'Ae Mohabbat': A unique exhibition recreates characters of romances like Heer Ranjha, Mirza Sahiba, Parineeta

The exhibition, curated by noted art critic Uma Nair is an attempt by Pradiptaa Chakroborty to bring forward miniature traditions and recreate characters of classic romances

We are mosaics
We are mosaics

Murtaza Ali Khan

A unique exhibition titled ‘Ae Mohabbat’ is on display at Alturaash Gallery, DLF South Court, Saket in Delhi. Curated by the noted art critic Uma Nair, the exhibition comprises 6 paintings by Kala Bhavan Shantiniketan alumnus, Pradiptaa Chakraborty. Borrowing its title from the couplet by the famous poet and lyricist Shakeel Badayuni, the exhibition is an attempt on the part of Chakroborty to bring forward both miniature traditions as well as recreating the characters of the romances like Heer Ranjha, Mirza Sahiba, Parineeta and The Forgotten Princess. The show will run till February 28, 2022.

With a catalogue celebrating both history and narrative, the most telling part of these 6 canvasses is the sense of detail in composition and the inherent drama that Chakroborty creates. “6 Paintings can make an exhibition says Nair. It echoes the famous book by ER Schumacher who wrote ‘Small is Beautiful’. Pradiptaa Chakroborty is an alumnus of Shantiniketan Kala Bhavan and student of the famed K G Subramanyan as well as Jogen Chowdhury. He includes little hybrid humans from literature and mythology to add to the dialogues with contemporary art practices. His works are theatrical, his hero and heroines have about them a strength of character and gravitas. He also investigates the stories in a deeper tenor of telling tales amidst great tragedies,” explains Nair.

‘We are Mosaics,’ which consists of many fragments of delightful characters along with plants and the environment, is the largest canvas in the show. Invigorating ideas of language of mood of migration and of memory and history all come together to create a masterpiece in masculine as well as feminine perspectives. In the coming together of cultural identities and natural narratives, ‘Ae Mohabbat’ creates a testimony of tragedies of love stories that have given the world so much to savour. “My works are born of my experiences that go back to my childhood, of the many street dramas I watched, of the many memories I have which defined my practice as well as my reading of Bengal’s greatest writers and poets. For me a work of art brings together the fabric of socio cultural customs and visits both past and present. My characters are born of my book of imagination and fantasy,” reveals Chakroborty.

Melancholy Kiss of Heer-Ranjha
Mother of India 2020
Mirza Sahibas 2021

In the words of Asif Kamal, Director, Alturaash Gallery, “‘Ae Mohabbat’ is a milestone for artists as well as art lovers and collectors because Pradiptaa Chakroborty is an artist who creates works according to his own individual understanding of the mapping of the world through people.” For Chakroborty, colour and composition both become the ingredients of his canvas because “they directly influence the mind and soul of the onlooker”. He adds, “It is a great honour to show at Alturaash Gallery and indeed a moment of distinction to have Curator Uma Nair create a historical commentary of great depth and history for my works.”

Nair is also working on a seminal solo exhibition of world famous abstractionist Mahirwan Mamtani from Cologne in Germany. This will debut at Alturaash, Dubai and will travel to cities in India next year. The third chapter of Nair’s sculpture show titled ‘iSculpt for Delhi,’ featuring works by 20 artists, recently opened at the India International Centre and will continue till December 18, 2021. Her next solo exhibition will be the retrospective of Muzaffar Ali at Bikaner House in 2022.

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