Artist Madan Lal Misses The Rural Past
NEW DELHI, (IANS) – Several unfinished works are on different easels. Between never-ending cups of green tea, he says there are too many deadlines to be met.
National award-winning artist Madan Lal, whose work will be showcased at the South Korean Art fair, then Jehangir Art Gallery in Mumbai and then Turkey, says, “When you explore and work on different themes in a short frame of time, artistic sensibilities sharpen. Certain things emerge that you never thought lived inside you. Of course, there is a thin line between chaos and a collage.”
His work ‘The Music Within’, a 25X25 acrylic on canvas, which will be part of the art fair is a yearning to discover sounds in concrete landscapes market by geometrical shapes. The work has a gramophone, concrete, and elements of nature — portraying a complete balance.
Lal hails from a rural area but has been living in the city for decades. However, one can easily see the nostalgia and melancholy associated with village life in his work.
“No matter how aesthetic the city is, one always feels a certain something missing, right? This is especially true when you have lived in a rural area. Out there, there is a deep connection with the land. In urban life, paths have already been created, you just walk on them — there is little adventure in every sense of the word. Here, one is forever looking for that gap to be filled. In my case, I have tried to do it through these series,” says the artist.
The artist, who has been teaching at NIIFT, Mohali, feels art education in Indian institutes needs to undergo a drastic change. Stressing that the scope of what is taught is very limited, leaving students with little room for innovation, he says, “I see a rapid decline in quality as far as institutes are concerned. They may be reading about the masters, but it ends there. A place of learning must inspire confidence and provide new learnings besides what is in the books. When I go abroad, I see young art graduates willing to take risks, and colleges encouraging them to experiment and not follow a linear trajectory. Out there, involvement in other art forms too is considered extremely important.”