Realm III

By | Published on May 9, 2022 | in


Showcasing works by Jamini Roy, Krishen Khanna, Sakti Burman, Thota Vaikuntam and Paresh Maity
Written by Tripat K Kalra

India’s artscape stretches back over millennia with a lexicon that has always adapted and changed but of which aesthetic considerations have remained constant. A country that loves its festivities and colors and is rooted in cultural traditions finds expression through its music, dance, literature—and art. Realm III is a celebration of all that is beautiful and unchanging in a world of constant change, no matter what style and genre the five artists here represent.

Jamini Roy, Seated Man, 30 x 16.5 inches, Tempera on board, 1960’s

Krishen Khanna, ‘Skipping Girl’, 33 x 17.5 inches, Oil on canvas

The artworks of Jamini Roy provide a rare view into the thoughts of a reclusive artist whose vast body of work set the path for a new modernism in India. Sakti Burman’s art, despite being born on the same continent but practising continents apart, is rich in folklore and mythological stories, and he draws significant inspiration and creative blueprints from frescoes. The scraping effect, which is prevalent in Western paintings as well as in India’s Ajanta murals, is methodically created by the artist. One has but to view Paresh Maity’s figurative works to understand that he too draws his inspiration from Jamini Roy—the same bold outline and figures in profile lend his work a historical continuity that is difficult to miss. But Maity is nothing if not a changeling.

Sakti Burman, The Angel of Anthe, 26 x 21 inches, Oil on canvas, 2018

Thota Vaikuntam, Untitled, 10 x 8 inches, Acrylic on canvas

From their giant bindis to their colourful saris, Thota Vaikuntam has brought the distinctive features of the Indian women around him onto canvas, blurring the lines between folk and high art. Considering his rejection of form in the strict formal or structural sense, Krishen Khanna’s paintings are infused with vigorous brushwork and startling tensions of dazzling complementary hues. This is a significant departure from the colour and tonal palette he used previously.

Paresh Maity, Cityscape, 14 x 10 inches, Oil and acrylic on canvas, 1990

A thread that runs through the entire selection is of playfulness, each artist imbuing his works with a joyful intent. An essential feature of art is to please the senses, to mark a celebration of life. Realm III makes it possible for us to rejoice, as the poet John Keats says:“A thing of beauty is a joy forever:

“Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.”