Quest for A Mystic Order
Om Prakash who is presently exhibiting a selection of his paintings done during the Eighties at Genesis Gallery, is a Delhi based artist widely known as a painter of the Neo-Tantric school. Edgy, disciplined and very tidy symmetric composition of the pictorial space defined by varied and vivid emotive colours in brilliant shades of harmonising and contrasting values lend his canvases instantaneous visual appeal. One may liken them to mere decorative patterns or ornamental motifs in our ancient temple architecture or pleasing fabric designs though they can be traced to elements in Tantric art. But the perceptive viewer gradually gets initiated into their chromatic vibrancy and neatly demarcated visual fields of intense aesthetic energy, participating in the artist’s quest for mystic order sustaining both the reality of nature and that of human mind. A masterly colourist as well as accomplished sitar player, Prakash consciously correlates music with colours while composing the pictorial space and building up elaborate kaleidoscopic pattern in rich and varied chromatic vocabulary in a kin shaped canvas Mandala Sarang (Fig. 77 Page 49). Though it comprises geometric motifs of Tantric yantra, its formal sophistication and symbolism are inspired by the artist’s personal interaction with universe as a musical abstraction manifest visually in intricate of harmony and contrast in colours. Water colours done during the artist’s visit to Poland last year are splendid in technical execution. In their design and rhythmic chromatic feel, they recall something about the painting of the Bengal school. Vertical or horizontal accents in Summer Morning or Primal and rectangles and circles overriding the surface in Evolution and Spring (Fig. 80 Page 50) show the artist’s major concern with a disciplined visual communication of mystic nature. They embody a music like orchestration of moods and feelings originating in the contemplation of something as cosmic as creation and a manifest as nature. The images comprise tidily structured line bound areas of colours evoking finites of circles and rectangles often bordered with decorative bands. Red, orange, green, yellow, violet and ochre are employed diversely in lucid, flat, toned or textured washes overlaid with strokes of the same or different hues softly vibrating and emoting like slow-paced music. The figurative works in oil include two large canvases primarily evoking landscapes with hills against a glowing forenoon sky. But what obstructs this simple view is a totem like vertical pattern superimposed right across the middle in one and a rectangle containing symbolic motifs in the other. They would be ordinary landscapes without these abstract motifs. The geometrical composition of space around realistically evoked sensuous female nudes achieves a harmonious integration suggesting a union between the finite and infinite.
Manasij Majumdar, The Telegraph, Calcutta, Wednesday- 24 January 1990