Saving the Last Word Masters

Tanya Chaturvedi | January 30, 2024 | Art

A week-long affair, celebrating 20 years of excellence with Galleria VSB through a catalogue-perfect exhibit is now open under the banner of ‘Timeless Strokes’. An unsung hero of galleries, placed in the heart of Delhi, the gallery is a contrivance of Vandana Bhargava, Chairperson, House of VSB. First exhibition by the house this year was an amalgamation of colours, mixed-media, strokes, texture and depth stamped through the length of the gallery. Housing work from art luminaries like F.N. Souza, S.H. Raza, Akbar Padamsee, M.F. Hussain, and more contributed to the display.

“I am a jewellery designer at heart and for me, jewellery goes together with art,” says Vandana Bhargava when asked about her vision behind the gallery. Researching and understanding the interplay between the two, an age-old practice comes to the surface while charting the inspiration matrix between the disciplines. For many years designers and artists have borrowed and commemorated the closely-knit industries, and produced works of extraordinaire.

Artist Jamini Roy is admired for serenading Indian mythology and everyday life with an explosion of colours settled within the mutes. ‘Untitled’ translated by the virtue of tempera on board draws down in bold lines; Yashodha milking a cow with Krishna over her shoulder, making available an experience of heritage in the light of everyday life. The masterpiece encased in the galleria sits beside other ‘Untitled’ paintings by the artist, treading on indistinguishable themes exploring mediums of tempera on jute.

Artworks by Jamini Roy

Adjacent to the wall one can traverse through the marvels of acrylic on canvas with Maqbool Fida Hussain. Village Series, depicting a farmer in dhoti, sitting comfortably in the fields in the hot weather of April-May. Hussain has often navigated through the life of farmers as part of reflection on his early life in Sholapur. Multiple representations of bull through his farmer series sheds light on the strength, virility and fertility while nurturing various forms of Goddesses in Indian mythology.

Transitioning into socio-political issues, Hussain’s infamous British Raj discusses the trajectory of colonial rule in India through heavy use of symbolism. The abstract recognition of a lion as a pet in the painting echoes the shift in the power dynamics. A commentary for the ages, this painting stands as a visual record for historians to come and plays a pivotal role in bringing forth potent refoundings.

“British Raj” by M.F. Hussain

Select two of the many by Syed Haider Raza, ‘Tree’ and ‘Untitled’- a rendition of the ghats of Banaras’ presented the varied skills of representation honed by the artist. Owing popularity to series like ‘Bindu’, Raza’s exclusive work showcased in the gallery, spoke for a commendation clap for the curator. The manifold manifest of masterpiece, ‘Tree’ is a presentation of yellow fading into blue and black and practising rules of colour theory. Darkness, challenges and positivity are helmed through the painting with the principles of design. Triangle, upward, arrow and lines are the keywords for the art on display imitating simplicity, corner to corner. ‘Untitled’, a depiction of row housing on the banks of Banaras, is an eclectic assortment of cool colours with statement smaller shapes in dusk yellow. The artwork never fails to stir ideas of relevancy and sacred traditions, words often resonated with the holiness of the ghats. Oil on canvas with smudged technique gives an exclusive insight into the painting routine by Raza, away from the traditional bold shapes, symbolism and clean lines. This painting, a find for many, is a true testament to the depths of interpretations made available under one roof.

I believe Galleria VSB acts as a channel, enabling art collectors and enthusiasts to advance their learning sets through the sounds of well-defined findings. Understanding the importance of ethical representation, the well-rounded research at the gallery introduces a one-of-a-kind ‘responsible showcase’, available to us 31st January to 9th February in the heart of Delhi- Square One Mall, Saket.

Words by Tanya Chaturvedi.
Image courtesy Galleria VSB.
Featured artwork Village Series by M.F. Hussain.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also like