DAG Modern is pleased to present New York based artist Natvar Bhavsar’s first retrospective in India, aptly titled ‘Homecoming’ at its Mumbai Gallery. His art sails past all limitations and enclosures to evoke feelings – and a sense of being – on a cosmic scale’ – Carter Ratclife, American art critic, writer and poet. Curated by Kishore Singh, the exhibition opened on 20th November, and will remain on view till 25th January 2018.
Natvar Bhavsar’s paintings offer us peace in a troubled world, a world momentarily bend on chaos, confusion, and apparent destruction. The send of feeling at home with these paintings is, after all, a sense of being at peace in the world. Bhavsar’s indulgence of colour within the full range of the spectrum invigorates us and challenges us to look deeper, and to rediscover the satisfaction of a paradoxical and refreshing tranquillity’ – Richard Morgan, Art critic, historian poet and painter.
And, this is how Natvar Bhavsar has been feted in the US, a land that he now calls home. Bringing him and his art to India for the first time, DAG Modern is set to ignite a similar response in the land of Bhavsar’s birth.
Bhavsar has been exploring the sensual, emotional and intellectual resonance of colour since the early 1960’s, successfully marrying the vivid colourful influences from his childhood in India and adulthood in the art-cultural capital of New York in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Arriving in the US in 1962, Bhavsar chose to stay on in the US for its opportunities, and while remaining rooted in his Indianness he was able to evolve in a manner that appealed to his creative as well as intellectual sensibility. Bhavsar points out that he has been served by two cultures, both of which he is grateful for: ‘I am a product in every sense of the excitement of Indian culture. But I see no separation in it from the culture I have inherited. At the same time, I do not accept the cultural supremacy of one over another in art practice.’
Influenced by the abstract expressionists and colour-field artists in 1960’s New York, he has been able to develop a distinctive of abstraction that instinctively turns to his own native Gujarat for a reference. Bhavsar, whose works have been widely collected by museums as well as eminent collectors in America and the West, enjoy works on paintings using dry pigments and often, huge canvases. But these immense works remain intimate in terms of the viewing pleasure they open themselves to for viewers. He sifts powdered pigments on to canvas, allowing air currents and his own breath and body movements to determine where they fall, creating smoky, layered compositions.