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Artist Pradiptaa Chakraborty turns to miniature traditions to paint legendary tales of romance

Curated by Uma Nair, the exhibition titled 'Ae Mohabbat' at Delhi's Alturaash Gallery also includes preparatory drawings for the canvases.

Pradiptaa Chakraborty, Pradiptaa Chakraborty exhibition, Pradiptaa Chakraborty Ae Mohabbat In his previous works, the Delhi-based artist has drawn from mythology and tradition. (PR handout)

From Heer-Ranjha to Mirza-Sahiba and Parineeta, the stories of romance might be familiar to many, but on artist Pradiptaa Chakraborty’s canvases, they attain new dimensions.

“My works are born of my experiences that go back to my childhood, of the many street dramas I watched in West Bengal and the many memories I have. These defined my practice along with the works of Bengal’s greatest writers and poets. For me, a work of art brings together the fabric of socio-cultural customs and visits both the past and the present,” says Chakraborty, 43.

Pradiptaa Chakraborty, Pradiptaa Chakraborty exhibition, Pradiptaa Chakraborty Ae Mohabbat Melancholy Kiss of Heer Ranjha.

Curated by Uma Nair, the exhibition titled “Ae Mohabbat” at Delhi’s Alturaash Gallery features intricate paintings representing the stories. If Melancholy Kiss of Heer Ranjha captures an intimate moment between the lovers with metaphorical references — from a hoofed human (deer symbol of freedom in Buddhism) and a lion (symbol of pride) — Mirza-Sahiba’s Immortal Love Story to create the new world has the protagonists seated on a horse; here, we see, angels with bows and arrows perched with flowers.

Recreating a scene from Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s 1914 Bengali novel Parineeta, Chakraborty includes the golden deer Maricha from the Ramayana in the depiction. “Parineeta is a complete woman. She gives of herself for her home and family. I was trying to create that image of wholeness,” says the graduate from Visva Bharati, Santiniketan, who has exhibited world over, from London to Australia. In his previous works, the Delhi-based artist has drawn from mythology and tradition.

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Pradiptaa Chakraborty, Pradiptaa Chakraborty exhibition, Pradiptaa Chakraborty Ae Mohabbat Mirza-Sahiba’s Immortal Love Story to create the new world.

The ongoing exhibition also includes preparatory drawings for the canvases. “In a revolutionary departure from the institutional definition of drawing, he uses his reliance on paper as the fundamental support material, to create these drawings that push the lines across the plane into real space, thus affirming the relation between the object of art and the environment created. His lines flow like fluid realities to create drawings that are at once compelling and charismatic,” writes Nair in the catalogue.

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First published on: 15-11-2021 at 07:10:41 pm
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