Cinque Terre

Moving Ahead  
Pravina Mecklai, Jamaat Art Gallery, Mumbai

Krishna Pulkundwar comes from a Village in Maharashtra with all the rural visual inputs from his childhood. His keen observation there of nature has stayed with him throughout. The colours, the play of light and shadow, the effect of rain, sunlight, clouds, even the moonlight changes how things seem and look. But more, much more than all this Krishna was fascinated by textures. The look and feel of stones, barks, pebbles and leaves viewed through running streams. The ripples caused by a vagrant breeze, the effect of falling rain. This inspired a great to recreate that on his canvases.

But Krishna is no longer a village lad. He moved to the big bad city of Mumbai! He is a Professor at Sir J. J. Institute of Applied Art. He has moved ahead. Completely comfortable in his skin as an urban person, he is no longer wowed by the city he lives here, is completely acclimatised here and belongs here. What has stayed with him is the continued fascination with texture. The look and feel of city walls, the stones on our streets, the puddles and potholes, Yes, and the falling rain, the rippling breeze on the trees and waves of the sea. It is still nature but in an urban environment.

To this is added modern attire. Working in a College, he daily sees the young dresses “colours, shapes, textures again “and he is inspired anew. Being surrounded by the young is a wonderful thing “you are constantly challenged, you interact with them at several levels, you are exposed to the various media that they use” and you have to update yourself “and move ahead.

With time comes a certain maturity. Krishna now looks beyond the obvious, he is more discerning. In the visual language, he is now pared down, more refined. He has moved away from the common craft of painting to a more creative level, with much more thought and soul behind it. There is much more focus behind Krishna’s work now, not so much impulse and more deep thinking. The forms have been minimised, the geometrics more diffused, the colour palette more homogenised. The simplicity is what makes the paintings so elegant and sophisticated.

And as always, the texture is the main thing. Doing away with a conventional brush, Krishna is using a palette knife, rollers, rulers and other implements he has created for his work. This gives the paintings a depth, almost an impasto feels.
Krishna is certainly MOVING AHEAD

Delving Within   
Pravina Mecklai, Jamaat Art Gallery, Mumbai

Solo show of paintings by Krishna Pulkundwar
JAMAAT is proud to present the second solo show with us, of Krishna Pulkundwar's paintings. We had presented Krishna's first solo in November 2007. His vibrant reds, oranges, yellows, bubbled with the exuberance of his mood.

3 years later, now in 2010, Krishna has grown as a person, as an artist. He is thinking more deeply, he has matured to a new sensibility. Still inspired by the natural surroundings of his childhood, he remembers bunking school and going with his buddies to the river side, climbing the trees and looking down at the vistas of the fields and the rivers. The various shades of green, merging with the greys of the clouds, and blues of the waters. The play of sunlight and shadows on the water and within. A peaceful time, a time to introspect.

This has given Krishna a different palette. Veering to the blues of the water, interspersed with the sophisticated complexities of grey, the dashing freshness of greens and the earthiness of yellows.
The city of Mumbai that he has moved to, also still influences Krishna. The windows and doors that we all look through, frame his works, the geometrics are evidence of them. They give us a perspective to looking deep and delving within.

Krishna enjoys his time, teaching at J.J. Institute of Applied Art. He is inspired by the interaction with his students, enjoys the constant energy they bring and is charged by their freshness. No wonder he is such a popular teacher.
However, his passion is his painting. Every day, no matter what the hour, Krishna sits focusedly painting, sketching, in a quest for self progress. Frame and form come constantly to mind: and he ponders, judges, evaluates. Like a musician does "Riyaaz" every day, Krishna must paint every day, listening to the strains of classical Indian music. Painting for him, is "Swanand", his self-pleasure. If the viewer also derives pleasure from the work, then a further goal is achieved.

Krishna's fascination for the dense colour of black is very interesting, juxtaposed with the counterpart of white. Combined with the contrasts of light and shadow, giving endless nuances of grey.
Working with acrylics, inks, pastels on canvas, the current suite of paintings are abstracts pared down, minimised for maximum impact. The most simple, as we all know, is the most difficult. They come from a constant journey of delving within, a search for realisation with no real figure or destination. Just journey on, to get better, get more pleasure, and get more "Swanand".

InspiRED Windows
Pravina Mecklai, Jamaat Art Gallery, Mumbai

I first met Krishna when he breezed into JAMAAT with a cheerful smile and politely handed me a CD, asking me to have a look at his images at my leisure. This was quite a change from the other brash artists who swagger into the gallery and demand your immediate attention. A good beginning, that only got better.

When I did have a look at his CD, [which I did immediately after he left], I was so impressed with his work. The vibrant colours, the sharp forms, the sophisticated compositions. I called him to come over and have a chat.

Coming from a small village in Maharashtra, Krishna’s inspirations are from nature. The reflections and movements on water in shallow ponds. The stones gleaming under the ripples. The feel and fabric of flowers and petals. Inspirations also come from the textured walls of an aging structure. The walls are man-made, but the ravages on it are from nature. Similarly, with dusty, rusty metal pieces. Man makes the metal, nature gives it the patina. These variants in texture and surfaces are what fascinated him.

But Krishna had moved from his idyllic childhood village home. Krishna was now in Bombay. He was awed by the tall high rises, the sky-scraping towers. His open childhood vistas were now framed by the windows of his city space. His perception changed. His perspective had shifted.

Krishna wanted to use these two influences so strong in his mind and heart. The textures inspired by nature. The strong geometrics of the city. His works had sharp lines demarcating his canvas. They separated the vibrant planes of colours, which were so interestingly textured on his canvas.

It was a joyous meeting of two distinct effects. A jugalbandi of the two Indias -the rural and the urban. Krishna composed these paintings in windows. A frame within a frame. This was how he looked at his worlds, keeping things in perspective.

Krishna is very conscious of his environs and reacts to them. Springtime, and Holi is celebrated with exuberant splashes of colour “reds, blues, greens, yellows playing with each other. As people splashed colour on each other, Krishna splashed paint on his canvas. Autumn brings Diwali “with the warm glow of red, orange, gold and yellow.

Krishna has certainly found his genre, and, a large group of admirers and buyers. And through all this, he continues to teach at the JJ Institute of Applied Art. An artist who is also a teacher, is what makes Krishna the special person he is. He portrays all this through his InspiRED Windows

Abstract Joyscapes   
Prof. M G Rajadhyaksha - Ex Dean, Sir J J Institute of Applied Art, Mumbai

Many years ago, a little sapling found itself uprooted out of the pristine environs of cool breezes, ample sunshine, flowing streams, and a beautifully simple life. And it found itself replanted into a whole new environment. One of chaos, hustle-bustle, and a furious pace. In such terms could be described Krishnas migration from his rural roots amidst the warm embrace of nature, to the big bold city of his expression.

While several others might actually have been bogged down by this brutal shift in environment and habitat, Krishna totally exploited his gift of art to marry the influences of his roots and his current existence. And the world was treated to the immensely delightful paintings of Krishna Pulkundwar!

While one might wholly appreciate the acute realism of a landscape painting in the mirror image of God’s creation, the exact stirrings that a beautiful abstract work evokes is something else altogether. I would associate the joy derived out of Krishna’s abstracts to the little inexplicable abstract joys that all of us encounter on an everyday basis. Joys like the sudden blush of an evening sky, the heady feeling that comes with the fragrance of wet earth, the sense of liberation our heart feels on hearing the cuckoos call; all abstract expressions, but with very real enrichment of the senses. Quite a bit like taking in the vivid earthy colours, crisp form buildup, and the overall beauty of Krishnas paintings.

Colours form unique colonies, textures breath a new life, and a flat surface discovers new depths in the bold expressions on Krishna’s canvas. And through it all, I’m sure the viewer experiences a whole new manifestation of plain old simple joy!

Embracing the Mystic Abstract   
Ashish Vilekar, Mumbai

It is not the desperate urge of progressive simplification, compulsive proposals of catharsises emotions or complex equations of frame of references that support his pictures. The world of colours, their vibrating notions and his fascination for abstraction lead him towards the mystic land of 'The Abstract Art'. That is what I know about Krishna Pulkundwar.

Embracing the mystic Abstract with a statement does not intend to say. I wish to present.  An artist invites troublesome tense moments. Still he is expected to continue his journey without surrendering his conscious to those tormenting moments. Krishna also went through this phase. His initial work did reflect the same.

Krishna spent his childhood in the lap of nature; from there he landed in the multi cultured mega city. The city structured with artificial, mechanical components. It was difficult to tune in so was his reaction. Krishna tried to reduce the pressure through landscapes, the only link that reminded him of his previous past. But who can define and interpret the versions of frequent changes occurring in one’s mindset? The disturbances lead him to the unknown region of 'The Abstract.' Through the mist of disturbances Krishna glimpsed the visual possibilities. Accompanied by a fistful of childhood treasures Krishna travelled through the distant land of 'The Abstract.'

The restricted nature of the mega city was creating tensions against his past. The volume of the mega city rose higher and occupied the canvas. There were no human beings...just noisy levels of volume and its occupancies. The impressions of his past however showed their presence without making any noise. The aged tree trunks, crushed walls, stones, fauna and the shallow riverbed painted the sea of his vision on his soul. Tensions and stress caused by these two morphed in to his paintings. Krishna accepted their presence.

What exactly does his painting say? When an artist himself declares that he has nothing to say and nothing to convey! What should an onlooker look for? It was exactly here that the crowded, vibrant mega city colours raised their voice and noise to declare their existence. In the restricted walls of the mega city an artist's treasure awkwardly occupied its place! Why does the crowd dominate? Why a single co-ordinating alliance with the crowded city couldn't appear in the whole picture? Is it continuous denial to the co-existence? Or is it the mutual agreement between the two of them to stay in their restricted areas of freedom? A satisfactory answer to these questions would be further extensions of Krishna's journey.

In the mysterious region of The Abstract Art, equations do not help to unveil mystery! Interpretations and meanings lead to further confusions and debates. Constant occurrence of questions is the only key to open these doors, because the region of The Abstract Art is full of constructed mirage and it still haunts people since it is forbidden. Krishna has stepped in to such a land of mystery and misery.