Paintings Exhibition: Melange - One for the Senses

To expect an argument, heated or restrained, at an art exhibition isn't expecting frogs to fall off the sky. But to witness someone who passionately instructs someone how to put up a canvas for display at an art exhibition once the exhibition is open is something else. And when this person who was shouting orders wasn't one of the featured artists, you wonder just what in the bold brushstrokes' name did the curator mean when the art show claimed to be one for the senses...

Many of the works at Mélange stood true to the claim of inspiring the senses. Featuring more than 20 artists from across India the displays include watercolors, oil on canvas as well as a handful of sculptures, some of them by relatively lesser known artists. Like the definition of its title the show is multi-layered and evokes myriad emotions and some of the works demand sustained viewing.

On some level there's hardly any big difference between art exhibitions and when the artists on display don't have a recall many of the shows end up looking the same. This is a notion that might be grossly unfair towards not only the artist but also the concept behind the exhibition but this, sadly, is the truth. If one skips Melange on the basis of the names it'd be a big let down for there are more than a handful of works that more than make up for the effort.

Instantly evocative and refreshingly classical, Gautam Dey's palette infuses a newer energy into watercolours. His strokes transcend the boundaries that his colours might impose and it's this facet of his cityscapes that captivates the eye. Dhiren Sasmal's oil on canvas labeled 'Me and Butterfly' reflect a similar transformation the subject is undergoing. Infused with a barrage of vivid colours, 'Me and Butterfly' is one of the best works you'd have seen in recent times.

Indian artists worth noticing at Mélange

An overbearing number of displays might tend to take away from an exhibition but in addition to Gautam Dey and Dhiren Sasmal there are few more that stand out. Swapan Maitey's large works replete with the lines, the colours, the strokes and the allegory are very reminiscent of Picasso's Guernica; Basudev Ghosh's deftness with oil colors make his rendition of the 'Ghats of Benaras' come alive and so does Samik Dey's 'Raas Leela.'

There are works of a few artists from Germany, Canada, Bangladesh and Pakistan on display as well. Mélange has a few sculptures spewed across the hall and it's the works of one artist that makes for an exceptional discovery. Soumen Pal's 'Nirvana', a head with a part of it made from leaves and 'Power of Sword,' a huge sword with an army charging sculpted on its blade nothing less than extraordinary.

Much like an artist who seeks to stir up responses to emotions, Mélange manages to do the same for the viewer...even though light elevator music would have been enough for the ears instead of the arousing outburst from one of the curators that greeted this writer...this one's undeniably a pleasure for the senses.

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