An episode of language which accompanies any amorous gift whether real or projected; and, more generally, every gesture, whether actual or interior, by which the subject dedicates something to the loved being.
-Ronald Barthes, A Lover’s Discourse
AVISHKAR – 2016, organised by Roymans Art Studio (Calcutta, London) at Birla Academy of Art & Culture, Kolkata, is dedicated to the 125th demise of Maestro Vincent Van Gogh. Van Gogh not only left us with his lifetime of legacy, but a way of thought and expression towards life. It was his work that led to the modern movements of Abstract Expressionism, where more and more artists went on to explore their inner realities. Just like Van Gogh’s works moved from the study of Impressionism and Neo-Impressionism – letting more artists get out of their studios and reflect ‘life as it is’ on the canvas – towards Fauvism, an avant-garde form of art discovered in the early 20th century that used strong colours as a symbolic expression of subjective emotions, similarly the art exhibit was separated in various genres and phases of art, moving from Classical and Impressionism to Modern-Art and Abstract forms.
Dr. Manas Roy is the man behind this conglomeration which brings you the works of 70 artists from 14 different countries, spanning across three continents. He spoke of how he created an artist platform that is “by the artists, for the artists”, unfettered by their political, economic or social backgrounds. Started in the year 2006, AVISHKAR this year has been curated by four eminent curators from around the world – Ekaterina Volkova (Russia), Dr. Chandrayee Dutta (India/ The Netherlands), Renee Middelkoop (The Netherlands) and Michel Warner (U.S.A). Roymans’ artistic milieu has made him believe that an artist’s worth is in his work rather than his qualifications or job status, making AVISHKAR a permeable platform for art applicants with a wider appeal.
Driven by geometrical patterns and intricate layering, Rudolf Scheer’s paintings will lead you to re-discover your inner-child who used to hide under the bed, vulnerable and disturbed. He mostly used monochromatic hues for his works on display camouflaged with metallic textures. This artist from Austria has spent the past two decades experimenting with the canvas, finding newer techniques and using his former skills in carpentry to bring alive his visual imagery.
Jan Teunissen is yet another self-taught artist who stole the limelight through his perceptual brilliance. His still-life study in oil can be easily confused with a high resolution photograph. Jan Teunissen, from The Netherlands, has spent much of his life working as an industrial engineer until 2002, when he decided to pursue his passion full-time.
Receiver of the Bronze Award in Avishkar – Van Gogh Award in 2016, Nico Hoogland describes himself as a “contemplative painter”. He believes in creating a world without aggression and filth, and without a speck of doubt, his paintings have succeeded in doing so. He is one among these self-taught geniuses, who managed to keep his fascination to create art alive, even after spending almost a lifetime working as a professional policeman.
Birla Academy of Art & Culture welcomes the art lovers of Kolkata with this enthralling collective until the 18th of June, 2016. So, do drop by!