Language of Art

Within each frame created by artist Prabha Shah, there is a story. And Shah tells it with vivid colours, layers of varied elements, intuitive lines, abstract formations and motifs of stones, mortar, glass and water. Deprived of the gift of hearing and verbal expression since childhood, she expresses herself with the brush and has developed a distinctive language of her own.

The works on display in the exhibition, which is also the inaugral show at Art Portfolio a new art boutique in Sector 9, are in oil and her compositions are a reflection of the spaces she views, lives and feels. "At Art Portfolio we will think outside the box and bring the best artistic endeavours from both India and abroad to Chandigarh. Workshops, seminars and artistic activities are also a part of our endeavour," says Iqbal Singh of Innovative Financial Management, who has organised the exhibition and hopes to create a platform and hub for artists to showcase their work and make it a place where art lovers can invest in art.

Vivid colours in many layers, textures, peeling surfaces, doors with frames, checks and lines mark Shah's abstract works, which give the viewer a feeling of both space and depth. Abstract may be the genre of most works yet elements of nature and architecture lend realism to each one of them as Shah creates a vocabulary which is a conversation with her own self.

Shah received her initial training in art from Jaipur and began to depict the houses, arches, doors, animals and people of Rajasthan. When her family moved to Delhi, the Capital's urban elements began to dominate her canvas.

In Crystals in the Air, a waterfall, mist and the grass create a pattern with a rocky structure, with light and horizontal layers of colours taking the viewer through various levels, while in First Rain, Shah captures Delhi in the summer in orange, the blazing heat enveloping the stacked buildings and lonely lamp posts. Suburbia is a painting that depicts cement surfaces, iron and steel, all heaped blocks of suburban flats that are a recurrent subject in Shah's work. In Gurgaon, you roll up the tattered blinds to see a new city rising, gleaming with steel and glass. It's like a hologram, an imprint from the future. Frozen Tales showcase arched windows of Rajasthan, while in Knock, there is a hint of her Rajasthani roots set amid peeling surfaces. In Organic Growth, Shah questions where the city is headed. The passionate pink features on her palette, with a small house dominating the landscape in Gathering Storm. Glass Doors take you through the pink, amid the rustling wind.

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