“The longer you look at an object, the more abstract it becomes, and, ironically, the more real,”
— Lucian Freud
Padmanabh Bendre’s recent show at Art Houz is a tribute to a man who has always tried to explore and experiment with his art. What is more startling is the pressure of being the son of one of the finest artist’s India has seen, NS Bendre, hasn’t affected him at all. The biggest benefit of being a legendary artist’s son is that from a very young age, you are baptised with art in your breath.
Padmanabh’s art has gone through various transformations. A chance meeting with him 10 years ago and his style was different then. A man of few words Padmanabh has grown in stature year after year. Padmanabh’s style of painting has a story within. From pointillism to figurative work to graphics, collages with canvas on canvas that can be equated to inlay work, Padmanabh has, in three decades, reinvented himself. Being an architect and townplanner by qualification allowed him to invent new techniques and the current series is the result of painstaking work. At first, he creates layered works on canvas. He then cuts them, and from three to four paintings, letting triangles and squares create their own colour co-ordinated space, he eventually lets them emerge as a unique forms on canvas. He finds excitement in communicating through elements of graphic forms, complete with negative and positive forms and spaces. His new work is influenced by Sciography of an object which is the fourth dimension, and leads him towards the cubist forms that create a visible interplay of various unique forms and colour. His show is on at Art Houz until December 5, and the show marks Padmanabh’s solo debut in the city. Recently, acclaimed performance artist Smitha Cariappa also curated and performed at the Cubbon Park. In a showing titled The Wheel Barrow and the Pomegranate, her performance paid tribute to ordinary people who worked in the making of a metro. Smitha interacted with several commuters and onlookers for the performance which was quite thrilling to say the least. Another young art lover, Karan Baghay has opened a new avenue for artists. He recently held a one-day art dekko at a reputed hotel for his Hand Painted Stories art avenue. Through the art vertical, he intends to promote portraiture which has often been quite neglected recently, and wants to take Indian portrait artists and give them a bigger platform.