Review by Oiendrila Moitra
August 10, 2014


Pradeep L Mishra
April 25-May 31,2014
Palette Art  Gallery, New Delhi

The recent exhibition in Pallette Art Gallery showcases the works of artists engaged in representing images of animals caressing their offspring. Though primarily thought as a cliché idea, the way of representation makes the paintings very contemporary.

Photo-realism had been a trend in art for ages. Renaissance and Baroque, realism etc have seen photo-realism in its highest order. Brought later in the world art scene by the Americans after all the years of experimenting abstract art and non-representative art, neo-realism of the 1980s have seen a new wave of hyper-realistic expression. Indian art have seen realism in short spans during the 1940s. More serious practice have evolved more recently. Artists admit taking the help of technology to paint and instead of finding tracing and projection methods anti-art, artist forums circulated the process as an aid to create art. The artists exhibited in the Pallette art gallery have no doubt developed the hyper-realist techniques and skill quite professionally. This representation of the age-old genre makes the process contemporary indeed.

The subject no doubt is interesting too. Animals have a life style that is much easy to understand and complex at the same time. They are primitive beings in a tech-savvy world, living with their values, with their knowledge and their wisdom. They have a sense of belongings, a sense of family, a sense of living together with their children. They care for their fellows, live with them in a wild harmony.

A sense that may have been absent in the so-called civilized society. Human, the self-proclaimed highest living beings on earth have lost their own sense of values and wisdom, lacks the sense of togetherness and caring. It is indeed very relevant to show us an image so directly pointed towards defining the meaning of love, affection or caring. In a sadomasochistic structure we are living in, maybe we can learn a little if shown an image of a tiger carrying her cub to safety or an elephant providing a support for her baby to walk. Yes, we need to learn from these simple yet pronouncing images.

The techniques of the paintings is a subtle way, intricately yet simply put on. There is no sign of struggle in painting these grammatical pictures, the surface seems too smooth to be real. The ochre tones stands in contrast to the red ground, giving importance to both the image and the object. The object is the weighty ground and the milk-white backspace that may be a connotation for the real world on which we stand and the infinite space in which we live.

Among all the avant-garde expressiveness of alternative and inter-disciplinary art practice, the show with its oils and acrylics and canvases and paints and definitive images surprisingly provide a breathing space for the viewers. Simple subjects instead of overt images and complex concepts are sometimes welcomed lovingly. The show is a dialogue neatly spoken and clearly heard, is a fresh breadth to breathe.