Nature on the wall

(The Hindu)

(The Hindu)

Abdul Salam Khan’s oeuvre is rooted in nature

He imagines a beautiful land with beautiful green gardens, yellow clouds, massive brown rocks and rising, falling deep blue sea. His work takes viewers on a journey into nature’s lap. Abdul Salam Khan’s painting Exhibition ‘Just Stepped from Heaven’ was recently on display at Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), Azad Bhawan.

Khan uses the impasto technique wherein thick paint is applied straight onto the canvas and it renders an element of width, shadow and movement to the work. “It took almost seven to eight years to develop these creative landscapes in acrylic. I use only knife,” says the artist.

Khan is an Odisha-based painter whose thoughts are ignited by the sights and smells of nature.

Describing his paintings as surrealist in nature, Khan says, “In my painting one can find distinct elements of surrealism but without losing its realistic appeal. I portray the formation of rock mountain-scape in a very individualistic style. My work has evolved from form to formless. It is all about raw nature…”

In most of his landscapes, sky, rendered in yellow, Prussian blue, black and white, is spread to almost two-third of the canvas. He explains, “I love to highlight skies. My sky formation is downward. I use bold colours on them. Bold colours like yellow, black and white are the most difficult colours to maintain balance on canvas. I have tried to create that balance.” He says that he has used dark strokes in such a way that a viewer can place themselves in my paintings. “They will feel as if they are at that particular spot.”

Khan says he is self-taught and is an artist by birth. His award winning paintings were also on display. His painting ‘Purana Quila’ which shows a dim brown path making its way through lush green weeds towards Purana Quila was selected to be displayed on the occasion of the celebrations marking 100 years of Delhi as India’s Capital. Another painting ‘Reflection’ showing reflection of mountain and sky on a bemused river won an International Award in Worlds Biggest Fine Art Camp by Prarambh, Mumbai and 34 State Lalit Kala Akademi, Orissa 2010. Most recently, he was awarded all India Award by Indian Royal Academy, Gulbarga, Karnataka.

An admirer of Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet, Satish Chandra and Ram Kumar, Khan started his career with symbolic paintings but later made landscaping his signature style. He says, “My signature work is creating landscape-riverside, mountainside sceneries.” His portraits are loved and appreciated too. His next exhibition is from 1st to 5th November, 2012 at State Art Gallery, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh.

(This article was first published in The Hindu-MetroPlus)

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