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In Retrospect: Recollections of Four Abstract-Loving Artists
Mallika Chakrawarti

Recollections can be a walk-through of significant events and memories that shape the identity of an artist. Certain recollections may rekindle a faint smile or trigger a grim mood, but nonetheless remain our companions till we breathe our last.

After delving into bygones, memories and the teachings of time, a group of four contemporary artists illuminated the Shridharani Art Gallery at Triveni Kala Sangam, through a collaborative exhibition titled, ‘Retrospection_4.’ The artists being alluded to are namely, Chayan Roy, Rajendra Patil, Anil Naik and Uttam Chapte. Abstraction served as the common link among them, even though each artist has nurtured a distinctive artistic style over years of practice.

I was greeted by the effervescent artist Chayan Roy, who easily drew me into an engaging conversation. Quite stealthily, Picasso’s words trickled through my mind when I stood before Roy’s paintings. “There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality.” I wonder, what Picasso’s take would be on an artist who believes in creating a new reality through abstraction?

Imitating reality is an unimpressive quest for Roy, and he doesn’t bother with it. Why should he, when he is consumed with creating his own reality on handmade paper? Roy is a sensitive artist who takes pleasure in the smallest yet significant aspects of artistry.

Engaged in the art-making process from scratch, he creates his own canvas. Firm and smooth to the touch, the texture of his bespoke paper was unfamiliar to me. I eventually learnt that an elaborate process was undertaken to first bind the paper pulp with natural substances to make it porous and increase its longevity.

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