Zargar Zahoor is well-known in the art circuit of the Capital. A landscapist by choice, Zargar's works have enthralled his patrons no end. Painting nature was always his wont and his joy, for he quite obviously enjoys the landscape as much as he enjoys painting it; and why not ~ hailing as he does from the country's most naturally spectacular region, the K Valley.
But it was not to stay that way and the vibrant colours of resplendance and love disappeared one day, giving way to frozen, white metaphors. It was as if the snows had frozen the very minds and hearts of people, the artist not excluded; unknown even to himself, while he tenaciously struggled to be positive, the colours had diminished, virtually to a point of extinction, and the forms altered to jagged remains of what must have been hearth and home.
Living and working in Delhi, far from the land of his youth, it was memories he had dwelt on and eked out in his paintings, layer by layer, till they began to fade, and reality struck, hard and unrelenting, every area a cloud of uncertainty. The pale frames ~ yet enticing, like the palor of a woman of beauty in mourning.
There comes a time when life must be swung around, the snow dispelled and the sunlight allowed in. So it is with our artist. In Chromatic Harmonies at the Lalit Kala Akademi, the colour is back, as is the warmth, in a universal spread of beauty, one that emanates from within, embraces and amalgamates, like gold mist across one's being. The inimitable Zargar strokes are back with their old magic ~ the tragic beauty transformed back to resplendant landscape, the flora crisp and erect.
Thus perhaps may these paintings be termed as the artist's inner landscape, renewed, golden and in control, celebrating what is achievable, told and re-told, arms spread out wide to embrace the universe, memories of yesteryears to be worked and re-constructed in whichever part of the world one must strike roots in. For the emotional, Zargar's Chromatic Harmonies may well bring a lump in the throat, at every level where beauty touches and moves. Works also to be seen at the artist's Studio-Centre at C 91b, Kalkaji.
Born, brought up and surrounded by artists, creativity is part of Vijay Kowshik's being, wherein no other profession was able to hold his free spirit in permanent pursuit. Having thus said goodbye to the corporate world very early in life, Vijay returned to what had to be his permanent vocation, excluding all else. Designer by training, architecture, art, design, conservation and restoration, physics and human dynamics have consistently remained his subjects of interest, though his forays into fields of art have been by way of ceramics and glass work, as also periodic curation and exposition of pottery, ceramic and paintings. This time round Kowshik has mounted an extensive series of glass art ~ Parsing: The Mind's Eye ~ at the India International Centre's Kamaladevi Complex, with masks, portraits, a narrative panel of visuals in stained glass and others, with touch and sound effects, this last drawing enormous interest and excitement from the viewers ~ his experience of the sounds of sea waves while staying in a monastry by the sea. While masks are "connotations of the attitudes of individuals, which differ at different points of time and circumstances around us", explains Kowshik, the portraits are undertaken only if the subject is known and liked by him. So it is that we find the late B C Sanyal's head accorded pride of place among the exhibits. Through the masks and the narrative is discernible a streak of irony in most of the portrayals, giving full reign to his artistic freedom.
On questions of aesthetics versus content, he says, "I think aesthetics isthe basic understanding; the artist has immense artistic freedom to play with several variables, still kindling an interest and awareness in the order, providing him an experience. The making of the work itself is solely for the pleasure of the artist and, as Kinkar da said, is like childbirth. I like to work with the medium, understand and enjoy it, and so, like to play with it."