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New solo by artist Manish Pushkale
The young and talented Manish Pushkale’s ‘Serendipitous Encounters’ weaves a web around the viewer

Attaining an identity of his own through his inimitable art practice, he has emerged as one of the most significant artists of his generation. His mystic vision and passionate engagement with colors has played an important role in shaping his works. He displays a panorama of greens, yellows, blues and pinks that makes the swarm of whirling shapes come to life, shimmer with energy and radiate light and warmth. Graceful, refined and vivacious, it is all about self-generated energy.

His abstract oil paintings merge the organic with the spiritual, influenced by Buddhist and Jain philosophy, ultimately transcending religion to express a personal engagement with the immaterial. He states: “Through my paintings I am simply trying to curate that dampness and darkness of space in my own way.”

Born 1973, in Bhopal, the artist did his Master of Arts in Painting from Bhopal Art College. Manish Pushkale is a trained geologist and is also greatly influenced by nature. When asked as how this enhances his experiences and processes as a painter, he mentions, “Geology for me is the detailed inspection of hidden nature, some thing, which doesn't exist in our defined retinal periphery. But nature exists behind that too. Paleontology has a lot to do with my works; the forms in my paintings are buried in hidden dark spaces like fossils in earth.”

His solos include ‘Unveiling’, Bodhi Art, Mumbai (2007); ‘Japa’, Bodhi Art, New Delhi (2006); Galerie Edition Caracters, Paris (2006); Gallery 88, Kolkata (2005); Alliance Francaise in India (2004-2005); Gallery Espace, New Delhi (2004); ‘Des Sciences De l’Hommes’, Paris (2003); Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai (2002); ‘Aurodhan’, Bank of America, New Delhi (1997)

Among his select group exhibitions are ‘Deep in Black’, Galerie Muller and Plate, Munich (2009); ‘Empty and Full’, Aakriti Art Gallery, Kolkata (2008); ‘Point and Line to Plane VI’, Gallery Beyond, Mumbai (2008); Raza Collection Show, presented by SK Modi, Mumbai (2008); and ‘Middle Edge’, Aicon Gallery, Palo Alto (2008). His work has been featured participated at Shanghai Art Fair 2008 (presented by Sanskriti Gallery). He has been honored with Raza Foundation Award in 2003 and AIFACS Award in 1997.

In a curatorial note to his new show at Aicon Gallery, Palo Alto, Anirudh Chari remarks that the artist continuously stretches the parameters of the creative agenda he sets for himself. The essay points out: “His art is focused and centered upon rhythm, and compels the viewer to take in the entire image from a distance, while, at the same time, wanting to nose up to admire its details. These are the works of a subtle and nuanced painter, and the way the viewer moves back and forth before an image reiterates the ballet he performs both within the piece and in the physical act of painting.”

The talented creator mentions that he always finds it challenging to translate auditory experience to visual experience. He has been working on the concept of japa (spiritual chanting) for quite a while (Bodhi Art, 2006). Explaining what inspires him to capture the resonance of the chanting and visualize the auditory experience, the artist has stated: “I have been greatly influenced by vocalist Kumar Gandharva’s philosophy who once said that eyes were supposed to listen and ears to see for understanding his music. This dislocation not only fascinates me, but also detaches me at the same time.”

The curator points out: “Threads of alchemically mixed paint, spinning across the canvas leaving comet tails in their wake, are among the many extraordinary facets of a Manish Pushkale image. He has transformed the act of image making into a frenetic dance, the pictorial surface into a place of enchantment and the use of color into pure alchemy. One can feel his body in the works, in their lightness, rapidity, responsiveness and beats.

These paintings, however, are not self-revelatory or programmatic in any fashion. They are presences, surfaces reflecting the ideas and desires projected upon them. They could range in interpretation from revolutionary to assertive to fraught to masculine. Sublimely lyrical, these images are born of sustained experimentation. The fluid, colorful synthesis of elements makes his oeuvre seem abstract. It, in fact, is endlessly suggestive, especially the smaller works in which the viewer is rewarded with an expanded sense of seeing.