Why Kolhapur's MR Deshmukh's solo exhibition 'Vivid Impressions' is a must-see for art lovers in Bengaluru?

Why Kolhapur's MR Deshmukh's solo exhibition 'Vivid Impressions' is a must-see for art lovers in Bengaluru?


From artist M.R. Deshmukh's Vivid Impressions series

From artist MR Deshmukh's Vivid Impressions series | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Writing about a man so reserved and modest is challenging. “I don't think there is anything special about what I have done; there are far greater artistes than me,” says MR Deshmukh.

“Besides that, I think my paintings express everything I want to say. Painting is a language in which forms and colours speak to the viewer. I cannot add anything more to it.”

And yes, it's true; Deshmukh's work speaks for itself. At 80, the Kolhapur artist is exhibiting over 30 of his works in Bengaluru – almost all of which have been created in the last two years, which is an impressive feat in itself.

Artist Shri Deshmukh

Artist MR Deshmukh | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Vibrant, yet muted, the spots of colour evoke memories once cherished or scenes from long-forgotten journeys. Vivid Impressions includes both landscapes and figures in its collection. While some landscapes depict glimpses of India as seen from a train compartment, some are of quieter byways, perhaps seen by someone leisurely sitting in a café and watching the world go by.

Some of the other paintings are of women captured in various everyday scenes – sewing, relaxing, with a baby, working in the fields, meeting each other, balancing a load on her head – an ideal Indian woman. Most attractive, at least to me, were the canvases with small birds by the window or outside, like you see in childhood dreams where the grass is bright green and the open sky is full of sunshine.

From artist M.R. Deshmukh's Vivid Impressions series

From artist MR Deshmukh's Vivid Impressions series | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Inspired by the beauty of nature or femininity, Deshmukh's artistic journey began in Satara, Maharashtra, her birthplace. “I spent my school days roaming between the Krishna and Koyna rivers, and later moved to Kolhapur for college studies. The memories of the natural beauty I enjoyed in those days are largely reflected in my work.”

Deshmukh says nature inspires everyone, but he was also fortunate to be influenced by the treasures kept in the Shri Bhavani Museum in Satara, which he often visited. The museum, established in 1938 by Shri Bhavanirao Pantpratinidhi, the last ruler of Aundh, has an amazing collection of Indian and Western masters, which left a deep impression on a young artist.

From artist M.R. Deshmukh's Vivid Impressions series

From artist MR Deshmukh's Vivid Impressions series | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Deshmukh says he has “refined his artistic language by visiting museums and galleries, reading books and learning in art school – just as human communication is refined by meeting different people and attending social gatherings.”

Mentored by accomplished painter and sculptor Ravindra Mistry, Deshmukh, who studied art at Kalaniketan Mahavidyalaya in Kolhapur, says his heroes in the art world include S.H. Raza, Baburao Sadvelkar, Alfred Sisley, Claude Monet and Rodin.

Created using oil paintings on paper and canvas, Vivid Impressions by M.R. Deshmukh is presented by Artenblue and will be on display at the MKF Museum of Art until June 29, 2024.


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