A master stroke of abstractionism at this show in the city

Prabhakar Kolte, a veteran Indian artist known for his abstract canvasses, shares how art gave him the strength to carry on amid the pandemic.
Veteran abstract artist Prabhakar Kolte is exhibiting over 50 works of abstract art, which he made during the lockdown phases.
Veteran abstract artist Prabhakar Kolte is exhibiting over 50 works of abstract art, which he made during the lockdown phases.
Published on Oct 17, 2021 02:23 PM IST
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BySiddhi Jain

New Delhi

Art is a window into the minds of both its creator and its viewer. For over 50 years, veteran abstractionist Prabhakar Kolte’s canvasses led him to inquire deep within himself. And now exhibiting over 50 works of abstract art, which he made during the lockdown, Kolte has returned to the Capital after 15 years, for a show titled The Mind’s Eye.

When a student at Sir JJ School of Art, Mumbai, in the 1960s, Kolte decided he’s “not going to copy human beings, subjects, and landscapes”. A pioneer of Indian Abstract Expressionism, he recalls how he delved into self discovery via painting.

“When I paint, I think in terms of form and colour, not in words... Just putting colour on the canvas itself was discovery. If I didn’t like anything, I’d wash it off,” says the artist, who has also taught at the same institute.

The works on display are impressive in range, size and depth. And the artist says, “I’ve tried to create something out of nothing. So the exhibition is a visual experience — one that doesn’t have a subject, but it’s a subject in itself.”

An artwork on display at the exhibition.
An artwork on display at the exhibition.

Sharing how art gave him the strength to carry on amid the pandemic, Kolte says, “Painting is everything for me, and if I’m alive, its because of it. I couldn’t go out (during the lockdown), so for months, I was painting continuously. Painting gave me the strength to live with Covid!”

Catch It Live

What: The Mind’s Eye

Where: Treasure Art Gallery, Defence Colony

On till: December 10

Timing: 11am to 7pm

Nearest Metro Station: Lajpat Nagar on the Violet and Pink Lines

Author tweets @siddhijainn

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Tuesday, November 30, 2021