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Colour kinetics

Manoj Kachangal explores broad themes of chaos, catharsis and rebirth, while challenging perceived boundaries between abstract and landscape painting.

Over the past two decades, Manoj Kachangal's artistic output has been dominated by visions of tangled brushstrokes and limpid landscapes. Dense thickets of lines obscure distinctly divisional backgrounds, entangling the human eye in webs of wandering tendrils that invite full contemplation of what lies beyond. By emphasizing the hand of the artist through horizontal sweeps and zagged brushstrokes, Kanchangal explores broad themes of chaos, catharsis and rebirth in his work, while silently challenging perceived boundaries between abstract and landscape painting. In the world of art, Kachangal is a neo abstractionist.

Tumultuous landscapes
"My biggest realization over the years has been how to use line, colour and form to convey my responses to issues, shapes, experiences and feelings. I learned how to use my feelings to engage in a critical examination of subjects close to my heart, rather than producing acrylic paintings that merely visually describe my patterns of exploration," he states.
These are not facile, painterly or merely beautiful landscapes but they are tumultuous "landscapes" that tend towards the abstract, seeking to convey a sense of the subliminal rather than accurately represent the world around him. Beyond the net of painted lines, these works appear to capture a moment of creation emerging from chaos - the light suggesting a harmonic presence bringing illumination to the landscape. Kachangal's selective use of bold, intense colours and a tendency towards dramatization also evokes the works of early expressionists, who sought to capture the emotional resonance of their subjects over their physical form.
In these Landscape Series, the planes that are interwoven across the canvas surface suggest troubles and tribulations; the jagged "branches" that dominate these seemingly sunset laden landscapes have neither beginning nor end, and the rippled disturbance-like structures are actually discernable. Dabs of primary colour and streaks of grey/ochre/ straw lend definition to the overall composition, providing balance and tempering the darker tones, but no attempt is made towards a perfect dimensional modelling. The artist has stated anecdotally that it was his reading of the Puranas and shastras that inspired his interest in the interiority of forms, shown in the intensity of the brushwork and tactility of the paint he uses to ground this series strongly within the abstract realms.
Visual oscillation
When translated into different dimensional forms, Kachangal's work deconstructs the viewer's understanding of mass, for the landscapes are at once airy as well as deeply dense. The visual oscillation between positive and negative space within Kachangal's interconnected construction creates an optical motion. As the viewer perceives one form, another spatial combination suggests itself, contradicting the first and lending the viewer to reconsider the canvasses as a whole.
Thus, we see early hints of a 'dematerialized' and highly intellectualized formula: a canvas can embody the volume of human experiences and relationships as revealed in the complex manipulations of form and linear horizontals in striations of colour.

Uma Nair

Uma Nair

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