The exhibition ‘Serene’ by S. Harshavardhana will be on display from February 3 to March 3 at Art Alive Gallery. It presents a suite of typical arrangements the artist invented for his studies – of geometry and symbolism in subtle/strong varying layers colour fields placed in a precise formation. A great lover of India’s tribal traditions, he translates tribal symbolism into a modernist mooring of elements that sift and sieve through the tapestry of time. Critically juxtaposed with each other, Harshavardhana’s paintings bring to life the connections between the quiescent triangular forms, which encapsulates the artist’s committed investigation of the ways in which individual artists perceive and experience form and colour.
The canvasses in this exhibition are reminiscent of the visual dynamics and perceptions of ancient Indian Puranic scrolls. These compositions allow Harshavardhana to examine colour relationships, and their emotive and psychological impact, in a relatively simple and stable format with the chromatic indices of the pair of triangles becoming the leitmotif. Colour is applied, in a restrained and even manner that minimizes any surface effect. The artist’s treatment of surfaces is pristine, elegant and otherworldly in their refinement.
Sometimes we glimpse biomorphic and geometric shapes, angular and wavy lines, and lively planes of colour. The exhibition demonstrates how an artist moves in a variety of directions, sometimes in pursuit of paintings pure in colour and open in composition while at other times toward structured, linear designs using familiar geometric shapes. He rejects a loose application of paint— the unprimed canvases are first festooned with flat planes of colour and then built into a distinctive mark making that unravels like memory leaves.
Like the breaking of a line or a page and the gathering of various elements beyond the edge or boundary of a certain area, the works oscillate between ideas of linearity and geometry and overlapping planes of colour. The works on paper in smaller and medium format demonstrate an incredible variety and richness of self-expression that an artist like Harshavardhana finds through abstraction.
“Serenity is more than just a mood, it’s a whole being of relating to the universe and its tranquil moments. When I see several of these paintings next to each other, it makes it obvious that each painting is an instrumentation in its own. When I paint I empty my mind; I have no preconceived notions, I think of the blank space. But I’m aware that my works on paper as well as on canvas all emanate from different palettes, and, therefore, so to speak, of different climates. My choice of the colours used, as well as their order, is aimed at an intuitive interaction -my forms within the colour fields influence and change each other back and forth. Scientific notations form the basis of my thoughts,” says the artist.
When: February 3 – March 3
Where: Art Alive Gallery S-221, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi – 110017