New Delhi: Over 250 works of one of India's foremost modern painters, Manu Parekh, representing every important aspect of his oeuvre that includes paintings inspired by the Bhagalpur blindings are examined in detail in a new book.
"Manu Parekh: Sixty Years of Selected Works" brings together the finest paintings and drawings he has created in his career spanning 60 years. The book, published by Aleph, includes a late career highlight, a monumental work of 'Heads', completed this year that is based on Leonardo da Vinci's 'The Last Supper'.
According to art critic John T Spike, director of the Florence International Biennale of Contemporary Art, "Parekh's paintings break all the rules, sometimes reducing riotous colours to black and white, or making a city on a river plain into a kind of mountain… He is the foremost expressionist in contemporary Indian painting."
"Selection is always a rather violent exercise. It begins with the axe and ends with the ones that were absolved. The artworks that made it to this publication are a mixture of the biases of various people who are involved in this project including the artist himself," says Tanuj Berry and Saman Malik.
"The book shows aspects of his career that have been hidden from the public domain and form the foundation of his paintings. They help us find our way from his early works to Banaras while moving through abstraction, rituals, still life and human portraits," they say.
The book also carries an interview of the Padma Shri awardee in which he says that although there is no direct influence of craft traditions in his work, the experiences of village life, meeting those kinds of people, must have been of use in his 'Heads' and 'Bhagalpur' series.
"Even in the Banaras series, the whole element of faith and spirituality which I experienced fully in the villages has come through," he says. PTI