The exhibition will showcase 13 paintings of the artist, each different yet in complete harmony with one another.
For artist Abhijit Kumar Pathak, abstractionism is a way of life. Everyday objects and the life around us are all open to interpretation. A black circle on a white canvas could mean darkness and gloom or an ominous sign while it could also be construed as tratak meditation method, a popular yoga technique. Or I could associate it with my childhood memories of scribbling on the walls of my room with a pencil.
To take abstract art a step further, Pathak is all set to unveil his solo show ‘Mosaic of Mysteries’, which is curated by Uma Nair, at Lalit Kala Akademi from March 24-30.
The exhibition will showcase 13 paintings of the artist, each different yet in complete harmony with one another. The paintings are mostly in mixed media. Pathak uses his affinity with music to take the viewers into a world of harmony and symphony. “I am continuously trying to make people find themselves and their own meaning in my works,” says Pathak.
Pathak emphasises that nature, our daily lives and the din of the modern world are very much a part of us and that’s what is reflected in his works. “You see a tree, a mountain as is… but an abstract artist could transform it into something you may not have seen. She or he would see why a tree exists. So in abstract art one line could also have a meaning,” explains Pathak.
Abstract art is still catching on with people who prefer figurative paintings as they find abstract art “tough” or “unrelatable”. However, Pathak differs. “Abstract art forces people to get involved… that’s the success and power of the abstract,” he smiles.
Among Pathak’s artworks is ‘Musical Notes’ which is mixed media on paper with lot of layering. Then there’s “Musical Notation” — mixed media on tarpaulin — which is, again, layered in bright yellow colours. There’s ‘Symphony’ and ‘Symphony 13’ on tarpaulin. The paintings are lyrical — created almost to the rhythm and beat of music. The works embrace you, almost making you listen to the music. This partly has to do with Pathak’s affinity towards classical music. He usually listens to instrumental music while painting. The artworks have a child-like innocence as if they are still growing and on a path to expansion.
“If you are stuck in a traffic jam in the summer and you are asked to draw… the heat, the irritation of being stuck on the road and the tension about having to reach your destination on time all manifest in that drawing. Life has good as well as bad moments. If you are sensitive, the same will reflect in your works… unknowingly we relate to sound in different aspects of our lives and this is what I am trying to do”, says Pathak.
The use of tarpaulin is equally fascinating. It is a conscious choice as Pathak uses multiple layers and fabric in his works. “My paintings are like a collage full of fabric, colours and pigment… tarpaulin gives me a textual surface and is more durable,” he explains.
A few other paintings are untitled. “I particularly liked an untitled painting which was mix media on wood. If tarpaulin gives freedom, a hard substance like wood will limit it. But Pathak deftly manages to manoeuvre colours and fabric through it to lend coherence and liveliness. Inspired by Ellora’s stone sculptures, the artwork plays a vital role in Pathak’s endeavour to experiment. “Drawing with a pencil on a canvas could be very different from using clay on canvas, as clay will be more difficult to handle. The challenge was to turn wood into a piece of art. One needs to take new challenges or risk being too repetitive,” quips Pathak.
In today’s art world, abstractionism is bound by limited thinking. Pathak’s doing tremendous work with various mediums. The world of abstract is vast and Pathak’s attempt to go beyond the obvious is worth your time.