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Quality by default

art-and-culture Updated: Apr 17, 2009 17:06 IST

Hindustan Times
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Rang Baisakhi - a show at the Open Palm Court Gallery at the India Habitat Centre - plays with the colours of spring.

Featuring eight artists, the exhibition has an USP. "The prices of the works of art have been kept very reasonable considering the name of the artist, in this time of economic meltdown," reads a message posted at the show.

"This is the best time to buy because art is now affordable with the market turning realistic because of the downturn. But somehow, people are still wary," Renuka Bajaj of Taara, the Indian Art Consortium, who hosts a show every Baisakhi, told IANS.

The exhibition stands out for the striking quality of art on display for prices ranging from Rs.10,000 to Rs.250,000.

A series of six Vishnu and Hanuman paintings in the Kalamkari tradition from Andhra Pradesh by Ramesh Gurjala is unusual because of its dense drawings on canvas, the colours, figures and the stories of Ramayana that they depict.

Another series by West Bengal-based artist Shyamal Mukherjee - Baba-Bibi drawings of an Indian couple - are in the genre of caricatures. It is intelligent and humorous because of the rustic statements that it makes. For instance, the colourful baba and the bibi in one frame urge people to use lanterns instead of electricity.

Artist Promod Ganpate's women on canvases are regal, almost like those painted by early contemporary masters; while H.R. Dass from Santiniketan paints stylised bulls in bright red and black, which are mischievous.

The five-day show was inaugurated April 14.