Before New York sees it, Ahmedabad previews this husband-wife duo's art exhibition

This husband-wife duo has been exhibiting together since some time. While Rakesh’s works juxtapose urban development with nature’s harmony, Roma excels in painting free forms. 

The Artist couple in front of Roma Patel’s 144 x 72 triptych

I was greeted with a welcoming smile by artist Rakesh Patel as soon as I entered the Gujarat State Lalit Kala Academy at Ravishankar Raval Kala Bhavan. After all, why wouldn’t he beam? It was once again that he was sharing a gallery space with his better half Roma Patel. The husband-wide duo came together one more time this October to present their two exclusive art shows, ‘Urban Uproar‘ and ‘Khoj – My Inner Quest‘, respectively. The last time when the duo’s art was witnessed together, it was the Bahrain International Art Fair 2018.

Rakesh was not only enthusiastic to explain his 30 pensive artworks, in which he contrasts the nature of urban development with that of natural habitats; but he was also equally excited about his wife’s 30 conceptual paintings. During the show’s inauguration hours on October 5, the couple gave special guided tours to all the attendees, including veteran painter Amit Ambalal, gallerist Sonal Ambani, Managing Trustee of Navajivan Trust Vivek Desai, senior artist Vrindavan Solanki and organic dye artist Ruby Jagrut, among others.

Surrealistic portraits made using circuits and wood by Rakesh Patel

Rakesh’s works are very specific in their exploration of form and language, using acrylic and oil colours. Also contrasting such mediums as motherboard circuits and natural wood, he seems to express his pained feelings over how urban development is destroying the harmony of nature.

A series of portraits sketched by Rakesh using charcoal, watercolours and acrylic colours are also very attractive. He explained that each young adult figure portrayed in this series is a manifestation of the merger of his memory and imagination.

Imaginative Portraits by Rakesh Patel, made using charcoal, watercolour and acrylics

To my eye, Roma seems to be carefree about form and structure in her paintings. The process she employs to make her art is laborious, as explained to me. She first layers paint onto a glass sheet, then skins it thoroughly and applies it through a roller onto her canvas. Her abstract works are extremely eye-catching, with their schema of pop colours. Her large sized canvasses on the other hand, have more subtle colours, with abstract shapes floating around within the canvas space. Particularly the triptyct in hues of blue demands attention and is an invigorating watch.

Roma Patel’s conceptual art forms

The show remained open till October 7. I feel the Somalal Shah Gallery can definitely improve on the lighting at the gallery. With such good artworks on display, a little care on other aspects can overall impact viewers experience.

The show has been sponsored by Gujarat State Lalit Kala Akademi and will be travelling to United States by the end of the month. The show is a preview to the display planned at Barataria Gallery in Brooklyn, New York, where they will be exhibited from October 27 to November 9.

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