Roshan Shahani

Madhuri Bhaduri has been painting for over two decades – a variety of panoramic landscapes that gift you nourishment for contemplation and fulsome pleasures as well–those that are lofty and grounded in meditations on the grandeur and permutation of colour. Spectators can take-off on these voyages or simply admire the diligent techniques of oil painting, the deftness of the artist as she extracts winsome eye-pleasing texture. More than the mystique of the natural landscape loom – complete with classic division of earth and sky – Madhuri is finding newer notes of celebration in her abundant formulae of
hues. Every fresh series can be viewed as a lexical accumulation of passionate choices. The capacious belief in the radiant earth can draw out faith, hope and charity from the spectator and induce a calm mind. An idea she pursues above all other spiritualisms – symmetrical, so commodious and puissant that it has drawn wide audiences to her work; those who appreciate the kaleidoscope-like manner of representation of single and monolithic intellection.
That we live amidst harsh circumstances, in a decade where fear is the key,puts into question the fragile propositions of pacifism that emerge from her gushed-out, exuberant canvas.

It is however, a point of argument by artists like Madhuri practicing the fine art of rhetoric and build up a kind of staying power with abstract modes that biomorphic forces need to be conjured and reiterated for containing and holding together disruption in every sense. There are no cries and clashes in her imagery; only a plenitude of sportive flicks and gashes proportioning the essentially voluptuous colour curricula she spells out explicitly. Indeed, we see her terms of contentment placed in controlled abandonment directly, in full focus.

The need for the gaze into a utopian distance is necessary and compulsive. It is the condition of consciousness which Madhuri guides viewers into with verve, a psychological refuge space, a visually textured space meant for obsessive re-visitations. Meditations on the distant, semi-real, out-there junctions of the elsewhere, provide a thinking place, the place of exile and certainly, a place of escape. Madhuri’s compositional design is anchored on a temporal order, a terrain of faceted emotions.

Any discourse, the engaged viewer might want to find, depends on the reading of the closely knit tectonics unfurled by this artist. The reading of slow mountainous geological movements, the shoring up of jewel blocks of pigments, their palatable mixing and the sheer amplitude induced by the picture, make for a symphony – pleasant for onlookers of every shade. Instinctual expression and a fulgent universe of colour courtships generate a wellspring of delight; a communion with nature desired universally is at the core of the statement being made here.

The major exhibitions, all these years, have consistently featured the land mass tableau, marked with motifs and referents. It is forged as an indigenous mind-space, a reaching out to a homeland. This existential condition is a condition we are born with and displacement, wanting to belong is a journey sans a terminus. A sense of belongingness is sought here, as much as it is sought by several personae in the art practice sphere. To what extent, depth and truthfulness it is pursued can be a yardstick for the seeker, the one who asks questions. 

Can one read interrogation in Madhuri’s crystalline zones, of pathos tinted, ductile pleasure realms?
The triangular flag, the temple, the boat and dwelling, the intense segments of cobalt, bronze and yellow, the worked-up ultramarines and viridian, the flaky white songs and a bunch of serenading cadmium reds and oranges – are means of enflamed articulation, embedded, judiciously in the phantasm-like, geomorphology that affirms the utopia that Madhuri seeks.

It is the safest destination for an artist today. She would sublimate pain and conflict, deifying the terrestrial metaphor for tranquility because it is the way, she knows best. Wringing meaning from natural phenomena, finding symbols and stoking ideas from the brilliant cornucopia of abyss, pass, snow stack, sea and horizon are not as relevant as the surface and its inchoate concerns of discharging vibrancy. Instead the richness of oil colours and their application imbues a sense of luxury to natural materials that are identified in the unpolluted ecosystem of the artist. Mineral, water, ice, light and air are deposits before our eyes, placed frontally, in romantically ordained harmonies of the heaving earth meeting the aakaash, or the river, here or in Ladakh or Greece; the mountainside plunging into the huddled plains, beatific in their solitude.

In her desire for immediacy in her depiction of the shifting relationships of the solid tones and microtones of colour should we say that Madhuri is striving, not for neutrality or equilibrium, but for sheer adornment of the senses?