Gurunathan Govindan

About the artist

Gurunathan’s works have a porous quality. It is evident in the way the pigment soaks and stains the canvas deeply and becomes one with its weave. It is also porosity between one work and another as these works emerge organically from his earlier works. Beginning his artistic journey with works that captured the experience of his travels through a landscape, he has now reached a point where his paintings give him the space to travel. The space that he has realised now is possible only because of time. It is time to acquire artistic skill through practice and to instinctively realise how a certain material feels when he handles it. In other words, it is the time required to become familiar with the pigment, its body and behaviour. It is also time required to tune his own body with the practice of art.  Gurunathan’s works emerge from his body. They are gestural and the expansiveness of his works has much in common with the artist’s own personality. But more importantly, like breathing, the practice of art has now become an innate part of his being. His sense of ease with the art making process is reflected in multiple ways in his recent art works. It is evident in his exploration of media other than painting such as ceramics or installations. It is also manifested in the way he approaches material itself. Distinction between that which is used to make and that which is made have become irrelevant as art materials are transformed into art works.  He has learnt to work with material and create art in harmony with it. Thus, accidental effects, the result of material behaving in unforeseen ways, does not disturb him as he knows how these effects can be converted into art. The line between art and non-art is constantly reframed. 

In Gurunathan’s recent body of works the circle recurs. One feels, it is not just a visual element but a metaphor for completeness that emerges from the understanding that art and life are not different. 

                                                                                                                                           

                                                                                                                                           -Vaishnavi Ramanathan