Madhvi and Manu Parekh are no doubt a favourite artist couple with Amdavadi audiences; not only for their Gujarati origins but also for the fact that both are acclaimed and distinguished practitioners with styles and content choices of their own; and ones who have earned a name outside of Gujarat in the ‘mainstream’ art circuits. The two keep returning here almost on regular intervals for the love of their people and land, and may one say also for the special professional connection they have with the leaders here The Archer Art Gallery!
Madhvi’s two shows were last seen concurrently in Ahmedabad in February 2019 when Gujarat Theosophical Society hosted her show The Last Supper – a series of paintings based on Biblical episodes – and Archer Art Gallery hosted in quick succession a well curated Retrospective show curated and pieces together by Delhi Art Group under the title The Curious Seeker. Both the shows were appreciably well received and were big draws at both the venues.
Just to refresh our memories for record’s sake, Nineteen Forty Two born Madhvi got initiated into painting by redrawing “some geometrical forms” during her first pregnancy. The figures provided to her for replication and entertainment during those uneasy times had soon led her to her own path of creativity in a matter of days, as she had very innovatively started playing and twisting those initial forms.
This started her supposed connect and rooting to the “Paul Klee influence” through those first lessons based on the latter’s stock creativity as shown to her for fun-filled creativity. She was later to grow and develop her own style having elements of rural folklore and mythology which were engrained in her pysche along with external influences of contemporary practices. Thus evolved through early and mid sixties her style of the childlike innocent strokes that actually proved to be her hallmark down the time.
Another connect in her career is attributed to Nalini Malini who taught Madhvi the technique of reverse painting on acrylic sheets. This internship has held her stead well as she did an entire series on Christ using the technique successfully and has also applies it to many of her other works.
Three years after her last appearance here, Archer has now mounted an Exclusive show of Serigraphs, of not only a few of the select original works created by Madhvi through early 2000s, but actually the works created to be just the Serigraphs with no corresponding originals.
This show thereby is partly a Retrospective of some of the original works known and seen over time and then brought to the genre of Serigraphs, or some exclusive serigraphs created earlier or now in 2022 for limited reproduction either to meet their existing demand or to offer them for future demand. This applies more to the current creations tagged as 2022 works specially commissioned under the genre.
This trend in Serigraphy looks at an emerging art market where options are being added to cater to all kinds of budgets through an appetite for collecting and showing art at not only people’s elite and luxurious residences but also in corporate spaces and budget homes on the other end of the spectrum.
It may also be worth highlighting in this context that Archer took to printing of limited edition Graphics from 1994 onwards and has subsequently pioneered this reproductive art not only in the form of Serigraphs but also in the even more affordable form of offset prints with the objective of taking art to all and sundry who show a basic inclination and fancy for the visual arts.
It was in the same background that Archer also tied an arrangement for sale of such reproductions at the Crossword stores. This collaboration, incidentally, was launched by Manu Parekh in 2017.
Fructifying their expertise and to meet the expectations of connoisseurs and art lovers, Archer has created similar serigraphs for several other artists which lineage began with Hussain and his contemporaries, comes to the younger contemporaries of the present day Ahmedabad and ever keeps growing with time.
So we see in the current show broadly two categories of Serigraphs of Madhvi’s works – those on paper and those obtained on acrylic through reverse technique. The works on show or otherwise available in the first category at the Gallery include Bapu, Bhakta, The Magician, The Boy from Mauritius, The Goddess, The Sun God in my Village, and so on.
The other category features the Serigraphs of her acclaimed works borne out of cross cultural influences and her visits abroad viz works in her Christ Series named The Christ, The Christ on Cross, The Last Supper and also others from indigenous mythological inspirations like Ganesh I and II, Kalia Daman, and so on.
Add to this range the absolutely new works readied exclusively for the show, namely Christ on the Boat; Picnic by the Lake; The Morning Cheer; Worship; By the Temple; Life by the Sea; Fish on My Mind; Seasick; Sun & the Moon and Scent of the Sun; and so on, more than a score of works have thereby been added to this repertoire of Serigraphy in colours ranging from nine to thirty nine! The works dwell on and capture various themes from the social and religious milieu.
Good one to see, the show is available till March 31 excluding Sundays and public holidays.
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