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The Torch is still Burning

Artist Jeram Patel carefully made his way to Shridharani Gallery with the support of a walking stick and rested on a leather chair before glancing across the walls that had on display his recent artwork in steel and wood.

Written by Vandana Kalra |
February 9, 2009 12:18:15 am

Artist Jeram Patel carefully made his way to Shridharani Gallery with the support of a walking stick and rested on a leather chair before glancing across the walls that had on display his recent artwork in steel and wood. The 78-year-old artist has effortlessly transferred his trademark,amoeba-like forms on to plywood sheets layered with stainless steel. On the way,he has revisited the blowtorch experiments that defined his oeuvre almost four decades ago. “I wanted to see if I still had it in me. The procedure is interesting,” said Patel,recalling the process of creating the 32 sculptures of 1×1 ft and 2×2 ft that took him almost a year.

While carpenters pasted together layers of plywood sheets,Patel created abstract patterns on them with a blowtorch at his Baroda studio,before the work was transported to art curator Asit Shah’s engineering products factory,where it was covered with stainless-steel plates. “It is a difficult process but nothing is challenging if you know the basics. One should keep experimenting with new medium or it gets boring. The market should never decide the course of an artist,” said Patel.

The non-conformism was a reminder to the Group 1890 that Patel established with artists J. Swaminathan,Himmat Shah and Gulam Mohammed Sheikh in 1962 to spearhead a new movement,against the idealism associated with the Bengal school. “We were a group of friends who came together with an aim to do something different. We had fun for some months and then went our way,but we are still in touch,” said Patel,as he readied to welcome his friends to his solo exhibition,and unpacked some more abstract sculptures.

The exhibition at Shridharani Gallery,Triveni Kala Sangam,is on till February 15

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