Thursday, March 12, 2009


Photo Viktor Vijay

Austrian Landscapes

Gustav Klimt known more for his art deocrativ portraiture also excelled in landscapes. He developed a small strokes technique that is regarded as more of telescopic focus on the landscape.
I saw one very beautiful sun bathed landscape in Gallery Etienne in New York. Attersee Lake in Austria had Klimt's Studio where he painted many beautiful landscapes in lovely summer and autumn light. Mr Ronald Lauder should be thanked for his love of fin de siecle Austrian art that he has created in beautiful building The Neu Galerie in New York. The Museum has a large body of erotic drawings from Egon Schiele. The most expensive painting by Klimt a portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer that was for long in Belvedere Museum in Vienna reverted back to the family and was acquired by Lauder and is proudly housed in Neue Galerie.
Long time in Austria and Germany has etched a joy in the summer-autumn landscapes that I always relish. Klimt was one such votary. My autumn series incidentally was also born in Austria in Salzburg. Staying in the atelier of my friend Eva Mazzucco I worked a splash and dots technique did abstracts in 2003-2004.
Viktor Vijay

Monday, March 9, 2009

The series is inspired by Autmn sensibilities
Acrylic on canvas
$4500 each


A very long time back I lived and painted on an old boat anchored on Danube near Black sea in Romania. It was autumn and the landscape was a passionate rust, crimson and yellow ochre. It was magical to say the least. I was in communion with the landscape. At other times I would breathe in the autumn landscapes of Europe in Finland, Tatra Mountains in Slovakia and Poland, Styria in Austria, Alpine Piedmonte in Italy, France, and Hungry.
The senses are seduced by the proliferating warm colours as the leaves turn from cool green to life red, rust, brick, yellow-ochre, brown colours. Something happens to soul, it starts to sing, is inundates by a dazzling warmth and pleasantness. Autumn used as a metaphor run to life as well as death. Poets often use the negative metaphor but for visual artists autumn is the great celebration of the festival of colours of joy. By a quirky association I relate the red beard of Vincent Van Gogh in his famous self portrait (1887) to the red of autumn.
But is not the autumn the surfeit of rejuvenation. Do we not talk of the birth death rebirth cycle? Is the Resurrection of Jesus not an emblem of continuity of life and hope? So why be afraid of death? Paul Laurence Dunbar looks at autumn as a celebration and reason of joy—

The earth is just so full of fun
It really can't contain it;
And streams of mirth so freely run
The heavens seem to rain it.
Don't talk to me of solemn days
In autumn's time of splendor,
Because the sun shows fewer rays,
And these grow slant and slender.
Viktor Vijay

Fragrance of Autumn-1

Dealt in splash-dot style I have developed this technique in 2003-4 while satying and working in Salzburg, Austria in my friend Eva Mazucco's atelier

The work is 58X78 inches

Acrylic on canvas

Status :Available

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Drawing---the soul of art

Drawing---the soul of art
Drawing is the structure which is embellished to create the edifice of painting. Drawing captures the genetic nuances of forms—their flow, rhythm, movement, composition, mood. Drawing is unifocal and is often based on lines or monochromes. Drawing in Asian tradition is an independent medium at par with painting. Chinese and Japanese techniques base on non-disruptive continuous strokes to render a mood or a stance. Zen drawings breathe on spiritual, meditative frugality and follow the dictum, ‘less is more’. Drawing brings our focus on inner fulcrum rather than outward as is often the case with vary chromed paintings. Drawing lifts our perception higher than the imminent sensorial cue.
The present exhibition has a wide spectrum of expression from Maestros and emerging talent in Indian art space. In terms of valuation a drawing is generally placed below paintings but higher up graphics and prints. Each drawing is a unique expression of the intent and exploration by an artist. Very many important/landmark paintings by great artists are based on the primary drawings. In 2008 while in New York City for my solo exhibition I savoured a fine collection of Gallery St.Etienne. Prominent among artists whose drawings were exhibited included Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt and Oskar Kokoschka. Some of the drawings were the foundation of great works by these Maestros. The prices of the works ranged between 1to 2 million dollars. Kind and suave 85 year old gallery director Ms. Hildegard Bachert shared with me the history of some great paintings that were based on quite a few of the drawings.
In sum a good drawing may happen to cost very little to a collector initially but in time can acquire great value if it is path breaking or is basis of a great painting.

Viktor Vijay Kumar
2nd Feb.2009

Friday, January 16, 2009

A refreshing Art Initiative—Religare
With a flood of interest being generated in Indian art, paraphernalia of art is growing albeit in a non organised tipsy fashion.
Normally the world over there is a clear distinction between art museums and art galleries. The museums often owned by state are supported by the private capital from donations or gifts of money or/and works of art. The private galleries operate on the unitary principle of profit. Art galleries use the fundamental of high profit generation for their operations. They have research departments that keep tracking pricing/popularity of individual artists, they scout for fresh talent, research on future graph of artists to invest and hold inventories of works of art, collaborate with art auction houses and art Funds, carry out documentation on art and artists for different genres, media, period etc, they work to create durable relations with substantial interest art collectors, they help to build theme specific collections for individual collectors, they help to reshuffle the existing portfolio of art of collectors, help in the valuation and authentication of art works, they seek suitable art curators for upcoming exhibitions, they plan their art calendar for medium and longer terms periods, they work out their media plans for art promotion.
A very important function of private galleries alongside profits is to educate and create awareness and interest about art in general and in specific art works of artists with fresh creative expressions. This they do by mounting exhibitions and learned writings on art. They also organise interactive sessions with art loving public and the collectors, Organising lectures and seminars involving experts from the field.
Is it for money alone that one should look for art related activities? Yes and no. First let’s consider art as investment value. The systematic, expertise based investments in art require market transparency, information flows, a fair pricing mechanism and a developed art infrastructure in which competitive art market exchanges can take place. These and many more questions require answers generated by art market players who have an honest commitment to art related activities. This will help more people to look at art as an investment in their asset portfolio.
But art is also cultural repository of a society. It is what we pass on to the future generations to be proud of as a national and sub-national entity. To nurture, to educate to be proud of our art and to keep in good health the art works is responsibility that goes alongside the investment value of art.
Religare is a welcome entrant to the art market field. Its business interest is in financial services. Its main area of interest is in Retail, Institutional and Wealth management. It has put its signature in international finance through its subsidiaries and strategic joint ventures. Thus Religare is suitably placed to launch an initiative in art with its background in asset management. It can integrate its other asset classes with art works and help to build a synergy for the much needed art infrastructure services.
Religare has launched with professional acumen Religare Art Initiative a multi pronged initiative. Mukesh Panika heads this Initiative. RAI is planned to be a multi layered art hub housed in very avant garde space in Atma Ram mansion in historic Scindia House in the Outer Circle of Connaught Place New Delhi. The interior is designed to have multiple art related activities including substantial space for a gallery. An area of 10,000plus square feet sounds very encouraging for this art hub.

It’s New it’s Different
What struck me were the unusually imaginative and creative interiors. Looking up on ceiling you find sausage shapes meandering (I am sure they are airconditioning ducts) about. From floor sturdy flat iron pillars with nuts and bolts rise up more like the support pillars on tin sheeted old railway platforms all over India. The raw touch of the space adds an art brut feel to the interiors. To me the interior recalled Fernand Léger tubular industrial machine art. The interior looks like a roving installation and breaks the space and reduces possible monotony. The visual movement in space is created by the use of glass walls. You can visually reach out to spaces and your curiosity moves your feet onwards. The viewing space also climbs up like a mountain trail and offers an individual personal communion with the art work. The restaurant is enveloped by exhibition space and you will be able to combine the aroma of an espresso with equally strong art that Religare is betting on to serve as a main course. The resource centre will be useful to seek references to artists and their works and all that concerns art. Thus what I said in the beginning about the distance between galleries and museums, Religare Art Initiative attempts to bridge it. They are not just a gallery but aim to combine functions normally devolving on museums. It is a new concept for India since they intend to enrol artists, art lovers, researchers to be members of a new art fraternity and work as it muscles and sinews and of course it heart and brain.
The first of the exhibition they launched is called Outer Circle synonymous with location of the place but also carrying a double entendre in reference to the art of the young upcoming artists that is showcased. They have decided to include varied forms and media of artistic expression namely paintings, photographs, sculptures, installations, video from 16 of the upcoming artists. Seasoned experts Alka Pande and Mukesh Panika are the curators for the maiden exhibition running through October 2008.
Need for logistics
The other day while talking to some art collectors we happened to focus on the problems being generated in art field. There appears to be a lack of really creative artists in sufficient numbers to create a more broad based art collection. A few names circulate from gallery to gallery and while the new art shops deal in a kind of calendar photo pictures probably debasing the aesthetic tastes of collectors.
Secondly every person who is worth a couple of visits to art exhibitions swears that he is an art expert, dealer, consultant, advisor, curator. A gentleman who left his pen pusher’s job to hold exhibitions called up an artist friend and requested him to grace the opening of the exhibition since he had one of his works in the show. My friend on arrival discovered that it was another artist’s work who shared first name with him and this art expert did not know his B’s from P’s. A lot of drift wood and flotsam appears when river rises. I hope Religare team knows that, with a fine reputation and professionalism of mother organization to back them their job is cut out fine. They will have to work overtime to create a neat, transparent art space so that the dead wood is swept aside and a new synergy is created in art.
Bon Voyage!!
Viktor Vijay