Kalidasa's plays find a new canvas
The Sanskrit poet's immortal plays, Abhigyan Shakuntalam and Meghdootam, have inspired artist Vasudeo Kamath's exhibition, Resonance Kalidasa, where he depicts episodes from the plays
Artist Vasudeo Kamath may be known for his portraits but the theme for his present exhibition, Resonance Kalidasa, is firmly based in mythology.
Through a collection of 21 paintings rendered in oil and watercolours, the artist pays a visual tribute to the Sanskrit poet and dramatist and seeks to re-imagine his plays, Abhigyan Shakuntalam and Meghdootam.
“I am primarily a portrait and landscape painter. But every year I choose to study a subject and visualise it to create conceptual paintings. In the past, I have done paintings on the Guru Shishya relationship and on the life of saints. Similarly, I grew up reading stories of Kalidasa and they fascinated me. Historically, there is little information about Kalidasa but a lot of background on the stories.
I tried to portray the characters in a modern fashion, unlike what is usually found in books,” informs Kamath.
The artist spent the most of 2012 buying and reading academic books on his plays and visiting libraries to browse through study material. What fascinates him about Kalidasa is the fact that he accepted and portrayed the reality of life without embellishing it. “It is a challenge to be realistic, especially when we have a tendency to embellish even simple things,”
he adds. Kamath admits that the descriptions of nature and the portrayal of human behaviour in Kalidasa’s plays fascinate him.
Kamath studied at the Sir JJ School of Art and has painted portraits of dignitaries, including President Pratibha Patil. He also won the Draper Grand Award for his portrait, titled My Wife in 2006.
Till February 18, 11 am to 7 pm
At Nehru Centre Art Gallery,
Discovery of India building, Worli.