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Sanjay Bhattacharya explores geometric abstraction

Artist Sanjay Bhattacharya sees geometric shapes like no else. Even though they don’t speak, he feels that they express emotions. His ongoing show tells a tale about his thoughts and the emotions that geometric shapes express.

Maneka Gandhi, Member of Lok Sabha (centre) is seen with artist Sanjay Bhattacharya (right) and Payal Kapoor, Founder, Arushi Arts, at the inauguration of an art show 'Talking Geometry'.

A triangle, circle, square and rhombus may appear as mere shapes to us but for artist Sanjay Bhattacharya, there’s more to them. He believes that geometric shapes express emotions and he has the ability to decode their language. His ongoing show titled ‘Talking Geometry’ gives a glimpse of both these elements.

Bhattacharya’s works are made in geometric abstraction. It allowed him to play around with geometric patterns to create different forms on the canvas.

“Whenever we draw something, we cover a positive space and the negative space just lies there. This negative space allows us to see patterns as curves, double triangle, small dots and triple triangle, among others,” he explains.

Since these are abstract pieces, the artworks and forms emerged out of these patterns cannot be planned. The artist simply worked with his thoughts and ideas, and allowed his creativity to flow.

“When I started on an artwork, different types of patterns appeared. I mean I had one focal point but rest of the geometrical patterns just happened during the process,” he shares.

For instance, in one of the works, the centre triangle was the only thing that was drawn initially. But as he was in the process of creating the artwork, new ideas emerged and the rest of the shapes automatically happened.

Similarly, he transformed a realistic painting but allowed elements to flow differently on the canvas.

“The original painting carries hills, a tree and mustard flowers. Initially, I planned to make the trees into straight lines, but as I was replicating it onto the canvas, an idea poped up and I decided to represent the tree into textured triangles. Similarly, instead of giving mustard flowers their natural shape, I used graphical lines,” he clarifies.

The artist has prominently used black in all works. When asked if it was intentional, Bhattacharya says, “Black is used to hold the composition. If I will remove black from these paintings, you won’t see any impact. It is not only adding depth to the canvases but also weight of the shape, i.e., how heavy a shape is.”

This is not the first time that the artist has used geometrical patterns in a show. But it’s the first for him to give them the spotlight.

“I have used circles and triangles in two of my other series, namely, ‘Tribute to the Masters’ and ‘Krishna’, in 2006 and 2012, respectively. But they were only as supportive elements. In 2006, my works featured Dali and Rembrandt and in 2012, Krishna dominated the canvas. But this time, I thought of highlighting geometric shapes only,” he clarifies.

Talking Geometry is taking place at the Visual Art Gallery, India Habitat Centre till September 27. Payal Kapoor, Founder, Arushi Arts organised the show, and Maneka Gandhi and Aman Nath inaugurated it.

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