Art in the middle of a crowd? It’s possible, says painter Paresh Maity whose biggest solo show, A World on Canvas, showcases paintings and installations inspired by his visits across the globe since 1983 along with Nemai Ghosh, the photographer for most of Satyajit Ray’s films.
“I was not aware of Nemaida’s camera at all. All my life I’ve painted outdoors — even in the middle of the bazaar — to capture light, movement, shades,” says Maity whose works on Egypt, China, and Indian cities such as Kolkata, Varanasi, Delhi, Aurangabad, showcased in the exhibition are in his trademark watercolours and oils.
Maity, one of the better-known contemporary artists in India, infuses his cities with drama. His Santiniketan “reflects the closeness of a community of human beings”. Egypt is the ‘height of classicism, everything you see around you is at least 2,000 years old,’ and Varanasi, the “height of devotion”.
Maity aims at maximum expression with minimum strokes. Look out for his painting of a black-and-white Rajasthan, a classic Egypt, a historical Delhi, a yellow-hued China and his installation of Kolkata, titled The Procession in which 50 ants made of motorcycle parts capture the city’s tradition of taking to the streets in protest.
The exhibition is on at Lalit Kala Akademi from March 13 - 27 and at Gallery Art Alive from March 31 — April 10.