Manoj Kachangal grew up in a small village in Madhya Pradesh, and it was there, in the very midst of Nature, that he began his artistic journey; it is not surprising, then, that Nature continues to be his most important influence. In fact, the artist recollects that the first paintings he created, before enrolling at the Institute of Fine Arts, Indore, were those he painted on the walls on his mud hut with flowers and other natural pigments like geru.
Kachangal’s use of colour overrides all other elements in his work in order to blur boundaries, and to allude to ideas beyond the frame. As they have no specific geophysical location, his works are often referred to as abstract landscapes. Although there are no clear demarcations between land and sky, there is a hint of reality, a semblance of authenticity which possibly stems with his preoccupation with Nature. These works, however, are dotted with abstract symbols – a sudden triangle or an unexpected circle – that unsettle the view.
Speaking about his work the artist says, “I have always maintained that you don’t consciously follow a certain style or genre. I feel it’s not me who does a painting: I start applying paint, and then at some point the painting takes over. It starts demanding its won colours, lines, shapes. It is as if someone else’s will is at work. So I don’t really know whether it’s me who does the painting or they come into being on their own”(in conversation with Ratnottama Sengupta, Doors of Perception: The Art of Manoj Kachangal, Bharatiya Jnanpith, New Delhi, 2008).
After hosting his first solo exhibition in 1998, Kachangal has held numerous solo shows, most recently at Gallery Pioneer, New Delhi, in 2009; ‘The Doors of Perception’ at the Visual Arts Gallery, New Delhi, in 2008; ‘In Search of the Abyss’ at Mon Art Gallerie, Kolkata, in 2008; and ‘Antaryatra’ presented by Marvel Art Gallery at the Nehru Centre, Mumbai, in 2007. Kanchangal’s work has also been exhibited as a part of several group shows including ‘Contemporary Indian Art’ at Galerie Muller & Plate, Munich; ‘Millennium Turks’ at Hotel Trident Hilton, Gurgaon; ‘Rainbows in the Sun’ at the Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi; and ‘Homage to Swaminathan’ at the All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society (AIFACS), New Delhi, all in 2008.
Honours and Awards
• 2003,04 Meera Gupta Merit Scholarship, Indore.
• 2001 Raza Award, by Madhya Pradesh Kala Parishad, Bhopal.
• 1999 Bronze Medal, Avantika 7th All India Art Exhibition, Gwalior.
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 54 x 31 inch
year : 2007
|Dimensions||54 × 31 in|
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