Haku Shah dedicates his latest exhibition Living Reliving Gandhi to his life-long icon, Mahatma Gandhi. With a blend of abstract and figurative paintings Shah’s work has the potential to portray the Gandhian era in correct form. He has been an active votary of Gandhi for all of his professional life.
Shah says, “I paint with the passion and discipline of a true believer. Not a believer in any dogma or rigid religion, but in human endeavor, dignity and grace.”
In this age of contrived conceptualism Shah’s art may seem simple; bereft of the post-modernist impulse and devoid of multi-media contrivances. His painterly language is direct and expressionist in its application of paint and construction of form. Deftly handled paint applied in impasto by palette knives and spatula rather than brushes make his paintings probably close to the work of the many the craftsmen and potters he has studied so closely. This technique imparts an earthy immediacy to his forms and a rustic texture to his surfaces that suits his subject matter. The line portrait of Gandhiji spinning the charkha in monochrome is so fluid as to seem alive with movement. The landscape depicting the Sabarmati Ashram with the river flowing between it and the burning ghats on the foreground is another engrossing work. The painting of an emerald green forest with the three mythical monkeys that stays in the mind’s eye for its wisdom, humour and lyricism is also on display.
Haku Shah was a student of the Faculty of Fine Arts at the MS University. However, more than any institutional learning, it has been his deep and abiding study of the folk and tribal artists, potters, weavers and craft persons that has shaped Haku Shah’s life and world-view.
Where: Art Konsult, Lado Sarai
When: On till February 5
Timings: 11 am till 7 pm