Holding the Flow,
Letting it go.....
Nivas Kanhere's works are characterised by the forces of
acceptance and negation. Yet, the acceptance is not prima facie.
Indeed, the more colourful works were done mostly during the extended pandemic
period, as if in an attempt to disprove the doom. These works propose an ode to
the vibrancy of (once-) lived surroundings. As the city regained its radiance, Kanhere reclused to the blues and
greys. The expanses of unlived spaces made their presence felt in his works.
Can this be called escapist? Is abstraction an escape from the real?
'No' is the obvious answer, as binaries of real- unreal are ineffective
and the two realms often coexist in all creative ventures. Though loosely
concerned with his surroundings, Kanhere
seems to be more attached to the paints and canvases in his studio. The hues of
blue and grey led him to explore what we might call the depths. Decelerated
roller strokes formed sedate squares that encased oceans. The changes in
artist's body-rhythm can be deciphered in other works, too.
From brisk actions of palette-knife that often form triangular shapes,
to the expansive movements of a roller; from a play of paint that engenders
myriad hues to an ascetism that keeps layers of paint visible, Kanhere gels the technical possibilities
with his quest for exploration of space.
The space turns lived experiences to dream sequences, and informs the
unreal expanses with real-life situations. Perhaps one of the earliest
childhood memories for Nivas Kanhere,
has been that of this play between the finite and infinite, the tangible and
intangible. As a seven-year old, he would sit for hours beside a village
stream, dip his tiny hands into its flow and took a deep look at the handful of
a stream. Sometimes the stream within his hands came with extra dash of life- a
small fish. Soon after that deep look, the artist-child would place hands in
the flow again, while the water in hands started its voyage to faraway places,
the hand had another water to look at. The child held the flow, and let it go.
Nivas Kanhere still does that,
with his paints and canvases.
Mumbai, August 2023.