18th December 2016 | Workshop with BMC school children from Aseema Charitable Trust
23rd December 2016 | Workshop with BMC school children from Teach for India
The workshop began with a brief introduction of the artist Laxman Shreshtha and his abstract works. It dwelt on the importance of music in his life, the power of silence, his sojourn in Paris and finally his return to India.
The students were then asked to create two collages using the many textures provided like jute, bubblewrap, wool etc. Different genres of music were sed to encourage them to engage with the work through their emotions: Indian and western classical music, Jazz, regional folk songs and finally the importance of silence. The aim of the workshop was to understand the role that music and silence can play in an artist’s journey and the various textures and patterns that emerge because of the various moods they were able to create.
Born in Siraha, Nepal, in 1939, Laxman Shreshtha was educated at the University of Bihar, Patna; the Sir J J School of Art, Mumbai; the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux Arts, Paris; and the Central School of Art, London. In the Parisian tradition of the atelier, he also studied at the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere and with the legendary print-maker Stanley William Hayter at Atelier 17.
Shreshtha has held numerous solo exhibitions of his works since the early 1960s, and has also been represented in major curated exhibitions in India and overseas. Shreshtha has been the recipient of many awards, fellowships and honours, including the French Government Scholarship, the British Council Grant, and the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD, Germany) residency.
Shreshtha started his career as a figurative artist but gradually moved onto abstract works. His journey, from being a member of an aristocratic family in Nepal, to a struggling art student on the brink of starvation, made him embark on a spiritual quest, which has been reflected in his work. He looked for answers to his early existentialist dilemmas in books on Western philosophy. Later, he turned to the Upanishads and to Buddhism and his paintings reflect these experiences. These abstract works are greatly inspired by landscapes, sometimes echoing the mountain peaks of his native home Nepal, the pristine white light of rarefied heights sears through the dense opacity of colour creating dazzling effects. His desire for capturing the expanse of the Himalayas made him create his large-scape works. His works are both sensuous and meditative in their shifts and balances of colour. There is an intermingling of vivid browns, yellows, reds, oranges and blues. He is greatly inspired by Jazz and classical music, and listens to it while he paints.
Until the 1980s, he was extremely social, but now turned into a recluse. He lives and works in Mumbai.