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A life’s work returns larger than life

It’s been four years since Paresh Maity’s last solo in Mumbai and the artist has a rather grand comeback in mind, reports Purva Mehra.

mumbai Updated: Nov 09, 2009 01:19 IST
Purva Mehra

It’s been four years since Paresh Maity’s last solo in Mumbai and the artist has a rather grand comeback in mind.

Maity will for the first time in the history of Jehangir Art Gallery, Kala Ghoda, take over all four of its exhibition halls for his mammoth showcase titled Montage Moments Memories, starting November 10.

To exploit this rare privilege, Maity has worked on diverse media including painting, sculpture, photography and video.

“As the first artist to have access to the gallery’s entire space I wanted the works to be more accessible to the public,” said Maity (45).

To do so, the Delhi-based artist will erect monumental installations and bronze sculptures. The latter are a series of geometric, elongated, angular faces that are totemic in scale but human in expression. Most of the featured works are between 14 to 20 feet high and weigh no less than 500 kg.

“I could only plan such an ambitious project in Jehangir, no other Indian gallery affords such scale.”

Maity’s suite of paintings includes works in oil, mixed media and water colour. Water colours have been the artist’s mainstay and have won him several awards and exhibit spaces at the British Museum and the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi.

“The entire exhibit is a montage of my life’s best memories. Besides landscapes of Shantiniketan, I’m also showcasing a huge mixed media based on Pablo Picasso’s Guernica. Another installation of public interest is constructed out of dismantled Enfields,” Maity said.

An established figure in the journals of contemporary Indian art, Maity will also feature for the first time a video work titled From Kolkata to Kozhikode, a film that traces India through the monsoon.

“Public art should have environmental leanings. The film documents the impact of the monsoon before and after. Water has played a very important role in my life. I started as an artist with water colours and this video is a coming full circle of that inspiration,” said Maity.