Posted 04 July 201, by Uma Nair, Economic Times (Times of India (Times Internet Limited)), economictimes.indiatimes.com
Viewers can have their fill of gazing at the trellis-vined details of Seema Kohli’s works that seemed steeped in ritual and resonance, meditation and memory. Displayed at the A. Jain Marunouchi Gallery in New York, Seema Kohli’s multiple women and goddesses in the dhyanasana posture will invite New Yorkers to take a closer look at her rippled sensibility.
Perhaps the citadel of cynosure will be the Tree of Life with a female sitting in a yogic stance, or Pristine Knowledge-a work that showcases the view of a plaited back replete with Tree of Life detailing sprinkled all over the skin of a goddess-like woman the embodiment of Goddess Saraswati. In an age of tattoos and inked art, one can equate this work with the meditative outpourings on a modern day mandala. “There is intensive detailing expressing the continuation of my thought process,” she says. “There is no place as Shunya as even ‘emptiness’ occupies space. My figures are rather passive and have a meditative quality. They are usually merging with the visual. Reds expressing the vital energy, use of blue is very characteristic, the gold symbolizes the purity and all the colors I use have a certain meaning attached to them,” she goes on to explain.
But for this artist , her evolution has sprung from a sojourn that has driven her into an inner spectrum. Some aspects of her intricate style are characteristic of old miniature traditions in which a panoramic perspective would be presented as large views within a small canvas, and further depicting tiny animals and lotuses and humans in mendicant mood within spaces. “My oeuvre involves many layers of colors rendering a mysterious element to my works,” Seema says. But the mood of these works bears little trace of the solitary or isolated feelings that she sometimes projected in the works of her early years. On the contrary, a herd of flora and fauna and seated women rippling in unison across an earthtoned grassland, seems filled with the sounds of silence and tranquility. “I have in some of my works made use of mythological stories, their characters, their thoughts, be they Sufi, Hindu, Buddhist or Christian,” she says and adds, ‘I have used lotus stems abundantly to express the constant and tireless circle of creation, our various bonding and also as the umbilical cord, all finally leading to enlightenment or bliss- Ananda.” It is as if she has captured the sense of silent movement of each figure, the younger members placed along seated goddess in a serene atmosphere. The play what is most uniquely treasured in her outlook and work.
Each painting seeks to define the integral value of placement in groups that lead us to follow a rhythmic movement across the painting and through its spaces, suggesting the sense of distributed visual perspective in traditional mural paintings. The structure of the earth moods also gains an animated yet easygoing character from the regular cadence of shifting colours and the rhythm of its overlapping spaces. Seema’s application of dense colour with horizontal, vertical, and arcing strokes of a large dry brush lets the viewer sense the brush movements directly and imparts a fresh feel to the works, while creating layers of visual penetration.
These pure earth tones flecked with gold leaf assume an abstract beauty of their own. The delicate strokes of the ink tendrils create rifts in the texture, and the free sweeps of the brush across the canvas add a sense of movement, almost as if a wind were whipping up the branches of the trees. The eye is encouraged to move laterally as well as vertically as it might when viewing a scroll painting, extending the visual center outward toward the space beyond the canvas, and enhancing the abstract quality of the space and its colouristic tension. This show Synchronicty perfectly joins the charisma of colour and contour with the narrative theme of the evolution of creation. Ultimately life is about searching the goddess within.
Ed Note: Below are some of Seema Kohli’s art from around the web.