Miniatures that portray subjectivity and imagination
Mar 18 2013
Rahul, who did his basic training at the Delhi Blue Art Pottery, went on to do a Master of Arts with Concentration in Ceramics from University of Dallas in 2008 and on his return to India, followed this up with an advance course at PR Daroz’s Studio. Now based in Gurgaon, Rahul he has been successfully exhibiting his rather unique work in the capital since 2010.
The much lauded exhibition, Astronomically Small which opened on March 2 at the Art Heritage Gallery, brings us his latest work created on a potter’s wheel. Creating pots less than 3 inches in height each painted bright red, Kumar appears to have mastered the skill of creating miniatures very successfully. Those who have tried their hand on a potter’s wheel will probably agree with me that creating miniatures is far more difficult than making larger objects. These exquisite and luminous creations also make Rahul Kumar different from a large number of today’s artists who prefer to create monumental works. Exploring this angle, it has been said that, “Pottery for him is a silent spiritual journey, a creative discipline, a flamboyant celebration...”
It is also clearly apparent that Rahul Kumar is “not the quintessential potter”, but can be considered a true representation of Gurgaon’s younger generation as he juggles his artistic inclinations with an MNC job, which he has managed this rather successfully, can be seen by the success that he has achieved in his earlier show — Harmonic Discord. In this exhibition, Rahul used clay stoneware to create a range of large vases that were around 36 inches tall. However, soon after creating these large pieces, Kumar decided to move towards miniatures and his work was first seen as part of a show in May last year at Sotheby’s, curated by Janice Blackburn. It is after this very successful show that the miniature pots are now being seen in the capital and I would suggest that all art lovers and in particular those who appreciate pottery should make a point of seeing the exhibition, which will be on at Art Heritage till April 3.
I would like to end this column by quoting from the Sotheby press note: “ Kumar’s work is a part of the contemporary ceramics that is quickly moving out of a modest craft paradigm into a high-selling art form with an inherent thought or story to tell...ceramic work by Rahul Kumar, that presents a bunch of ultra-tiny pots...through this brilliant collection, Rahul extends into the realms of subjectivity and imagination.”
(The writer is a winner of many advertising design awards and a painter of repute)