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Bucolic Crescents Lend Its Escapist Fantasy to Bholanath Rudra’s ‘Pensive Moons’

Emami Art opens its doors for Bholanath Rudra’s ‘Pensive Moons.’ The exhibition showcases his most recent large-scale watercolours. It offers a purview of nocturnal forests, bordering between reality and imagination. His is an almost romantic exploration of forest scapes bathed in moonlight that also dwells upon issues such as the abuse of natural resources and takes us from escapism to reality. The exhibition opened on 28 June 2024 and will continue till 20 August 2024 at Gallery I (Ground Floor).

Traditionally, the moonlit landscape is associated with an idyllic rural life, which expresses the artist’s appreciation of nature, bucolic romances, myth and spirituality. ‘Pensive Moons,’ however, interrogates the relationship between land and identity, imagination and history, exploring nocturnal forests as sites of contemporary concerns and discourses – violence, trespass and survival.

Courtesy – Emami Art

Unlike contemporary artistic approaches to the landscape obsessed with archives, maps, statistics, description and analysis, Rudra’s moonlit landscapes are predominantly romantic, evoking high feelings and a sense of drama. While swaying us with tremendous scenic beauty, they slowly take us closer to the grim truths, speaking of the anti-poaching narrative not in the language of sign but in the language of similitude and metaphor: the crescent moon resembles the elephant’s tusk and vice versa.

Richa Agarwal, CEO of Emami Art said, “Bholanath Rudra’s large-scale watercolours depict the moonlit landscapes where the hard truth is spoken in eloquent language, evoking empathy.” Bholananth Rudra is undoubtedly the most potent Indian painter working in watercolour today. Dark, luminous and rich in tonality and texture, Rudra’s watercolours have an eloquent visual presence reminiscent of Abanindranath Tagore or Samuel Palmer. The critical content in his work is inseparable from the visual pleasure of the paintings. The glowing moons in the paintings lure us with their sublime beauty and make us think, evoking empathy.  

Courtesy – Emami Art

About Bholanath Rudra

Born in Kolkata in 1984, Bholanath Rudra studied painting at Rabindra Bharati University, graduating in 2013. He is a member of the Society of Contemporary Artists, Kolkata. He was the subject of the solo shows ‘States of Mind’ at the Society of Contemporary Artists, Kolkata, 2018 and ‘Mechanical Libido’ at the Academy of Fine Art, Kolkata, 2013. He has also showcased his artworks in Italy and New Delhi. 

Bholanath Rudra lives and works in Kolkata.

Image Courtesy – Emami Art via YouTube

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