Untitled 8 Gurunathan Govindan

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Untitled 8

Pigment on canvas 20 x25 cm


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 realized now is possible only because of
time. It is time to acquire an artistic skill through practice and to instinctively realize 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 behavior. It is also the 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
the process is reflected in multiple ways in his recent artworks. 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
the material itself. The distinction between that which is used to make and that which is made has become
irrelevant as art materials are transformed into artworks. He has learned 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
a metaphor for completeness that emerges from the understanding that art and life are not different.

-Vaishnavi Ramanathan


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