When figures speak

Jul 21, 2013, 05:55 IST | Punam Chavan

Mathematician AV Ilango applies the laws of the subject to his paintings at Figurative Figures, a group show

As a child, mathematician and artist AV Ilango enjoyed painting. But as he hailed from a conservative background, his parents believed he should focus on completing his education and attaining a job. Eventually after becoming a mathematician, he started pursuing art seriously and managed to merge the two seamlessly.

During his stint as a professor at a Chennai college for 27 years, he strived to keep his love for art alive by painting whenever he was free in the staff room. “I taught to earn a living and painted since I loved art,” he says.

The 63-year-old artist, who has exhibited his works in various Indian cities and abroad, will now showcase his works as part of a group show, Figurative Figures, at Jamaat Art Gallery. Ilango loves to use bright colours and paints with a spatula. “I use a spatula as it lends better strokes to my works.” Being a mathematician at heart, he also applies the subject in his art works. He explains, “Based on the logic of factorisation that uses the distributive law to reverse the process of multiplying out brackets, I keep one-fourth portion of my canvas empty to give breathing space to my paintings.”

Apart from Ilango, artists such as Bharti Prajapati, Rini Dhumal, Samir Mondal and Fawad Tamkanat will also showcase their works. While Prajapati’s paintings show stylised women adorned with tattoos, Dhumal has painted a bevy of Indian goddesses as the epitome of power.

The common factor among these works is that all of them have figurative art. “Since ages, we have had paintings on cave walls, portraits of royal families, which have appealed to us. I thought it would be interesting to bring five artistes on one platform and see different interpretations of figurative art,” says Pravina Mecklai, director and curator of Jamaat Art Gallery.

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