• Punjab Lalit Kala Akademi and Kumar Gallery, Delhi to present exhibition of paintings by acclaimed artist Sohan Qadri from April 22

Punjab Lalit Kala Akademi (PLKA) and Kumar Gallery, Delhi are providing a rare opportunity to art lovers of this region by bringing an exhibition of original paintings of renowned artist Sohan Qadri. The exhibition will open on April 22 at the Galleries of Punjab Lalit Kala Akademi, Punjab Kala Bhawan, Rose Garden, Sector 16 B, Chandigarh. Some rare documentaries on the life, art, and philosophy of the maverick and tantric genius would also be screened. A coffee table book with serious essays on the art and life of Qadri would also be released and available at heavily discounted price of Rs 2500.

There would be 35 artworks of the master painter on display. PLKA is making an effort to bring the art of those creative geniuses, who belonged to this land, nourished their talent in Punjab and on alien lands, but we lost them to other parts of the country and world due to various factors. Qadri was born in the village of Chachoki, Punjab, India in 1932 and passed away in 2011 in Toronto, Canada.

What: Sohan Qadri Exhibition of paintings

Where: Punjab Kala Bhawan, Sector 16, Chandigarh

When: Opening on April 22. The exhibition will remain open till May 2.

Time: Opening on April 22 at 5.30 pm; the exhibition will remain open daily from 11 am to 7 pm.

About Sohan Qadri

He is one of the few internationally acclaimed artists deeply engaged with spirituality. His works hold incredible mystery; his paintings did not merely exist: they remained eternally in the process of ‘becoming’. Born in the village of Chachoki, in 1932, in British India, he was initiated into Yoga, Tantra, dance and music at the age of fourteen by Guru Bhikham Giri of the same village. Qadri’s association with him heralded a lifelong commitment to spirituality and art. In 1952, he worked as freelance photographer in the Bombay Film studios. He further explored meditation in the cave temples of Himalayas and Tibetan Monasteries till 1955. He studied art at Government College of Art, Shimla (Now Government College of Art Chandigarh). In 1966, he left India and began a series of travels that took him to East Africa, Europe, North America, Paris, Zurich and Toronto. Later in 1971, he finally settled in Copenhagen.

There are artists. There are Tantriks. There are Tantric Artists. As Far as I know, there are no tantric yogis who are artists as well. Sohan Qadri is an exceptional artist, wrote F N Souza in 1976.

Qadri abandoned representation early on in his long career, incorporating Tantric symbolism and philosophy into his vibrantly coloured minimalist works. His paintings look like Yantras, Mandalas with a symbolic representation of Kundalini, or simply a mere form and colour. He himself stated that a painting is not a riddle, it is a joy and ecstasy. He makes the onlooker free to have a direct, unpolluted and subliminal contact in a state of honest communication. He feels that no words are adequate to describe it, as it is an experience of the guts rising to the intensity of the ecstasy which occurs innocently in the split of a moment when his mind is undemanding.

Sohan Qadri’s works are in numerous collections including - those of the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass - USA; the Rubin Museum of Art, New York; the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi; Slupsk Museum of Modern Art, Poland; Kumar Gallery, New Delhi; Bado Glaub Museum, Koln as well as the private collections of Cirque du Soleil, Heinrich Böll and Dr. Robert Thurman.

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