From Art Gallery

Pabitra Saha's Paintings

Atanu Basu

South Kolkata's art gallery, "Chobi O Ghar" organised a solo exhibition of Pabitra Saha, an artist well known in his own right. Christened as "Hidden Harmonics", the exhibition showcased more than 30 of his paintings in one go.

The paintings exhibited in the exhibition are lyrical. His works in acrylic and paper included many themes from water bodies and ponds through homes, sky, boats with numerous varieties. The landscapes that he presented, had quite a broad appeal, because of his careful and intelligent reconstruction and deconstruction of the themes.

Pabitra was successful in revealing the inherent contents, or the soul of the image presented by him. He situated this sprit with a unique stylisation. His was a struggle of a different dimension with specialisation in commercial art as he graduated from the Government Art College about 35 years ago.

He had internalised the kernel and characters of painting; thus it is no wonder that one encounters in his paintings the various components like unity, simplicity, dichotomy and many other parameters.

His temperament was aptly expressed by the imagery, symbols that he used, which had enriched the depth of his themes, sharpened the messages and touched the chords to create a harmony connecting his audience.

One can see many patterns in Pabitra's canvas. As for stages, one may be amazed to find vertical, horizontal, rectangle, plane surface, geometrical, to name a few. In some cases, he used patterns, such as angular formations flowing spontaneously with the theme.

Space played a major role in his landscapes. When he uses individual space, or even empty space for that matter, his composition depicts a deep contemplation. He is quite at home both in rendering abstract as well as classical form. Sometimes, he used Indian miniature art form and parallel formation to drive home his point, where again, space becomes his vehicle of communication.

No matter whether his medium is canvas or paper, he often used colour harmonisation through triangular or other forms-- lamp posts, huts and figures entered into the frames as small motifs. One may find some glimpses of Tantra art here and there. Sometimes he placed the central theme of his composition in the middle of the space, yet the same was very skilfully distributed throughout the entire space.

He was extremely careful in using colours in symbolic or simple forms. While recreating the pristine blue water body along with its approach, he meticulously included places for the anglers, big canopy for them, blue fishes, steps that led to the water, the whole composition displayed a superb restrain on the part of the painter as regards sense of proportion of using colour.

The geometrical pattern that he used, his supreme command over using colour, his sensitive treatment and depth of theme, all teamed up in a synchronous manner to impart a lasting impression on the audience. His paintings truly harmonise sensuous beauty of nature.

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Vol 56, No. 39, Mar 24 - 30, 2024