A week-long exhibition displaying the complete collection of acclaimed sculptor Satish Gupta opened to art enthusiasts on March 24 at the India Habitat’s Visual Arts Gallery.
It’s for the first time in 25 years that the artist is exhibiting his sculptures, paintings and haikus in the city.
The Sanskriti awardee’s personal collection on display will give the visitors a chance to experience the ethereal quality of his works which are lucid, lyrical and profound.
Known for his life-size installations, copper sculptures, paintings, drawings and calligraphy, the eclectic artist recently collaborated with Prime Minister Narendra Modi over a sculpture-painting titled ‘Om Namo Shivay’ which received rave reviews from art critics and enthusiasts alike.
The artist’s life-size work, a sleeping Buddha’s head reclined at an angle, which will be displayed at the Atrium of the India Habitat Center has a surprise element. For on the reverse, Buddha’s head is patterned like a cave, its inner walls inscribed with neat rows of Buddhas carved as though by ancient hands on a rock face like edicts from a preceding age. The mesmerizing quality of The Buddhas within is hypnotic, yet it is neither old nor rock, but copper, and across the ‘cave’s’ length sprawls the figure of a gilded sleeping Buddha.
His collection of haikus, presented in his characteristic and visually rich calligraphic style like “You are welcome to your mansions and palaces, “The empty sky belongs to me” and “Each person’s silence is unique, just like his voice”, captures the subtle nuances of the Zen philosophy that the artist practices. These haikus are autobiographical as they trace his journey and act as records of the most transforming moments.
In another work, “Surrender’, an elegantly aerodynamic Garuda done in copper with patina, stainless steel with gold and mirror finish measuring 12 x 16 x 9 feet to understand the sheer magnitude of his perspective. Despite its size, this sculpture exhibits a suggestion of lightness, the possibility of flight that is more real than imagined. Then there are the deeply moving sculptures Shunya and Meditations on a Mandala, each a masterpiece of voids and solids, a Buddha cut from a metal sheet of Buddhas and suspended from a metal rope, to merge one moment and emerge the next, a point of mediation and meditation.
Drawn to nature, Satish’s journey began as a painter of landscapes. His paintings encompass portraiture, landscape as well as abstract imagery and reflect his deep engagement with mysticism and Zen spirit. The colours used are minimalistic, delicate and understated like blues, moss green, lilac pink, earthy brown and beige make for an ethereal world.
The exhibition closes on March 31.