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Indian, Himalayan &
Southeast Asian Art

Indian, Himalayan & Southeast Asian Art

Contemporary

Contemporary


Akar Prakar

NEW DELHI LOCATION
D 43 Defence Colony
First Floor
Delhi 110024
India

tel: +91 11413 15348
mobile: +91 98303 28558

Monday-Saturday, 11am - 7pm

KOLKATA LOCATION
P 238, Hindustan Park
Kolkata, West Bengal - 700029

tel: +91-33 2464 2617

Monday-Saturday, 2pm - 7pm

reena@akarprakar.com
akarprakar.com

Facebook: akarprakarccu
Instagram: @akar.prakar

Asia Week New York September 2022

100 Years of Somnath Hore

Akar Prakar Kolkata
August 27-October 15, 2022

Celebrating 100 years of artist Somnath Hore, Akar Prakar opens with an exhibition of his prints and drawings highlighting more than six decades of his practice. A printmaker, painter and sculptor, Somnath Hore’s works are a reflection of his sensitivity and empathy towards his subjects and his perception of the world. Dedicating more than six decades of his life to his art, Hore passed away in the year 2006. His art, transcending the times still resonates with the audience and cemented his place as one of the master artists of Indian Art.

Experimenting with forms and techniques, especially in his printmaking, he was able to invent his own technique known as the white on white pulp prints and popularly referred to as the Wounds’ series. In his practice, the swift strokes of his ink & brushwork, the minimalist representations of his woodcuts, the hollow core of his bronze sculptures or the striking textures of the wounds series became the signature styles of his artistic language.

Though for Somnath, his ideologies and beliefs never came in the way of his artmaking. When the limitations placed by the Communist Party became too restrictive, he resigned from his post in the party and moved to Delhi in the 1960s to teach printmaking at the Delhi Polytechnic. During those years, his practice became widely recognized in the art world and he received several awards like the Lalit Kala Akademi Award his works were a part of international exhibitions like the Venice Biennale, and the Sao Paolo Biennale.

Eventually, when the disconnected nature of the art world in Delhi became too stifling he resigned from his post and moved to Shantiniketan. For Hore, it was this change that helped him re-establish his love for the arts. He was awarded the Emeritus professorship at Kala Bhavan, Shantiniketan in 1983. The isolation and the artistically fertile atmosphere of the city became the reason behind Somnath making it his home till the very end. Dedicating more than six decades of his life to his art, Hore passed away in the year 2006. His art, transcending the times still resonates with the audience and cemented his place as one of the master artists of Indian Art.

Read more and see the online exhibition, click here

Akar Prakar New Delhi

Rose Red Rose Invisible, Visible in My Blood

August 23-October 7, 2022
The exhibition Rose Red Rose Invisible, Visible in My Blood, which is curated by Siddhi Shailendra, takes the viewer on a poetic journey into the creations of artist C. Douglas, while simultaneously asking them to look beyond the narrative of the subject. In Douglas's works, the real doesn’t always inform his visuals, but his visuals perhaps can be imagined as a reality with the unknown and the fragmented.

Born in 1951 in Kerala, Douglas is one of the few artists still based at the Cholamandal Artists’ Village. He took admission to the Government College of Arts, Madras in the year 1971, a few years after its principal KCS Paniker had retired after the initiation of the Cholamandal Artists’ Village with thirty other artists. Soon, Douglas began spending his weekends at the Artists’ Village, where he came in contact with K Ramanujam, a few years his senior at the college.

Over the years, his friendship with Ramanujam deeply inspired and influenced his own practice at the time. Ramanujam’s ability to create fantastical worlds with the play of lines and patterns fascinated the budding artist within Douglas. However, Ramanujam’s death in 1973, followed by Douglas’ move from the Cholamandal Artists’ Village to Germany and back to the village a few years later left a painful residue evident in his works of that period.

Subsequently, his use of lines, color and texture to create his paintings began to take form with subjects inspired by the poetry and philosophies sharing his time with him at the isolated village. The color palette turned darker with ashy grey compositions and a foreboding atmosphere. The subject matter with fragmented figures and faces, pierced bodies and broken mannequins and butterflies were reminiscent of surrealist abstractions.

Paper as his medium of choice, presented him with the opportunity to play beyond its even surface. Layering the paper with sand and crumpling his paper, were just some of the ways he was able to add a new dimension to his paintings. Often working with multiple media such as watercolor, acrylic, crayons and pencils, his compositions appear chaotic and dense. However, for Douglas, the chaos doesn’t deter but invites the viewer to pause and re-assess their perceptions, to see deeper into the visuals and create their narrative.

The influence of books and literature in his practice take shape in the form of words and texts as part of his compositions. But paradoxically, the words may never lead to the understanding of the subject matter. As Douglas says ‘The words are not there to describe the narrative, but to function as image itself. The written words dissolve into calligraphic representations, just as visible lines or geometry’. The ‘Rose Red’ series and the Blind Poet and Butterflies series are hence inspired by the poetry of William Blake, T. S. Eliot and Fernando Pessoa. One sees motifs like Blind Poet and Butterflies and the Man with the Mirror repeatedly present as subjects in more than two decades of his practice.

Taking its name from the inscription in a series of artwork, the exhibition Rose Red Rose Invisible, Visible in My Blood highlights Douglas' practice from 1990-2022. The exhibition is a survey of more than three decades of the artist’s practice and his use of poetics as a visual language.

Read more, click here