This one isn't from the good ol' days. It's as fresh as the year that's about
to leave us. And that's quite fresh to be titled 'Retrospective'. Nostalgic wouldn't
be the most appropriate word to describe the experience, but is close to the actual
one, as the venue in question is Alliance Francaise de Hyderabad. With the institute
moving out of its current premises to Marredpally, this becomes one of the last
exhibitions to be staged here.
Select works of over 25 artistes, who have earlier displayed in solos and also
collectively, make up this exhibition. 'Retrospective' is a worthy effort at recapitulating
the best impressions that the artistes and connoisseurs have gathered at this
venue. Artistes with individual preoccupations, abstractionists, figurative painters
to conceptual artistes make up an intriguing kaleidoscope.
The freshest of the lot are paintings from 'Nerves', by the trio of Ramesh, Venkat
and Nemiraj. Theirs are works of rare visual experiences. These charcoal drawings
are almost like restless scribbles and scrapes that invite the viewer to exercise
their imagination. Such an aesthetic pleasure is experienced only when art works
carry fresh imagery, which can stimulate our sensibilities, provoke thought, and
even disturb to an extent.
Even though the canvases of these artists are strikingly varied, the underlying
spirit is common. For a change, we are confronted with works of art devoid of
clichéd human figures that are products of redundant ideas. One had this experience
(of novelty) while viewing the works of Akhilesh from Bhopal. His abstract works
are again of one's vague feelings and recollections, titled "Has it something
to do with Benaras". Another artiste, Sajid Bin Amar's works displayed early in
the year were well appreciated for his asymmetric and random pictures, which take
a shot at the commercial and consumerist world!
His charcoal drawing of a shoe rack was included in the present show. Nicola Durvasula
also has a conceptual approach and a mature understanding of art. Her one picture
in the exhibition, titled "Krupaya Pee Kar Thod De" (please crush it after use)
on a bottle of water, with a picture of the Himalayas, insinuates the impending
environmental doom that awaits our world. The show also included some rare works
of late artist P T Reddy, whose woks done as early as in 1940 and '60 were mounted
in an earlier retrospective show.
Apart from all this, the gallery walls gave a share to those redundant and indulgent
works of Padma Reddy (of women, her sex and relationships), Chippa Sudhakar (dream
scapes), Rajeshwara Rao (reverse glass pictures based on sexes), Ashok Ghosh (with
ghost like images), Swamy (happy making the images of freedom struggle and yesteryear
leaders), Ritin Kanji (of man and machine) and Lavanya Datt (images of introverts).
Artistes who find their imaginations entwined in the forms of Nature and rustic
life are Bairu Raghuram, Joseph Mathew, Noel Raj, Anantayya, Mallesham and Gowd.
On the whole, the show is collectively stimulating and a perfect retrospective
for all the good works of art, as well as the poor pre-occupational works of decor.