Veteran artist Amrut Patel’s “Abstract Alchemy” exhibition opened to a full house at the Hutheesing Centre on Thursday, with most of Ahmedabad’s art world in attendance. The Ahmedabad-born painter, who graduated from CN Art School, has lived and worked in Delhi for the past 45 years, was felicitated at the inauguration by fellow artists Amit Ambalal and Madhav Ramanuj, collector Anil Relia and author Prayag Shukla. Also in attendance were ace photographer Parmanand Dalwadi, artists Vrindavan Solanki, Navin Dhagat, Kumar Chauhan and policeman turned artist Ajay Choudhury. This in only the second time Amrut Patel, 75, is exhibiting his work in Ahmedabad. The last time he had an exhibition was in 2016, at the Ahmedabad Gufa.
Amrut Patel’s exhibition features acrylic paintings from 2008 till the present. The style is consistent, with black brush strokes against a pastel background, depicting curved shapes that, depending on the eye of the viewer, look like magnets, elephants, balloons, the human heart or testes. When we ask Amrutbhai if there is a running theme to the exhibition, he says: “There’s no theme as such, because I don’t think or plan before starting my work. The painting takes its own form. It emerges complete, from the subconscious mind.”
For the Hutheesing Centre, the exhibition marks the start of the winter season, after the lull of the summer and monsoon. Says Umang Hutheesing: “Internationally, September is a big month in the world and we’re really proud to start the season with an exhibition by Amrut Patel. He belongs to the generation of artists from India’s socialist era, like MF Hussain and Piraji Sagra. They were artists of humble origins who had to struggle for decades to make ends meet. It is no surprise that most of Ahmedabad’s senior artists turned up to recognise and celebrate his achievements. There is a sense of kinship.”
As part of the exhibition, the Hutheesing Centre is organising “Artful Verses,” a conversation around art and poetry on Friday, 22 September, from 5:50 to 7 pm.