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  Life   Art  08 Dec 2019  The maestro’s rasa

The maestro’s rasa

Published : Dec 8, 2019, 1:08 am IST
Updated : Dec 8, 2019, 1:08 am IST

The likes of Raza, Souza, and Husain had their own rasa to their paintings which made them stand apart from other artists.

Artwork by Ram Kumar
 Artwork by Ram Kumar

The word rasa means essence or taste and in artistic terms, it is defined as the aesthetic flavour that an artwork possesses which cannot be described, but only observed. The likes of Raza, Souza, and Husain had their own rasa to their paintings which made them stand apart from other artists.

In order to acknowledge the rasa of contemporary artists, an exhibition titled Rasas of Indian art is currently being organized at the Art Spice Gallery, The Metropolitan. It showcases the paintings of S.H. Raza, M.F. Husain, Ram Kumar, F.N. Souza, among others, in the pre-independent and post-independent era.

Apart from the variety of maestros on display, there were a variety of techniques, processes, and viewpoints of many artists. This includes Jamini Roy’s works, which revolved around religious themes that are a depiction of peace and tranquility. On the other hand, artist Hemen Mazumdar  depicts sadness in a woman’s life through evoking a feeling of compassion and mercy.

Babita Gupta, the co-curator and director along with Saurabh Singhvi, says, “Rasas are different emotions, whether it is eroticism or dark emotions like disgust which you see in the artworks. Because it is all Indian artists, you can see the different rasas. Rasas have always been in our scriptures and our way of life — a depiction which is seen in the works.”

“It is the depth of the work. It has many layers — it is neither one layer nor one flat emotion. When it is a master, the range of emotions you can see in his works,” she highlights, further adding that masters will always go up in price. She later goes on to call each of the works on display an aesthetic experience in themselves. She explains, “In the term of aesthetics, each artist has their own different style. The aesthetics are complete in each of their works. There is nothing more to it than you can add and that is the beauty of it.”

One could also sense a certain sense of pain in these works, “They are more sensitive towards the environment, which you can see in their art. If you see most artists, it is the pain through which they draw.” Apart from the pain, the other aspect that is hidden is the fact that how some of these paintings are unseen, despite having been seen before. She adds, “The hidden aspect is just to come out in a space, be with other artists and the beauty of it is that you get to see them in one space.”

“I think it is a rasa within you. The artist paints with his own rasa but we are just assuming so when we are looking at the work. The evocation of rasa in you is different from what the artist painted it. And that is the beauty of it,” she concludes.

— The exhibition is ongoing till January 3

Tags: m.f. husain, art exhibition