Members of Rangrez, a group of Indian artists in Oman supported by the Indian Social Club, have, this month, taken small steps together towards creating a big statement in their very own world of art which has brought in accolades from art enthusiasts from all corners of the world.
‘Mini May’, the fifth virtual art exhibition hosted by Rangrez, which opened earlier this week (May 24), was an attempt at showcasing the diverse talent of its members in a rather miniature form with far reaching effects. The decision to hold virtual exhibitions every month in 2021 was taken in view of the uncertain situation stemming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, in a bid to keep the artists and art aficanados busy indoors as outdoor displays weren’t receiving much footfall.
Founder-member Sushmita Gupta said, “For the month of May I requested the immensely talented Pragya Bhatnagar, one of us at Rangrez, to curate an exhibition with small canvases. The idea of ‘small canvas’ actually came from Uma Gopinath, another dedicated artist who makes every process at Rangrez run smoothly. So, Mini May was born.”
Pragya asked the members to be inspired by master artists of the past who were born in the month of May. She provided them with a list of 30 International artists, including three Indians, to focus on while preparing their paintings for this exhibition.
Pragya said, “The challenge was to produce original pieces while retaining the style of these artists. All of this had to be produced either in the form of a diptych or a quadriptych of a canvas size each of 30×30cm,” Sushmita disclosed.“It was an enriching experience to curate the exhibition inspired from the works and styles of master artists from the last four centuries. The participating Indian artists residing in Oman imbibed the masters’ techniques and applied their own visualiaation to create unique fusion of art. The connoisseurs of art who attended the virtual exhibition appreciated the amazing concepts and high creative standards of the artworks on display.”
Here’s a glimpse of the presentations of seven of the 39 curated paintings of Mini May:
The Offering to Avarice
The Offering to Avarice (1 & 2) are diptychs that comment on the current situation we find ourselves in. The world and humanity have been scarified at the altar of greed. There is symbolism in the painting, with reference to humanity by the Dalian horse, that has reared up in the face of COVID-19. The greed of nations, corporations, politicians and individuals is causing death and scare for mankind. In all civilizations the fox is a symbol of greed. The mynas are synonymous with the need to voice out opinion but sadly today’s opinion on offer is not one of an individual but the noise of our new channels offering a distorted opinion. The dark clouds part to make room for angels to come and save humanity.
As a realistic artist, I got inspired by George Inness, an 18th century American landscape painter. His loose brushwork, dark palette and emphasis on mood has inspired me here.
Dr Madhurani Sawant
By The Riverside
I chose Henri Edmond Cross, most acclaimed French artist, for my inspiration. He is a master of neo-impressionism. Pointillism, as a style, is challenging and I have tried to bring out the best in my work.
Inspired by one of the greatest artists, Vilhelm Hammershoi, this painting was done with oil paints using rough strokes. In most of his works, Hammershoi has created a sense of serenity which I tried to portray in my own style. Lost in thoughts, a woman longing for something, or someone.
My impressions of nature and their colours have encouraged me to paint more nature-themed works. That is why I chose Sir Fredric Edwin Church, an American painter better known for large landscapes, mostly featuring mountains, waterfalls, and sunsets. I have attempted to replicate two of my impressions of his work in this painting. Firstly, the sunset and waterfall composition along with the beautiful surroundings, and secondly, his colour palette. Learning and following his style in my work has been a wonderful experience.
Kahwa , Kajoor and Bakhoor
My chosen artist for this exhibition is Georges Braque who along with the great artist Pablo Picasso pioneered the Avant Garde movement of Cubism. I have attempted to capture a still life through multiple perspectives using colours seen in many of Georges’ cubist paintings of initial years. My painting is called Kahwa, Khajoor and Bakhoor – a dedication to the Omani culture and symbolic of the month of Ramadan and Iftar.
The Paddy Workers
In this painting ‘The Paddy Workers’, I have tried to portray the beauty of simple Indian rural life. Jules Breton was a French realistic artist who showed the pureness of rural life as something noble and even beautiful, and that inspired me to choose him as an inspiration for my work.
To visit exhibition: https://www.artsteps.com/view/60901ee2dfb02f149044219d?currentUser