SYMPHONY ON CANVAS

Review by Anurima Das
September 15, 2012

 

Solo Exhibition of Anita Roy Chowdhury
August 24-September 15, 2012
Galerie 88,Kolkata.

“My paintings are nothing but voice of nature, its flora and fauna, human and animal life. Every moment nature transforms and this continuous process always inspires me. I portray love, sorrow and joy of my day to day life in my paintings.”

-Anita Roy Chowdhury

The welcoming white walls of the gallery, the peculiar winding stairs in the midst of the room offered the perfect ambience for the recently held solo exhibition of the city based artist Anita Roy Chowdhury. The free flowing, carefree paintings of Roy Chowdhury hung all over the walls of Galerie 88 does not fail to catch the viewers attention and mostly leaves them unprepared by its childlike appearance. It is the naïve simplicity of her works that make them truly childlike but are far from being childish. Anita Roy Chowdhury’s paintings are an alliance between reality and fantasy. Curated by Sandip Sarkar, the art historian and critic, Roy Chowdhury’s solo exhibition had many of her remarkable works on display.


Anita Roy Chowdhury’s tryst with painting started with figurative arts but it was too soon that she discovered her true style through muted, sensitive, vibrating, abstract renderings. Even though this solo exhibition was her first offering of this year but, her works have already received much acclamations and she has hosted more than 10 solo exhibitions until date. The artist has also been part of several group shows since 1981 and has travelled the world over with her extremely versatile collection.

The works on display and even the other woks of Roy Chowdhury are executed on different surfaces: namely Paper and Canvas, using different mediums like water color, gouche, acrylic, oil, ink, charcoal and pastel. Browsing through her frames would force one to travel through a valley of uncertainty. From landscape to architecture to vehicle to plants and animals etc everything clearly mingles with each other within her canvas. The imagery of her works is extremely linear and the composite effect generated through these dissimilar identities is expressed through colors and lines. The abruptness and dizziness in her works is not only restricted through her painting but, is also brought out in her own signature. Each painting has been signed in a distinct way.  Much like the uniqueness of the zebra stripes, all her signatures though absolutely similar to each other appears y different. The variety can be easily spotted through the language of the signature as well. Roy Chowdhury’s paintings bring out the question of contradictions quite well. Apart from being a visual stream of consciousness they quite genuinely express various states of mind.

The disorderliness of the colorful works of art prepares us to witness alternates through her canvases. Akash Pathey (2008), Still Life (2010), Rodhra Jara Kala (2009), Guest (2009) were some of the notable works on display at Galerie 88.
 
Apparently her works are truly dreamy and abstract, pulling one within the plethora of vibrant colors. However, they do not lack perception. They are like points and counter points, modulation and soliloquy that reveal the hidden order and disorderliness of creativity. The onlooker has to carry a spindle of thread to find their way back through the labyrinth of her works. The mystery posed by her works at first is bound to catch the onlooker wary in the beginning, who with time adjusts themselves with the versatility and simplicity of her works.

Born in Shibpur, the artist graduated in painting from the Government College of Arts and Crafts, Kolkata in 1960. She was also part of the Society of Contemporary Artists and the Calcutta Painters. Anita Roy Chowdhury began her career as an anatomical academic stylist. She was never too comfortable with Greco-Roman art, or Neo- Classicism. She was enthralled by Romanticism and it is this style that inspired her to paint according to the transforming moods. It is nature and her mysterious ways that actually inspires and captivates Roy Chowdhury and becomes the source for her creative expression.

Holding true to the spirits of Galerie 88, the works of Anita Roy Chowdhury open vast spaces of imagination and reality in front of the onlookers and never fails to invoke a sense of curiosity. Her works are musical and represents perfect harmony and balance.