Abstract art is always intriguing and so are the works of Prasanta Kalita.
About his work and style, Prasanta says, “ I don’t restrict myself to seeing a dream. Understanding of images is all about the real and the unreal, the dream and the drama. Here, I consider that nothing is absolute, but only transforming from one to another. My mind plays an important role while I pick up the images from different sources. My paintings comprise the symbolic representation of all desires, social systems, value systems, power and social classifications as their focal issues in an abstract application. Again, I would express that everything is incomplete in terms of forms and its meaning. Even while I reach a final state of comprehension in my painting, there appears a new horizon. My paintings are for individual reflection, understating and appreciation. That, in itself, is abstract.”
Prasanta Kalita is an artist who does not believe in restricting his creative and introspective instincts. Unlike other artists, whose art is based on a particular theme or subject, leaving little or no scope for discussion, the paintings of Prasanta Kalita will make you think — not just once or twice, but every time you visit his creations.
It is true that abstract art was once questioned by Pablo Picasso, who said, “There is no abstract art. One must always begin with something. Afterwards one can remove all semblance of reality.” However, abstract art got its due recognition in the 1950s. Yet, there have been few artists over the last seven decades who made their mark by taking it to the next level.
Coming back to the great works of Mr Kalita, when I saw an untitled acrylic on canvas for the first time, it appeared to me as if a person was relaxing on a sofa. When I saw it for the second time, the patterns suggested to me that someone was watching him from a distance using binoculars. Again, I saw something different the third time. I am sure that if I had looked at his creation one more time, I would have certainly seen something new.
The truth is that an abstract painting confronts you to look at things differently. What makes it more challenging is the way it is surrounded by patterns which don’t allow you to assume and think in one direction. Another untitled painting suggested an ongoing conversation on looking at it for the first time; a short break followed by a short talk on looking at it a second time; and relaxing with a beloved on the third time and so on.
Now, I too can say that the spirit of an age may be best expressed in the abstract ideal arts, for the spirit itself is abstract and ideal.
(Prasanta Kalita is a famous Indian artist who belongs to the north eastern state of Assam. Both of his works used in this article were displayed at Desi Canvas, The Drifting Canvas.)