S. G. Vasudev was inspired by tapestries of works by Picasso, Braque and other artists that he saw during visits to Europe. His desire to render his own paintings and drawings in the medium of tapestry and his meeting with master weaver Subbarayalu in 1995 led to a collaborative venture that drew on each other's artistic mastery and ingenuity to create fresh, original works of art.
Over the years, woven imageries of select paintings were produced using a stand loom to hold the warp and facilitate the interweaving of the weft of silk thread in selected colours (often specially dyed for the purpose), creating a pictorial harmony of form, texture and colour. Vasudev's awareness of and respect for indigenous crafts and textiles served as an impetus for revisiting traditional practices with contemporary consciousness and overcoming the inevitable challenges of such a long-term collaborative experiment – spanning two decades.
The present exhibition of tapestries in silk presents images from several of his series of paintings, such as Tree of Life, Maithuna, Humanscape, Earthscapes and Theatre of Life. Through this medium the artist explores the eternal synergy between art and craft, tradition and contemporaneity, man and nature, and fantasy and reality.
-- Dr. Pramila Lochan
S G Vasudev
Born in 1941, Mysore (Karnataka), Vasudev received recognition as a painter early in his career. He was awarded a National Scholarship by the Government of India in 1964, while he was a student of the Government College of Art, Madras, and a National Award from the All India Lalit Kala Akademi in 1967.
Vasudev is a founder-member of the Cholamandal Artists' Village on the outskirts of Madras (now Chennai) where he lived and worked till 1988. He now lives and works in Bangalore.
Vasudev works in various mediums (drawings, paintings, reliefs in copper and tapestries in silk). He became well-known for his "Vriksha" (Tree of Life) series, which evolved over nearly a decade, turning into the Tree of Life and Death in the latter half of the 1980's. He also explored the theme of "Maithuna" (Act of Love) through a series of drawings, paintings and copper reliefs. Eventually his tree grew into faces titled "Humanscapes" and "Earthscapes". The tree is still sometimes visible in the series titled "Theatre of Life" and "Rhapsody".
Vasudev has participated in several important group exhibitions in India and abroad (including the Triennale India, the Paris Biennale, the Havana Biennale, India's National Gallery of Modern Art show in Washington, the Festival of India in Tokyo and The New South- Contemporary Paintings & Sculpture from South India in London. In addition, he has held solo exhibitions in different parts of India and the world (including USA, England and Germany). Exhibitions of his drawings based on the late A.K. Ramanujan's poetry and translations, titled "Tribute to Ramanujan" have been held in Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, London and Chicago.
His works are represented in many individual, institutional and corporate collections in India and overseas. Apart from this he has executed a number of murals in different media.
He has won recognition for his work in the form of several prestigious awards, including those instituted by India's National Academy of Art, the State Academies of Art in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu & Kerala. The Government of Karnataka presented him with the Rajyotsava Award in 1994 and the prestigious Venkatappa Award in 2003. In 2010 the Government of Kerala honoured him with the K.C.S. Paniker Puraskar.
Vasudev has also been on the Executive Board of the Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi and worked as a selection committee member twice for National Exhibition of Art. He served as Director for the International Art Camp organised by the Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi, during the 1997 Triennale India. He was also a member of the advisory committee of the National Gallery of Modern Art, Bangalore.
Vasudev's contribution to cultural life has not been restricted to the visual arts. Deeply interested in music, literature and theatre, he has derived inspiration for his own work from the works of important litterateurs and musicians. In addition he has designed and/or contributed paintings for the cover of several books by leading Kannada writers. He has also been art director for two award-winning Kannada films "Samskara" and "Vamsha Vriksha".
Vasudev is the founder and managing trustee of Arnawaz Vasudev Charities, which has been providing financial assistance to young artists since 1989. He is instrumental in the setting up of the non-profit organisation, Ananya Drishya, in Bangalore, aiming to help promote art appreciation among children and adults and create a database and library about art and artists of Karnataka. He is also closely associated with the Department of Visual Arts, Bangalore University.
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