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Art of the Week (Series 7) – Megh Malhar – Oil on Canvas – Madusudan Kumar – Sep21
September 11 - September 18
Art of the Week (Series 7)
Megh Malhar – Oil on Canvas
by Madusudan Kumar
From 11th to 18th Sep 2021
S Cube Art Gallery
Kodialguthu Center for Art & Culture,
G. G. Road,
My Journey – a confluence – Madhusudan Kumar
“Dawn takes birth in the womb of darkness,” wrote Khalil Gibran in his book ‘Prophet’. My journey as an artist, musician and filmmaker was like a marathon walk on the highway of life, merging into infinity. The metamorphosis was the forceful, yet gentle sublime and subtle expressions of aesthetics with universal appeal – manifestations in paintings and music.
The seeds of catharsis were planted in me during my student days at St. Aloysius College, Mangaluru, by Peter D’souza and L. K. Shevgoor, an eminent portrait artist – who transported me to the world of great masters like Rembrandt, whose images emerged from a single source of light out of darkness.
During my primary education at Gandhinagar, Municipal Primary School, Urwa – I was encouraged to draw and paint by my teachers, including my illustrious parents; who were art literates. Sir J. J. School of Art, Bombay (1967-69) – opened my vista to the world of art and art history for the first time. I felt at home with eminent artists as my faculty of teachers in the morning classes. Though I was exposed to the western academic syllabus and discipline, I was rooted to the soil and thus with immense diligence and awareness, I created my own idiom and style. It was a gradual process of unlearning.
As an illustrator of Children’s books at ‘Ratnabharati’ (1967- 69) – did usher clarity into my visions- under veterans Ratan Batra and Samar Dasgupta as my guides and mentors (Founders: ‘CAG’ awards and the first ever advertising agency of Bombay – Designers: ‘Mother India’ & ‘Filmindia’ magazines)
My sojourns took me to Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Bengal, where I painted portraits of great musicians of India – ancestors of ‘Bharat Sitar Samrat’ Ustad Vilayat Khan Saheb. My passion to play the sitar and tabla drowned me in the ocean of music, which inspired me to paint the musical series – ‘Raagas’ and ‘Raaginis’ – in contemporary yet semi- traditional forms. The five elements of ‘Nature’ manifested in varied hues applied with forceful strokes, those created mostly by the palette knife.
The rusted or muted colors of browns and ochre metamorphosed into bright hues, after I traversed to Gujarat and Rajasthan. Yet, ‘Black and whites’ continued as my pals among the vast repertoire of mixed media. I was trained to identify the colors through grey tonal gradations and perspectives; along with the study of reverse techniques in black and white and color by L.K. Shevgoor- alumni -‘CAVA’ Mysore – founded by Pavanje Gopalakrishnayya – himself an alumnus of Sir J.J.School of Art, Bombay – Charles Gerard as his Dean.
In 1966 – my black and white work ‘Jugalbandi’ won ‘Bhulabhai Memorial Prize’ by ‘Bombay Art Society’ (Jury: K. H. Ara and K.K. Hebbar – Organized by Soli Batliwala – Chief Guest: Dr. PV.Cherian, Governor of Maharashtra ). It was termed as ‘Poetry in Motion’ by the art critic of `Times of India’ (Dnyaneshwar Nadkarni).
As a filmmaker, I made several documentaries, promotional films, curtain raiser film and a Hindi feature film – ‘Kadambari’ (1975-Starring: Shabana Azmi, Vijay Arora – Story: Amrita Pritam – Music: Ustad Vilayat Khan – The film won of five ‘Filmfare’ awards).
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