One Of Delhis Best

Updated: Dec 22 2002, 05:30am hrs
Neeraj Goswami, who is exhibiting his latest works at the Sridharani Gallery in Delhi, is an artist who forms the backbone of the stable of gallery Ganesha. His work has been sought out by collectors since he was a young art student and had his first show at Shilpi Chakra.

What was noticeable at the time was his strong drawing, firm lines with cross-hatching to give them volume. And the price one paid for his work ranged between Rs 200 and Rs 500. He has come a long way from those early drawings and sells in six figure prices today.

Certain essentials have remained though. He still creates enigmatic figures, contraposing hard angular shapes with pliable circular ones, reminding us that life is a complex mix of many contradictory forces. His latest works, however, blend line and perspective, colour and texture, triangular shapes and circular sequences, figurative and abstract areas that come together in his canvases with a sense of harmony that few artists can achieve.

One of the major reasons he is able to do this is that he does not overproduce.

So each work is meticulously handled. From sequences of figurative elements cushioned in abstract forms as in The Dance, Cruise, Inner Journey, and Yatra one comes to icons that draw life from geometric shapes like triangles and circularities, as in Nartaki and Flight, to drawings that string positive and negative space together with finesse. His strength lies in creating what was not there before and convincingly. As he says, I bend my self and a plethora of images surround me. They combine to create hitherto unknown rhythms. A form is born and has the power to transcend, to go beyond the veil of Maya.

The facility and humility with which the artist presents his quest for truth is the secret of his success. It something rare in these days of strident self-promotion.

And this approach, being not at all put on, naturally suffuses all his art, the facility of its line, the glow of colour, the uncertainty of perspective and the ambivalence of his message.

Here is an artist who knows his job enough not to dazzle one with expertise. His is art at its quiet best, as art should be if it is to affect us deeply. And this exhibition of his, like those before it, represents yet another advance in technique, colour and process, something few artists can sustain as he has done.

Suneet Chopra