‘Urban Phulkari’ goes places
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.
PAINTER MADAN LAL RECEIVED NATIONAL LALIT KALA AKADEMI AWARD RECENTLY
Artist Madan Lal and his painting Urban Space