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Modern & Contemporary Indian Art II Modern & Contemporary Indian Art II GURCHARAN SINGH (B. 1949)
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Ananya Gallery, New Delhi
Following his education in Applied Arts from the College of Arts & Crafts, Chandigarh, Gurcharan Singh chose to work in the figurative mode from the very beginning of his career, filling his canvases with women, men, children and animals. The subject matter of his paintings has consistently been an exploration of the lives of deprived and exploited people, particularly women, pushed by circumstances to the fringes of society.
Over the last three decades, Singh's work has been exhibited in international biennales and art fairs in Germany, France, UK, Japan, Russia, Canada and Yugoslavia, while in India, he has displayed his work with the best of his contemporaries in Delhi, Chandigarh and Mumbai. He was given the National award in 1976 and received the Sanskriti award for the year 1982-83 in recognition for his contribution to painting.
Singh uses and manipulates the inherent qualities of oil and acrylic paints, pastels and charcoal to achieve desired visual effects in his works. His compositions move between single figure studies and crowded arrangements reflecting the pathos he observes in the everyday existence of pimps and prostitutes. Angular facial features, exaggerated gestures and eloquent bodily postures are hallmarks of Singh's style. He professes his work to be unplanned and intuitive. 'Woman' is from a series of works he made in the late eighties. His protagonist has her eyes lowered seemingly in introspection while ghost-like figures appear and dissolve in the space around her, another element typical to Singh's work.
Gurcharan Singh lives and works in Mumbai, where he also practices animation.