we encounter Srinivas Chowdhury’s porcelain works. Although placed at a lower level, they compel you to examine them closely. Different types of head on a spring pop out with different facial expressions from a square shaped box. The box also has illustrations of women in different poses and a mouth biting chilies giving a humorous twist to the works.

Shripad Gurav’s mixed media works on paper deal with humour. While the work titled Mrs. Goa shows a plucky Goan woman dressed in a turquoise floral printed dress, with a fan in one hand and a bag with fruits or vegetables in the other. The work Dil Mange More depicts a fat woman with a huge jackfruit in her hands. Yet another drawing shows a well-endowed woman in a tight fitting attire with a small cherry in her hand. The colours and tones are subdued and one can just enjoy the humorous streak. But mocking only the size of the women leaving out other aspects is not in the right spirit!

K.K. Muhammed’s acrylic on rice paper are almost like black and white drawings. Done skillfully, the work with a chained elephant makes an interesting composition. He has also displayed an oil on canvas again with the image of the elephant as the focus. Julio D’souza’s pen and ink drawings on paper are quite bold and use the image of a standing vulture with sharp claws and nails to convey several meanings. Artist Kalipada Purkait has used charcoal and graphite to work on paper on mundane themes like gardeners in the garden and people with rickshaws. Although one cannot fathom what the artists wanted to convey, still, the drawings are good.

Mouhamed Moustapha has exhibited photographs which are mentioned as Epson enhanced paper in black and white, which is almost like a photo montage where figures are overlapped or they appear to come closer or we can see the reflection on the window of the car, all contributing to an action packed scene.

There are many works in ceramics also displayed by various artists, which have been molded and sculpted to a very high level. One hopes art heritage would continue to present exhibitions of this nature, stature and provide platform to emerging artists.