Retrospective 60 Years of Selected Works – Solo Exhibition

by Manu Parekh

As an artist, Manu Parekh’s career has shown a diverse section with form and material. Parekh formed his career after independence in an India that reflected great divisions and confluences, he sought solace in the metaphysical. For Parekh, his native, Ahmedabad, his city of awakening, Bombay, his muse, Kolkata, and Delhi where he resides, all come together in Banaras; a city of convergence, a muse that Manu has pursued for more than three decades. An artist who draws from spirituality, its ritual and inherent modern exploration with form and medium, his culmination with Banaras is natural.  

His canvases are consumed with colour, space and figuration; absurd architectural scapes, minarets, temples and palaces jostled with each other, on the banks of the river. Parekh watching the maze and chaos the city offered with endless inspiration emanating hues, never lost its fascination for him. He also decides to include a still life of a flower vase or a lamp in a Banaras landscape.

Manu’s depiction of plants with conscious versatility resembles erratic humans with great affinity. A reiteration of his early watercolours, simple yet abstract botanical studies similar to portraiture, where florals replaced the features. His latest series, comes back to a rendition of the ’Last Supper’, from 2017, that depicts caricatures of men in varied emotions. 

Parekh, in his narrative, tells us about an extraordinary life told in the most quotidian manner. Among the painters of India, he binds us as the very many who seek through art.

Sumesh Sharma

Bombay 2018