Umesh Shah


Music with Dance

Oil on canvas

92cm x 107cm

$900.00

ABOUT THE EXHIBITION

Park Gallery presents second quarterly exhibition Invention in Tradition II by Umesh Shah, known for weaving his Maithili heritage into his paintings. His early works were representations of everyday scenes in a Mithila inspired style, whereas of late, they’ve begun to take on a much more symbolic and folkloric spirit. For Invention in Tradition II, he showcases thirty pieces, mostly in oil, that speak with a distinct Maithil vocabulary. His works exude the vibrancy of Madhesh life, peppered with a bit of drama, perhaps borrowed from his enthusiasm for Bollywood films. But this visual dynamism takes place within a controlled palette, rich but not gaudy, and here his skills as a colorist shine through. While traditional Mithila work is often peopled by simplified anatomies that are almost child-like in their conception, Umesh Shah’s figures suggest more features of the body, but they do so while under the general schema of Mithila art: Profile faces, geometric emphasis of forms, the use of patterns, and postures that are more diagrammatic than gestural. There is a kind of rippling motion across his work, enhanced patterns and texture, and spelt out more literally by the recurring zig-zag lines he uses. Like the wave-forms of sound or the heartbeats represented by an electrocardiogram, it is interesting to see this motif in a work rooted in the life-blood of indigenous culture. The layering of work also holds a similar meaningfulness: the modern layered over the traditional, the mundane layered over the mythological. And much like the pigment itself, both peek out from beneath in places. Umesh seeks to be more visually engaged than conceptually, and in this he succeeds through bold execution and spontaneous composition. However, the result does have the quality of story. The images leave the viewer wondering if they are illustrative of fables or epics. One imagines the fish or the sitar or the blindfold to be a symbol. In ‘Local Language’, figures are carrying a luminous fish, and there is something communal about this activity, almost like a celebration. In the similarly coloured ‘Four sisters Dancing’, one can make out the lumbering gait and tapping of buffalo-hooves in the zigzag motif and chequered pattern that carry the eye up and down. ‘Freedom’ is very straightforward in its representation, but this is offset by the rather eccentric composition and bo rdering. There is a lightheartedness too: the sun deity from his e arlier works appears again in the somewhat amusingly titled ‘Running at Morning’. Invention in Tradition carries forward a contemporized tradition of the Mithila pictorial, while blending in all of Umesh’s visual quirks. We hope that this exhibition will help inspire emerging artists and viewers ask questions about drawing creativity from their own heritage, and also provide a glimpse into a colourful fable-like world created by Umesh.

ARTIST BIOGRAPHY

Growing up in Sarlahi, Umesh observed his grandmother making traditional Mithila art on walls during family functions and festivities. These early moments of watching village women paint their stylized figures and motifs with natural pigments and clay would sow the seeds of an interest in the pictorial. These aspirations were, however, cast aside during a surprisingly eventful life that includes being a runaway in Delhi, working at a garment factory, and being a shopkeeper writing stories in his spare time. He would reach the age of 27 before finally deciding to pursue art at Kathmandu University. There, during his search for his own visual style, he began experimenting with Mithila art as a framework. He would carry this with him during his graduate studies at Chattisgarh, India, developing and maturing it fu rther.  This would ultimately become the signature style that viewers and collectors today have come to recognize as Umesh Shah. A rising name since 2007, Umesh Shah currently works as a faculty of drawing and painting at Central Department, Tribhuwan Univeristy. He has exhibited his works in Nepal, India and Japan, and participated in workshops and residencies across Nepal and India. His works are in collections in Nepal, India, UK and the USA.

Other Paintings by same Artist

Four Sisters Dancing
$1000.00
76cm x 153cm

Fond of Music
$700.00
122cm x 61cm

Drying Her Saree
$250.00
40cm x 30cm

Back Profile
$300.00
46cm x61cm

Music with Dance
$900.00
92cm x 107cm

Musical Mood
$800.00
61cm x76cm

Morning with Coffee
$700.00
61cm x122cm

Mooving a Fan
$300.00
41cm x51cm

Moonlight
$700.00
61cmx 122cm

Freedom
$1000.00
91cmx122cm

Potrayal
$250.00
46cm x46cm

Rhe Night
$450.00
61cmx61cm

Rhythmic Mood
$800.00
91cm x 61cm

Running at Morning
$1000.00
76cmx 152 cm

The Capital
$1000.00
107cm x 91 cm

The Mission
$1600.00
107cm x 213cm

The Potrayal with a Pot
$400.00
46cm x46cm

The Rose in Between
$400.00
51cm x 41 cm

Trible Girl
$400.00
51cm x 41 cm

Two Sisters
$400.00
61cmx61cm

Untitled
$1200.00
122cm x122cm

Untitled 2
$900.00
107 cm x 91cm

Untitled II
$900.00
107 cm x 91cm

White Cow
$400.00
148 x 18 in

With Flower
$300.00
41cm x 31cm

With Lamp
$300.00
41cm x 30cm

All the paintings are available to purchase.
For more inquiry, please contact   contact@parkgallery.com.np