Manu Parekh showcases love for Banaras

New Delhi: In his first major solo in the national capital in over six years, artist Manu Parekh is showcasing a powerful retrospective comprising over three decades of his work.

Curated by Annapurna Garimella, the exhibition "Faith: Manu Parekh in Benaras 1980-2012" now on display at Art Alive Gallery signifies a journey from the exterior to the interior in the world of art.

"It is lively depiction of how modernism has allowed artists to show the magic of brushes on subjective and individual experiences for aesthetic thoughtfulness of others," Annapurna told PTI .

The show begins with Parekh`s landscapes "Glimpses from a Boat," depicting the landscapes of Benaras which Parekh developed along his journey through the ghats of Ganga. His perspective of ghats while travelling on a boat and his thoughtful splash of colours have been put together in a splendid display.

The second section "Transformed Stone" is his take on the rituals and beliefs that add life to the non living things adding tones of sacredness to it.

"Repeating Forms," the third section incorporates the idea of repetition in order to arrive at the divine, much like the philosophy behind mantras. Here, Parekh has revisited the familiar visual places over an extended period of time, and through repetition, holds on to the possibility of creating something new.

"Flowers" is the final section in which Parekh`s focus has shifted to the items that are inherent to the act of worship to explore the sexual, sacred, otherworldly forms that exist in the world.

73-year-old Manu Parekh, one of the painting veterans in country has been a recipient of multiple honours including the Padma Shree, Birla Academy Award, National Lalit Kala Akademi Award and several others.

Sharing his fascination for Benaras as a subject for his paintings, Parekh says "I first went to Benaras struggling with artistic crisis and travelled in the Ganges by boat. I observed life of this ancient city at a various times of the day and with various perspectives."

"Later I climbed the ghats and saw the temples and people conducting private rituals in common spaces. And thats how flowers, festivals, faces and rituals all became basis of this exhibition," he says.

The exhibition captures Ahmedabad-born Parekh`s artistic journey from the 1980s by placing aside his early landscapes dating back to 1987 with his most recent works. It also depicts how Benaras has shaped the strokes of many modern artsist in the twentieth century.

Accompanying the show that is scheduled to go on till May 31 is a soft-cover catalogue with essays by Annapurna Garimella and Baishali Ghosh.