Legacy: A-vanguard showcases graduates of the J.J. School of Art whose drawings and paintings, while not in any way derivative, demonstrate a broad commonality of attitude with the late Prabhakar Barwe’s work. Madhav Imartey, Yashwant Deshmukh, Prajakta Potnis and Parag Tandel all produce meditative images that are the opposite of the kinetic avant-garde mode. Their paintings have none of the brashness associated with the Bombay Boys. They occupy a middle-ground between figurative, abstract, symbolic, minimal and decorative. The work is neither formalist nor content-driven, neither removed from reality nor politically engaged. You might call the artists neti-netizens. They have no desire to be ahead of their times. They enjoy the quotidian, the everyday.
Madhav Imartey creates dozens of studies of objects that fascinate him, be it typewriters, pylons, or cement mixers. He worries, mangles, distorts and remakes them, seeking a reality that hovers between the entity’s form, its function, and its potential to connect metaphorically with something outside itself.
Yashwant Deshmukh, too, takes simple objects as his starting point, but pares these down precisely and sensitively till they are bold, geometric echoes of themselves. He has imbibed the lessons of modern design while also retaining the memory of his upbringing in the sparse, flat terrain of Vidarbha.
Prajakta Potnis brings a more realistic approach to her exploration of domestic spaces and mundane objects. She places the objects of her choice against an evenly brushed background, endowing them with a buoyancy that leaves them seeming to float in space.
Once Parag Tandel lays pen to paper, he leaves his hand free to discover what it will. His drawings, which he rather self-deprecatingly calls doodles, vary from airy compositions to networks of lines so extraordinarily dense that they verge on turning into dark, flat planes.