‘Ur­ban Phulkari’ goes places

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - City - - Lifestyle - Niru­pama Dutt

Chandigarh is fa­mil­iar with the paint­ings of Madan Lal, an alum­nus of Gov­ern­ment Col­lege of Art, that have met with cheer by artists and art lovers of the city. He was re­cently awarded a Na­tional Lalit Kala Akademi Award. The award con­sists of a cash prize of `1 lakh and a cop­per plaque.

The artist, who has been work­ing pas­sion­ately for the past three decades, says, “I am happy that the award has come to me when I have 30 years of work be­hind me. It is a recog­ni­tion of my jour­ney as a painter, rather than a fluke prize for one odd work.”

Madan, a small-town lad from Tal­wandi Bhai in the bor­der dis­trict of Ferozepur, has worked hard, from the time he made sketches of vil­lage life to form­ing an in­di­vid­ual style and state­ment on the can­vas. In­ter­est­ingly, Madan’s course of life had been charted by his fam­ily.

“The fam­ily de­ci­sion was that I go ei­ther into medicine or en­gi­neer­ing, as both the pro­fes­sions com­manded re­spect and promised a de­cent liveli­hood. How­ever, when I flunked in the pre-med­i­cal test, my in­sight­ful brother sug­gested that I join the art col­lege in Chandigarh,” he re­counts. Madan did his ap­plied arts course and worked in ad­ver­tis­ing agen­cies. He even took up a job with the De­sign Cen­tre. In this pe­riod, he learned to make his own sketches and evolved as a painter. His paint­ing ‘Ur­ban Space’ that has won the award is from his most re­cent works, into which he has in­cor­po­rated his vi­sion through bright phulkari mo­tifs.

Thus, he moved from the dreamy fig­u­ra­tive work to a state­ment of the ur­ban life of which he is a part, with im­ages of mush­room­ing high-rise con­crete squares. In­ter­est­ingly, he does not lose his sense of rhythm and colour as he touches the ur­bane land­scape.

“I turned to these se­ries when I moved into a flat of my own, which felt like be­ing de­posited in gray square; but the soul was still hum­ming Nus­rat Fateh Ali’s qawwali — Ni main jaana jogi de naal. So the re­sult was a phulkari of sorts.” Thus con­tin­ues, the jour­ney of this sen­si­tive artist, and one waits to see what is to come out in fu­ture.


Artist Madan Lal and his paint­ing Ur­ban Space

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