Overview for The World on a Canvas: A Visual Yoyage
Travels form an integral part of Paresh Maity’s life and undeniably lie at the heart of his art. An indefatigable traveller, Paresh has traversed the continents, seeking inspiration from landscapes and monuments, from history and people, from cities and hamlets. His travels, which have taken him to many destinations in India and abroad, have shaped his palette as he has instinctively imbibed the essence of each place in his work. The World on a Canvas–featuring the artist’s drawings, watercolours, oils, mixed media and sculptures drawn from his travels over the years–gives the reader an insight into the mind of one of contemporary India’s great artists.
Complementing this visual journey are Nemai Ghosh’s arresting portraits of the artist at work. For those who love Paresh Maity’s art, or have been observers of Nemai Ghosh’s black-and-white photography, it is an extraordinary treat.
Eminent film personality Sharmila Tagore, an admirer of Paresh’s art, provides the textual counterpoint to this visual travelogue. She charts Paresh’s journey from the small town of Tamluk, where he first realised his true calling as an artist, to Kolkata where he studied art, and from Rajasthan, where his art underwent a tectonic shift, to Venice, which enthralled the colourist in him. Drawing from memory, experiences and incidents gathered from her interactions with the artist, Sharmila presents to the reader aspects of the artist which have hitherto remained unknown. A critical essay by Kishore Singh on Paresh’s evolving style, and the maturity with which he handles his materials and subjects, enhances the narrative.
A voyage unlike any other, The World on a Canvas is as much about self-discovery as it is about story-telling, and is by far the definitive work on Paresh Maity, the man and the artist.