After all perhaps the greatness of art lies in the perpetual tension between beauty and pain, the love of men and the madness of creation, unbearable solitude and the exhausting crowd, rejection and consent. – Albert Camus
Several existential enquiries intersect to find a deeper meaning in Sudhir Patwardhan’s artworks. On Doctors Day, Desee Art has curated a carousel of such artworks by Sudhir Patwardhan, a prolific artist who was a practicing radiologist until 2005. In his works, human figures find themselves juxtaposed with the urban architecture of congested streets, and houses with a flicker of nature escaping the periphery of the vision. These are replicas of scenes captured by his photographs which he treats as references. He draws the many parts of the city, Mumbai, where he lives and works currently. His paintings transport us to a heterotopic point in time and space from where we adjust our gaze to be looking at the scenes portrayed by him. There is a voyeuristic edge to what he makes us see and feel, yet we never seem to lose regard for his subjects of humble backgrounds. The colours he uses are often muted with occasional usage of bright colours.
His paintings strike a chord with the foreboding loneliness or the quaint solitude experienced by so many in the hustle-bustle of the city. While our movements have been reduced to minimum, peeping into the world through our windows and balconies have become one of the few escapes from our interiors, Patwardhan’s artworks become heterotopias of escape as well.
Sudhir Patwardhan is a self taught artist and was born in Poona in 1949. Ranjit Hoskote, poet and renowned art critic has written extensively about his works. He has been showcased at Sotheby’s, Christie’s, Vadehra Art Gallery, Sichuan Museum, Shenzhen Museum, Zhejiang Museum, Rubin Museum, Jehangir Art Gallery and Tate Modern.