PROMINENTLY displayed at an exhibition by Deepti Naval are two statements which reveal the paintings in a new light. Somehow it becomes easier to appreciate the works of the artist after reading them:

“I stand alone
at end of landscape
where all roads bunch up
and knot
knotted gut
eyes of stone – stare
and see nothing
A life’s done.”


“…and gratefully return
to my inner self
the one sanctuary
where I can afford to stray....
beyond sanity.”

Looking at the paintings of Deepti Naval one can see that all the ideas, images have come from that sanctuary. Her own portrait may be her own inner self – her own view from the inside. It is her creative self that gives shapes to objects, which all undergo changes. A landscape, a mountain-scape, a seascape acquire a new meaning. There is a large seascape in which we find an explosion of white – an extraordinary flash of brilliance which may indicate many things – a surge of the human spirit, ecstasy, nowhere phenomenon. This is one of the best pieces at the exhibition which is going on at the Jehangir Art Gallery.

The major painting showing the two women (Smita & I) has high art content. For the connoisseur, it gives immense satisfaction. There are figurative works at the exhibition – most of them faceless – which make a good impact.

Deepti, a poet, evidently has vast powers of imagination.

In some of the works, one sees a flash of some western or even Indian master. That does not matter. One’s language perhaps becomes richer with a phrase or a form taken from somewhere else.

That magnificent seascape made me wonder whether a landscape is more the forte of the artist than other works.

And the frames! They are superb. They add to the attractions of the paintings considerably. They almost become part of the paintings.
The exhibition will continue till Tuesday.