‘‘INFINITE OUT OF THE FINITE’’
“Abstraction allows man to see with his mind what he cannot see physically with his eyes….Abstract art enables the artist to perceive beyond the tangible, to extract the infinite out of the finite. It is the emancipation of the mind. It is an exploration into unknown areas.”
― Arshile Gorky
“ INDELIBLE MARK “A Solo show of Paintings by UTTAM CHAPTE
At: Triveni Kala Sangam, 205, Tansen Marg, New Delhi.
Date: 12th August – 21st August 2019
Timings: 11AM – 8 PM
In the history of modern art the story of the Abstract art spans no more than 108 years. But the Abstract did not suddenly materialise out of nowhere like some kind of a magical act. Even an artist of the stature of Turner, the magician of the landscape, had at one stage strayed towards the Abstract. Quite a few shapes and compositions of the modern Abstract art can be divined in the Tantra art of ancient India. In Gorky’s quote lies hidden the true grammar of the Abstract. However, despite a strong history of the Abstract art we often come upon arguments such as: “Art should look like art, trees and flowers and people, not weird shapes and splotches of colour all smeared together.” One has to also reflect whether the so-called love, passion and pain give rise only to figurative art. These sentiments can be expressed in the language of the Abstract art as well.
I notice this very love, passion and pain in Uttam Chapte’s Abstract creations. His paintings hide within them like a wonder world the earthy aroma associated with a farmer family from the Hadolti village in the Latur district of Maharashtra, and the soothing gusts redolent with the fresh air coming from paddy fields. The geography of his village is no less interesting – the Karnataka border is close by and the border of Andhra Pradesh is not very far either. The openness of his Abstracts can be noticed in this geography.
Personally, I like the modern artists who do not just make their village part of their memories and then forget them. They are able to maintain a close relationship with that world even in the contemporary context; in other words “they extract the infinite out of the finite”. No wonder Uttam Chapte’s favourite modern artists are Gaitonde and Ambadas.
Chapte’s new works are beautiful expressions of what looks like the wonderful world of stones lying under water. The viewer can dive into this world any number of times and with each plunge he is able to divine the infinite within the finite at the level of creativity. Chapte’s works display an amazing balance of colours and forms. His large canvases do not go looking for the grammar of the western Abstracts; rather, each moment they manage to define his peasant roots. Great Hindi poet Nirala’s one line has a range of deep meanings: “A man bent like a bow/ Turns into a being with a plough.”