Sumana Ghosh’s exhibition at the Chemould Art Gallery had a total of twenty drawings and paintings. She is an autodidactic artist, who has achieved much by strenuous effort and intensity of imagination. Her rendition in oil pastel and tempera is colourful. The ink and water-colour drawings are figurative, but they show her naïvete in stylization and a weak sense of anatomy that is so common among self-styled artists. In most of the works, she tries to fathom the loneliness that men and women endure. Loneliness I pictures a boy’s flight through variegated space towards a tagar tree. The Full Moon captures people dancing, meditating, or doing their chores without paying heed to the lunar phase. The Boy Before the Aquarium seems lost in solitude. The animal paintings have a quaint quality.
Samskriti Shreyaskar presented a solo performance by Sohini Debnath at Gyan Manch on March 9. The dancer showcased both the Jaipur and Lucknow gharanas. The recital began with the traditional gurupranam, and moved on to “Parvati Puran”, set to raag Malkauns and chautaal of 12 beats. Debnath’s exuberance was shared by Ustad Sabir Khan on the tabla, Naresh Mukherjee on the pakhawaj and the vocalists.The next two items consisted of paran in vilambit and drut. Debnath’s smiling countenance, innocuous execution of rhythmic permutations on the feet and admirable gait marked all the items she rendered. She also excelled in the abhinaya in the concluding item on Radha and Krishna.
The 53rd International Calendar Exhibition at the Academy of Fine Arts was a mundane array of calendars promoting deities and tourism, except for a few impressive displays. Borosil’s calendar, “The genius of India”, showed how its glass-making has borrowed from the science that went into the making of Jantar Mantar, Gol Gumbaz and other Indian monuments. The Calcutta Port Trust featured Rabindranath Tagore with the other luminaries of his time — Einstein, Hellen Keller and Gandhi. Calendars from Thailand, Germany, and Bangladesh were mainly propagandist in nature. The most striking was Unicef’s “Girl Stars”, with its moving profile of downtrodden women from India’s remote villages. The calender celebrates their struggle against their adverse situation.