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Manu Parekh

Born in Gujarat in 1939, Manu Parekh completed a diploma in Drawing and Painting from the Sir JJ School of Art, Mumbai, in 1962. Currently living in Delhi, Parekh is an avid traveller, often inspired by the city he lives and works in. Stays in various cities in the past, have all had an influence on his practice - Kolkatta and Santiniketan drew him to the old masters of Indian art - Ramkinkar Baij and Rabindranath Tagore. Then Benaras, which has remained his most enduring muse, with the river Ganga, and the temples that dot the Ghats on the rivers edge; all these make repeated appearances in his canvases.

Manu Parekh's work lies somewhere between abstraction and figuration and is largely non-narrative in nature. Exploring the relationships between man and nature, his works celebrate the energy of this interaction and its inherent contradictions. Those familiar with the artist's style would know that these simple elements are not just what they appear to be, for they are underwritten with an organic energy that although not explicit, is inherently sexual.

Parekh's paintings are meant to provoke viewers to take notice of the world around them and lead them to appreciate beauty in all its forms. The only exception in Parekh's oeuvre is the openly painful, angst-ridden and topical series titled the 'Bhagalpur Blinding', a three decade old body of work that speaks to the viewer directly of the agony of the young convicts who were blinded by policemen. "My work has long since moved away from such topical and angst-ridden subjects", says the artist.

Here, in 'Celebration', the powerful lines, swirling masses and tightly interwoven forms of the relief are painted vividly. "Quite simple and attractive, so they can be viewed at a glance", says Parekh.

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