Captivating Color: Natvar Bhavsar at Sundaram Tagore in Beverly Hills

14Jan09
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VEEDHEE by Natvar Bhavsar, 2005, Pure pigment of canvas, 75 x 68 in

By Emily Waldorf

Natvar Bhavsar’s mesmerizing exhibition, Rang, just opened at the Beverly Hills Sundaram Tagore gallery and is well worth a visit. Bhavsar’s large scale paintings are bold, bright, beautiful and reminiscent of the abstract expressionists and color field painters of yore but with an undeniably original Indian influence.  In order to achieve his signature style, Bhavsar carefully and deliberately sifts layers of pure pigment powder onto canvas using different tools such as sieves and screens.  Bhavsar’s work draws the viewer in, commanding serious contemplation.  After a few minutes you can almost feel rich textiles, constellations and cloud-like patterns emerging from the mesmerizing layers of thick color.  

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AKSHYAA by Natvar Bhavsar, 1993, Pure pigment on canvas, 66 x 90 in

According to gallerist Sundaram Tagore, “Bhavsar’s work is striking and luminous—the colors expand and contract and there is an endless alternation of light and dark. He evokes the feeling of fluctuation with static images. Bhavsar’s style has evolved over decades, and his technique of painting with dry pigment is groundbreaking and unique…Bhavsar was touched by the visual impact of Holi and Rangoli, during which festival goers throw bright pigments on each other in celebration. This inspired Bhavsar to explore the language of color-field painting.”

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BHADRA III by Natvar Bhavsa, 2005, Pure pigment on canvas, 75 x 68.5 in

Bhavsar was born in Gujarat, India in 1934.  He started his fine arts studies at the C.N. School of Art in Ahmedabad.  Bhavsar left India in 1962 to continue studying art at the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Fine Arts.  He has been an active member of the New York School of Colorists since 1965 and received a John D. Rockefeller Grant in 1965, establishing his presence on the New York scene. He was also awarded a Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship in 1975. His paintings are in more than eight hundred public and private collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Boston Museum of Fine Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney.

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8 Responses to “Captivating Color: Natvar Bhavsar at Sundaram Tagore in Beverly Hills”

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