Photos: Ranjan Kaul

Text: Guardian 20

The self-taught artist Ranjan Kaul debuts with his first exhibition Essence of Being at India International Centre. The treatment in his paintings is layered—abstraction and simplification of form with use of varied hues and often heavy and cracked surface textures, suggestive of the abstract lives of their subjects. The backgrounds in his compositions are often muted to emphasise form.

 At other times, the human figure is integrated with the background, the living and non-living melding together as it were. The postures in his works, sometimes awkward, reflect the nuances of human emotion.  According to Kaul, “I indulge in spontaneous expression of my instincts and impulses with my experiments with form, texture and colour, but in a considered and controlled manner. As a humanist and artist, my paintings are thus manifestations of my emotional experiences as an observer of quotidian life.”

The show is on view till 19 November at Delhi’s India International Centre

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