Chandigarh-based painter Madan Lal’s latest show presents new colors, fresh motifs, anthropomorphic images, dreams, geometry, fantasies, and ornamentation. Giving a new texture to his series of 21 paintings at the exhibition ‘Codes of Colours’, he presents his work at the Jehangir Art Gallery in Mumbai next week. In the past, his work has taken inspiration from his surroundings and every day like architecture and its geometry or nature. This time it is no different, except there is a new cultural context that the series explores through bright colours and with the entry of pastels in the lines and contour highlights.
The paintings, like applique, depict many motifs. For instance, his series on Urban Phulkari is a fusion of various elements and small figures of the real and the ethereal, with a lot of concrete that we see around us. It presents a metaphor of the complex emotional-scape of human beings. The new figures that have emerged are of immigrants, people we see all around us. They have become a part of our lives, space, culture. In an indirect way, we have accepted them into our lives. Their colours of celebration are in contrast to the grey landscape of our city.
There are motifs of the swing that depicts the many motions of our that of a goat, awaiting its fate. I work with instincts, and in this series, I have worked with pastels, which adds to the idea of the subtleness of a mind at work. For years I have been wanting to paint the 12 months, with their varied colours, behaviours, and forms. In this series, the monsoon has found its way; a subject that will dominate my canvas in the coming year,” says Lal. This show, he hopes, will also be presented in Chandigarh after its Mumbai run.