Artist Vinod Sharma has been painting landscapes for more than three decades. These majestic paintings exemplify the artist’s talent for capturing the nuances of the natural world. Sharma’s solitary landscapes are among the most elegant in the practice of landscapes because he has been perfecting these without distraction and remained loyal to its tenets and its vocabulary.

In his exhibition, entitled Mindscape, Sharma presents these compositions, which were painted after his many travels all over the world, sometimes while the temperatures were still frigid enough to create the atmospheric drama depicted in the icy blue and grey toned works. Sometimes you can glimpse his observation when he depicts the transformation of the land-it is the grainy tenor and the tonality in mineral shades that  mark his fascination with this subject and the gripping effect of the undulations of land and relief features on his psyche. Sharma has always had a passion for painting the land itself, even in its bleakest moment, because it is his intuition that anticipates the compositional traces of the subject and the magnitude of the season therein.

Summer and monsoon and autumn and spring have an early and important place in the artist’s oeuvres, and most of the time they have maintained this fascination in their later works. Sharma exceptionally, has always returned to scenes of land and soul and he reminds us of the early Impressionists of the twentieth-century. In his exploration of the landscape Sharma focuses on the very particular character of the air, the light, and the appearance of color in landscapes that are blanketed with earth toned grains of soil that are reminiscent of minerals.

Showing in Delhi after 12 years we are seeing a period of renewed enthusiasm, here are landscapes that are remarkable for their delicate atmospheric effects and energetic brushwork. We are looking at extraordinary studies of weather in a variety of conditions…. to produce these subtle atmospheric studies. Sharma executes examples that face towards the hills on the left bank with subtle changes of site, time of day, and atmosphere.

These works are a triumph of atmosphere. Despite the similar compositions of this series, they are each distinguished by their delicate palettes which vary individually from ice-blue, plum, and brick brown of a day to warmer tones of yellow and tangerine when the sun attempts to melt the refracted layers of sunset or sunrise.  The colours he translates provide the perfect reflection of the hillock like, the trees, and the sky, and adds to the tranquil and harmonious mood of this series.

By painting the same subject at various times of day and under different weather conditions, Vinod documents the continual transformation of his surroundings in different parts of the world on his many travels. His sensitivity to light and shade is seen when he captures a sunrise when it is breaking, its cloud-streaked sky washed in diaphanous smudges of orange, yellow, pink and blue. Yet the sun cannot be the source of the body’s illumination, which comes in from the opposite direction at the left front.

Mindscape will be on view from at Visual Art Gallery, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi from 19-21 February. The exhibition will thereafter continue at Delhi’s Creativity Art Gallery till 11 March


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