Pastoral life captured on canvas
B. PADMA REDDY
Narendranath successfully brings alive the intrinsic spirit of Srikakulam in his second solo show here.
NATURE'S WAY Narendranath's paintings have the essence of rural life.
K. Narendranath belongs to that set of artists for whom skill is their art and the dictum they live by as they precisely document vignettes of individual concern. In Narendranath's case it is the pastoral life of locals in the small hamlets of Srikakulam district that get manifested as artistic expressions, conceived by an articulate mind and executed with dexterity.
His vision is limited. He is like a lensman freezing images, albeit in his memory, to translate them on to paper, glass and canvas. The portraits of the natives become exclusive compositions in a gay palette, with equal prominence given to the subject and the background.
In this second solo show at Minaaz Art Gallery, Narendranath shows a steady nurturing of his skill developing a simple yet alluring visual language - light and pleasant to the eye and the mind. The 30 odd works consume the viewer with diverse postures, expressions, attires, situations and occupations culminating into an interesting rural tapestry. The large 4x3 feet charcoal drawings need a special mention for the quality rendering and discernible sensitivity towards medium and matter, capturing the momentum of the area.
Narendranath successfully brings alive the intrinsic spirit of Srikakulam. Toddy bottles, palm leaf fans, pumpkins, hindalium tiffin cans, banana bunches or the mud pots treated ponderously, speak of some passionate involvement. With his first appointment as an art teacher at Kendriya Vidyalaya, Srikakulam, in 1997 after a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from JNTU, Hyderabad, Narendranath travelled across the villages extensively absorbing all the new terrain had to offer. "Srikakulam offered me a new canvas. I could work as I wanted. There was no fear of influence or rejection. I had this freedom, which was like magic. Now, I would like to expose the common man and his life to the art-loving community. I believe that my endeavour will uplift the common man and bring some dignity and social significance in his struggle for existence," says Narendranath.
His strength is his technical skill and his ability to enable the viewer to empathize with the works,eulogizing the beauty of the place and its people. The exhibition is on view at Minaaz Art Gallery between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., till August 9.
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