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ARTISTIC POLYPHONY

 

A base reminiscent of relief painting, with raised contours, varied impressions and design, and a surface on which colours are defined with no apparent, direct connection to the drawings that form the next layer. The tall, looming Tree of Life encircled by birds and human figures emerge out of this background. However, beneath this coloured world lies another structured, independent present.

 

Such surprises are evident in the latest works of S.G. Vasudev, which deal with themes that have been of interest to him throughout his career.The observer is confronted by a picture-polyphony – a complexity of “many voices,” like the music of the early Modern Age. The basis of a musical polyphony is always a contra point, whose first movement or entry lies in the wandering sounds of a medieval Organ. Canon and fugue were essential characteristics of this art form, in which every single voice presented was rhythmically and melodiously an independent form. These were then dealt with independently and fusedwith one another. Single or individual tones do not stand isolated but in relationship to another: confronting, changing, repeating and putting together at rhythmic intervals, each time creating a new combination.

 

Such complexities can be seen in S.G. Vasudev’s latest works, titled “Rhapsody.’’ The word, rhapsody, emerged from the wandering singers of Greece or Rhapsodists, who used to narrate a poem or part of a composition. In contemporary times Rhapsody is understood as a vocal or instrumental piece that is not interlinked to any particular form of music. The musical themes of rhapsody are loosely bound to one another; they can be casual themes, independent, and not necessarily built upon one another.

 

Vasudev’s latest set of paintings follow a similar pattern. Firstly the base/ background and the drawing area are separated in terms of themes and motifs; eventually they fuse/blend together by means of overlay and corresponding with one another, resembling an entire composition of fugato.

 

A closer look at a Vasudev’s Tree of Life reveals how he artfully and subtly builds up the picture over gorges, grooves and valleys on the substratum of the canvas.

 

A painter – like a musician, perhaps – who follows an inner melody connects it to another independent melody, all of them connecting and branching out into a harmonious lattice. This has always been the case in the fine arts. Synthesis was the basic feature of the Romantic Age.

Synthesis can be found in the works of the musical composer, Richard Wagner.Synthesis is part of Vasudev’s “musical” works, created over the last few years. It is not often that such an intense connection between music and art occurs. These paintings are like complex music notes, connecting emotional depths and intellectual contra point, and linking different artistic disciplines to form a complex whole.

 

Ernst W Koelnspergar

Art Historian

 

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Recollections Reconnections

Recollections Reconnections, exhibition of drawings and paintings by S.G Vasudev