'Lockdown Games' and an untitled solo shows open for viewing at Kerala Lalithakala Akademi
Kozhikode: Painter-sculptor Johns Mathew is back after an 18-year long hiatus with a solo exhibition titled ‘Lockdown Games,’ in the Kerala Lalithakala Akademi upper hall, which commenced on March 17 and concludes on March 22. On a request from the painter, the time for viewing has been revised to 11 a.m.-7 p.m., for the convenience of art-lovers, who can drop by after a hard day’s labour and work, and beat the enervating heat.
Searing political satire that turns artistic glare on the arid and robotic social outlook of those strutting their stuff glued to power emboldens his frames. It is a stark depiction of contemporary reality and the lives of the hapless displaced and diminished to the size of ants, ousted as they are from their ancestral lands to make way for a colossal tribute to megalomania losing its head in the clouds.
Then there is the outline of the father of our nation almost fading from the palimpsest of history as regressive narratives seek to erase his body with dynamic slipper-shod feet and the familiar walking stick battling on against the dark forces of negation. On the last day of the exhibition, Johns will have an open session with the cognoscenti.
Downstairs, renowned illustrator and another native son, Sunil Ashokapuram, exhibits nearly 35 works marked by a radically new perspective on gender stereotypes and posing a progressive challenge to patriarchy. The untitled show by the child of the 1980 generation, which heralded a fresh spring in the landscape of artistic Kerala, his fourth solo, draws on the insight of the three-decade odd devotion to the calling. Both the timing and the duration are the same as with ‘Lockdown Games’.