Photos & Text: Madan Mahatta Archives & PHOTOINK
This exhibition, entitled Satish Gujral: A Brush With Life, captures some of the key artistic moments in the life and career of Gujral, who turned 90 recently. It is also a tribute to the zeitgeist of modernism as seen and portrayed by him over the years. As a part of the show, over 70 original works of art were juxtaposed with rare archival photographs — taken by Madan Mahatta — spanning Gujral’s life, including some vintage images of his works that have long fallen out of public memory.
The images include shots of canvases from the ’70s and ’80s that gave abstract expression to religious themes, ideographic and satirical paintings, frequently making a talismanic use of the Devnagari script among other symbols. Mahatta’s photographs also captured the ephemeral memory of Gujral’s installations done for industrial trade fairs and India pavilions at various business events. Presented here are some of Mahatta’s standout photographs, along with a few penetrating portraits he did of Gujral decades ago.