Watercolors with solidity and expressiveness
Samir Mondal’s most amazing contribution to Indian art of modern times is a continual revival of watercolour. A medium that presents a number of traps and handicaps which Mondal has successfully overcome by giving his paintings weight and depth, solidity and expressiveness. He has endowed watercolours with the status of oils, projecting a facet of watercolour that was never visualized before. The artist keenly observed the characteristics of oil painting, noted the inherent quality of oils, their richness and substance. In his endeavor to include these elements in watercolour, he developed textures and structural features as if they are oils. Mondal has stood the test of this fantastic versatility. His watercolours have never lost their originality, their innovativeness and their classic elegance, yet they are truly modern paintings.
Mondal explored major cities of Germany for art study under ‘INDO-FRG Cultural Exchange Programme’, organized by DAAD. Participated in many prestigious art auctions conducted by Christies and others. Visited and studied the important Art Museums inParis, Germany, Dubai, Mauritius, Australia, Bangkok, Kenya, Israel, Egypt, Russia, Morocco, China andJapan.
An alumnus of Government College of Arts, Kolkata, Mondal has held 34 solo shows and participated in many important group exhibitions including National Art Exhibition of Lalit Kala Akademy, New Delhi · Academy of Fine Arts, Calcutta · Birla Academy of Art, Calcutta · AIFACS, New Delhi · A.P.Council of Artists, Hyderabad · West Bengal State Academy · KalaYatra: Goa – Madras – Bangalore · Lalit Kala Academy: Karnataka – Orissa · Bombay Art Society Centenary Show · People For Animals: Bombay – Delhi · ‘BOMBAY’ and ‘50 Years of Independence’ by RPG Enterprises · ‘Harmony Shows’ by Reliance group · ‘100 Years of Indian Cinema’ by Lakeeren, Bombay · ‘Watercolours’ by Gallery Espace, Delhi · ‘Pages from my Diary’ by Sans Tache Art Gallery, Bombay · ‘Celebrations Asiana, New York organised by Gallery Sumukha, Bangalore · ‘ Jesus Christ’ at National Gallery of Modern Art -97 · At Napa Art Gallery, Nepal by Gallery Sumukha · ‘Confluence’ at Art Connoisseur Gallery, London and Gallery, Bombay · Anniversary show of Jamaat, Bombay · Gallery Sumukha, Bangalore · Art Indus, Delhi · Art Musings, Bombay · ‘Bombay Artists-Progressive Perspective’ and ‘Self Portrait’ at National Gallery of Modern Art, Bombay · Art of Bengal and Works on Paper by CIMA, Calcutta · Colours on Canvas, Dubai · Pao Art Gallery, Hong Kong · Golden Jubilee of Jehangir Art Gallery, Bombay · Asian Art Fair, Singapore · The Art on Paper Fair at the Royal College of Art, London · Ki Gallery, Malaysia · The Ueno Royal Museum, Tokyo · The Royal Watercolour Society, London.
Mondal has received many prestigious Awards including AIFACS, New Delhi, West Bengal State Academy Award (twice), Academy of Fine Arts Award(twice) and A.P. Council of Artists Hyderabad.
His works are part of valued collections of National Gallery of Modern Art, Delhi, Museums of Karnataka, RPG Enterprises, Standard Chartered Bank, Tata Steel, Birla group of companies, ICI India Ltd., Benson and Hedges, Morarji Mills, Brooke Bond, Citibank, Ministry of External Affairs, India, Office of Star Plus, DSP Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, Solomon Smith Barney India Ltd., MICO India, Bangalore, J P Morgan, Taj Mahal Hotel, Bombay and many personal collections in India and abroad.
Samir Mondal tells us about watercolour
“Picture making in watercolour is an exciting game. Colour becomes my opponent. Every stroke of my brush is countered by colour itself and overwhelms me.”
“Over the years, several icons have dominated my consciousness. Typically I started with landscapes to stylised figures and then specific themes. I’d take one subject and explore it from all angles possible. Always though, the theme was an essential part of my life, a process in which I was personally involved.”
Samir Mondal lives and works inMumbai,India
His works can be seen at www.samirmondal.com