ode to 2000
(Chitrakoot Gallery - Kolkata)

ode to 2000 :THE TELEGRAPH (KOLKATA) 16-10-2000
milon's Melancholy :THE STATESMAN (KOLKATA)22-10-2000
On a lyrical note : ECONOMIC TIMES-( KOLKATA) 22-10-2000

milon's fantasy: Indian mythology
(Norton Art Gallery - Sydney /Cymroza Art Gallery - Mumbai)
Catalogue 2001 "milon's fantasy: Indian Mythology"
Interview with Indian Link (Sydney)
24-05-2001
Angry Young Man : India Down Under ( Sydney) 02-06-2001
Hit or Myth :Mosman Daily (Sydney) 07-06-2001

Diary …… :The Metro Pulse Weekly 09-12- 2001
Colourful Stories : Times Of India (Bombay Times) 25-12-2001


Spectrum
(Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai /India Art Gallery,Pune)

milon Ka Mela : Mid - Day 06-08- 2002
Getting Poetic with the Paintbrush : Times Of India (Bombay Times) 07-08-2002
Portrait of a painter : Mid Day Metro(Lokhandwala & Versova) 14-11-2002
A brush with art : Times of India (Pune)23-01- 2003
RISING TO A CRESCENDO : The Indian Express Pune Newsline 30-01- 2003



 

 

 

 

 

 

 




THE STATESMAN (KOLKATA)22-10-2000

milon's Melancholy
:

ALTHOUGH, quite adamantly resists the idea of being inspired by or even compared to any of his precursors, there is no mistaking a visual echo of Michelangelo's The Last Judgment in milon Mukherjee's latest series of paintings, ode to 2000. In a painting he calls Transition, blurred children's bodies done in black, gray and brown are made to swim involuntarily in the air, against a gloomy yellow background. Given the nothing can be more preposterous than taking the names of these two artists in the same breath, what unites the Florentine master painter of the timeless frescos on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel with the Calcutta born, Mumbai-based Mukherjee (as it indeed does with countless other artists who ever wielded a brush across cultures, countries and centuries) is a sense of agonized frustration with their times and society.

From 1508, (when Michelangelo began painting the Sistine ceiling) to 2000, the way human beings suffer, struggle to find love, hurt each other and end up in an irredeemable state of confusion has not changed. Only the grand, colossal vision of artists - in keeping with the trends of the time - have been reduced to a much smaller, punier scale. So an artist like Mukherjee, when he is looking for a potent symbol to express the doubts, dilemmas and dichotomies he finds around himself, chooses the figure of the goat - which is both helpless and ridiculous - as a leitmotif.....

For the past three years, the artist has been exploring the way life has changed for the turn of the century India. He is thwarted by floods, droughts, hunger and lack of education - situations over which he does not seem to have any control - and yet, hurtling his way towards globalisation and an IT revolution.....

..... Children robbed of childhood, elusive mother, lovers swirling in suspended animation, unable to reach out and touch each other, lesbians hurled against each other - their forms bending in absurd angles of contortion the situations captured in Mukherjee's canvas represent pain, turmoil and confusion.....
Is his disillusionment with the way things are, complete?
"Not really," says the artist. "I'm trying to find flowers among the thorns. But don't expect me to say beautiful lies." .....
In the aftermath of the Bombay riots in 1993, the sight of buskers singing in Bandra Station a sign of normality returning inspired him to do a series of musicians. He felt there were both a story and paintings in them, calling it A Concert of Canvases which was exhibited at Bombay's Jehanghir Art Gallery.
Music, writing, art Mukherjee has an interesting, art Mukherjee has an interesting way of making them co-habit the same space. The man who once did posters for the undivided Communist Party of India way back in the early sixties....
Stylistically too, he has varied his technique from the abstract, naïve style of his early paintings to geometric dividing up of the canvas to heaping pigments using short brush strokes, to trying to break free of clearly defined outlines.

By the time you finish reading this, Mukherjee could well have reinvented himself all over again.

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ECONOMIC TIMES-
(KOLKATA) 22-10-2000

On a lyrical note      :

milon MUKHERJEE is a reticent, complex artist. Eighteen of his paintings (oil on canvas) are on show at the Chitrakoot Art Gallery. The exhibition is called milon's ode to 2000. The works are leasing and open to many levels of interpretation.....
Which is not hard to understand since Mukherjee is also novelist (he has written seven novels and several short stories in Bengali which have been translated into English and several regional languages. The University of Kerala has included one of his short stories in its syllabus).....
Mukherjee was born in Calcutta. He is now based in Mumbai. He is now based in Mumbai. He painted and held his first solo exhibition in Paris in 1972, he was awarded the Prof. Langhammer 'Painter of the Year' award during 1976 - 78 while he was traveling all over the world. He was the first Indian artist invited to Dubai to Paint 'India' for a solo exhibition in 1998.

The result was a versatile complex sensibility exposed to the world Rainer Maria Rilke would have approved of him. The wealth of his experiences entered into his blood stream and 'returned' to him, that is perhaps when the artist began to reflect upon himself and/or what ever he wanted to reflect on.

ode to 2000 could be nostalgia about lost traditions (No. 'Baul')'.... in a very bleak/dark picture of life (no. 1 'Transition' which shows a world of little children but does not convey innocence)' it could also be a vision of hope for Primitive energy, for the Pristine (no. 4, 'Mother and Children', no. 9 'The Touch' and no. 15 'Security')...

....There is a note of lyricism in these works, especially in 'The Touch'.....
Mukherjee is an artist of speed and power, strength and rhythm. His technique and colours and remarkable bold and forceful, they merge with his meanings.....

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The Telegraph (KOLKATA) 16-10-2000
ode to 2000             

The new millennium was ushered in with a lot of fanfare globally. In fact, this particular year is a milestone in the history of time. It also gives us, the passive bystanders, the rare opportunity of being part of history by virtue of being here and witnessing history being created. But there are some who prefer to participate actively in the creative process and etch out their experiences for posterity. Veteran artist and author milon Mukhopadyay is one such creative person who creates on canvas a series of oil paintings and offers them as his "ode" to this new millennium. milon's (as he is popularly known) works have a dramatic quality. His deft handling of colours create a strange and surreal world, a world that is larger than life. This is the universe which is as ancient as the collective consciousness of human beings can reach and as modern, magical and utopian as one which we can only imagine. He is an artist who loves and lives life to the full, a man who feels the pulse of the masses and his paintings are a celebration of life. An exhibition of milon's work will be inaugurated this evening at 5.30 by Sumit Mazumdar and art loves will get an opportunity to watch this Mumbai based artist's recent works.

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Mosman Daily (Sydney) 7-6-2001
Hit or Myth approach to painting

Mumbai-based artist milon Mukherjee came to this country with an invitation to exhibit his latest oil paintings in The Norton Gallery in Blues point Rd, McMahons Point, Sydney..... is showing his work in an exhibition called milon's fantasy Indian mythology, which opened on Tuesday and runs until June 10 2001 ....
..... milon Mukherjee has been at Ettalong Beach for the past six months painting for his Sydney exhibition. It's his first visit to Australia and he says he is captivated by the sleepy central coast town with its quiet, isolated streets, which are dramatically at odds with the hustle and bustle of Calcutta..... He spent 20 years with the times in India as chief illustrator and has nurtured a strong wit and a knowledgeable social commentary on India today.....
Since leaving the Times, he has concentrated on other pursuits along with this beloved painting, writing and acting in TV serials .....
..... Today his acting and writing have been sideslipped for the moment while painting takes priority. "The process of painting, like no other medium, is like breathing out one's inner feelings where words fail," he said..... Mukherjee's paintings are an impish take on Indian Mythology - his fantasy. "Indian Mythology is so vast that no one can ultimately go deeply into it - including myself as an artist," he said ....

 

 

 

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"Indian Link" (Sydney) 25-05-2001
Couple o' questions…
Excerpts from a recent interview of milon by Mark Balfour, Sydney, 2001.

Q. What do you feel is the essence of your mythological themes and do you see your art as being a catalyst in a certain sense?
A. India is the mother of civilization. Her Mythologies evoked counterparts in classical Egyptian and Greek art forms by adoption. In the Hindu Trimurti or Trinity for example, the Gods Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva become in Egypt Osiris, Isis, Horus; and in Greece, Zeus, Demeter, Apollo. In reality, the Gods personified universal faces that govern the processes of creation and life itself… The long-standing schism between these ancient insights and modern scientific thinking is diminishing. I like to feel that my themes are a catalyst in helping to further narrow this gap.

Q. Can we say that an East/West synthesis can be further nurtured through the medium of art?
A. I believe so. I see art as a potent means in bringing this into closer focus. The theme of my Sydney exhibition in 2001, was titled fantasy as it explored the spiritual and mystic realities of the cosmic and beyond…

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"India Down Under" (Sydney) 02-06-2001.
The Angry young man…
Excerpts from an article by Sushma Paul,

"… Known once in art circles as the angry young man, has milon mellowed over the years?
"In my youth I use to scream about suffering from rooftops. As you mature, you may not scream but the anger within does not die. The only thing is that now I don't know whom to direct my anger at … "Influenced by European impressionist artists, Van Gogh in particular, milon's lust for life, ignited early in his life, continues even today. But it is a lust for life on the mean streets not for the cocooned comforts of well-to-do Painters…"

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Catalogue 2001

"milon's fantasy: Indian Mythology"
Marlene Sarroff, Australian Artist

"… The paintings explore the spiritual and mystic realities of the cosmic and beyond. Though not an abstract painter, milon resorts to imaging the abstract, drawing upon the resources of ancient Hindu iconography - those who in the obscure past probed deep into the mystique of creation and the aspects of infinity…
… milon takes us between the lines of the verses in the source books of prehistoric Indian mythology, taking the detail of the vivid images in the hymns addressed to the Hindu Gods and Goddesses…
… The images in the paintings are in the distinctive figural and gestural features of the playful diversity of the formal arrangements of Vedic deities, which may be found in the descriptive passages of the scriptures.
As one would expect, milon does a little spinning off from tradition - taking advantage of artistic license and impish liberty!"

 

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Times of India (Pune) 23-01- 2003
A brush with art

Artist milon Mukherjee is of the firm belief that a painting cannot be understood; instead it has to be experienced. So, while his canvasses narrate a story, he also tries to strike a chord with the viewer. A chord which speaks the language of compassion. Currently in the city preparing for his forthcoming exhibition, milon speaks about his odyssey into the world art. "Painting is my first love, I am married to it and all the canvasses are my children, all girls," 'he adds, laughing. "When someone purchases one, I do a bidaii, as I consider it married." Yes, the bond he has with all his children is alive and well. It pulsates with life and is a reflection of his feelings. milon's art journey began at a young age. Much to his lawyer father's displeasure, he joined art school. " I use to like everything except science, technology and math. The only thing I knew about was positive and negative space, which I tried to use to the maximum. In college, I would observe and sketch refugees at the station, people at the coffee house, etc." While portraying situations, milon's preference is for the human face, set against a backdrop of the situation. When in college, milon went to Kedarnath and Badrinath in search of 'the truth'. "I was soul-searching and was trying to find peace," he explains' thinking back. The place where he did find some measure of peace was in innocence and his first exhibition ' children with out childhood' in Kolkata, reflected that. "One of my paintings had children selling kites, but not flying them. This exhibition was about those unfortunate children who lose out on their childhood." milon tells us. The artist later moved to Mumbai where it was an upward struggle once again. Much of his life is captured in his paintings which oscillate between turmoil and bliss. "My canvass stamps time. Sometimes, even if the turmoil is not personal, the painful happenings in society affect me and thereby creep into my work." He says. milon has exhibited his work all over the world barring Russia, New York and china. "My favorite place is Paris as I love its spirit. And yes, I would like to exhibit in New York. Kolkatta, however, is not an option, because it does not have a market for art," he explains. An oil loyalist, milon's years as a student involved watercolour and charcoals but "I always had a craving to use oils. This is a medium with infinite capacity." Other exploits have included acting in serials like Hrishikesh Mukherjee's Hum Hindustani, writing and being a voice over artist. "But it is art which overpowers me and is my quest in life," milon confesses.

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The Metro Pulse Weekly 9-12- 2001
Diary ……

milon Mukherjee, returns in this exhibition to are favorite subject: the deities of Indian mythology, cast in their playful aspect rather than as objects of awe or worship. milon's sensibility is that of the story- teller, who delights in fable and anecdote: in spirit, he is the descendant of the poet- sages and the puppet narrators who have drawn audiences in to a vivid dance of images down the centuries. In these recent paintings he presents the divine flautist Krishna charming the cows and the milk mind of Vrindavan, Ganesh lost in a trance of his won musical making, shiva and parvati riding the bull of Nandi. At first sight, these images seem to be in accord with the accepted iconography, if greatly altered by his taste of minimal lines and percussive effects of colour when we look closely, how ever, we see that many of these paintings render amusing variations on myth and iconography; they have the air of private jokes that have been shared. In one of the new frames, the goddess Durga confronts us in all her imperious majesty, but her lion gives us a quizzical look in another, Ganesha wanders into Vrindavan and assumes Krishna-like overtones, turning into a blue elephant who is learning to play the flute, While the wonderstruck inhabitants of Vrindavan look on from behind the trees.

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Mid Day Metro(Lokhandwala & Versova) 14-11-2002
Portrait of a painter

His sensibility is that of a story-teller who delights in fables and anecdotes. In some of his recent works, he has painted Lord Krishna charming the cows and the milk maids of Vrindavan; Shiva and Parvati riding Nandi images that are greatly altered by his propensity for minimal lines and percussive effects of colour.

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The Indian Express (Pune Newsline) 30-01- 2003
Rising to a Crescendo

Pune newsline January 30 2003 milon Mukherjee's works of art are on show for the first time in Pune at the Inn Gallery on January 30 and 31 and at the Indian art gallery thereafter This is life in colour multi-hued, vibrant and telling a story. And the beauty of it all is that it rings with the charm of music moving from canvas to canvas coloured with milon Mukherjee's expertise in oil paints, a medium he swears by. The ghatam, the shehnai, the dhak, Krishna playing the flute, among 13 paintings which comprise the Music Maker series create their own symphony. Bold strokes of earthen colours bring out the Mukherjee rhapsody of various musical instruments. Hosted by Indiaart, a total of 30 of Mukherjee's creations, some from his earlier series such as Goats along with the Music Maker series will be on display at the Inn Gallery Sun 'n' send on January 30 and 31. The collection will then move to the Indiart Gallery for a month long exhibition. This 27th showing for the Mumbai based artist who has dabbled in most other creative ventures which include acting and writing, has a special experience attached. Mukherjee has been camping in Pune for a while to especially create works for the show, " It's been interesting to internalize Pune's environment and reflect it in my works. Each of my works is a creation of love, and in fact when I paint a new picture I do it in one go - it like a spasm of energy!" he enthuses.

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Times Of India (Bombay Times) 25-12- 2001
Colourful Stories
By Bernadette da Cunha

milon Mukherjee is a storyteller, born to tell stories. The eternal Peter Pan who lives in his world of fantasy . In 'fantasy - Indian Mythology'. On display at the Cymroza Art Gallery, he continues to mine a vein of innocence - that of the playful deities, in a manner that is refreshingly spirited. Influenced by the four Vedas and the three Upanishads he portrays his stories in colour, language being an inexhaustible thread he weaves as the images appear traced by his prolific brush. Consider 'Jugalbandi', here he exhibits intelligent drawing and a sharp sense of composition that provides the armature for all his painterly effects. In the 'Flautist and Admirer' he presents the divine flautist Krishna as enchanting and charming the milk-maids of Vrindavan. He uses a loose impulsive line that jump starts the composition. With a cacophony of yellow and blue over a background of resonating orange he maximizes the stunning effect of this hazardous colour combination without overwhelming the painting. Now look at 'Saraswati', the work is aggressively physical, the somber hues touched with browns, the interplay of smooth and soft textures and the flow of sculpted space create a hypnotic effect….. the epitome of his revisionist nostalgia is in the 'Sun-God', where he incorporates an extraordinary tension between balance and imbalance painting the horses in rifts of apparently random colours of autumn, with fast and hard white strokes that function as a sort of ocular refuge. This work as a blazing radiant golden openness and powerfully conveys milon's exhilaration in the face of the Sun-God drawn by a chariot of seven horses - encompassing the seven colours of the rainbow….

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Times Of India (Bombay Times) 07-08-2002

Getting Poetic with the Paintbrush

As a painter, he has an individual identity. His energy and ire translates easily onto the canvas, while his sensitive sketches force art connoisseurs to pause and ponder of social issues demanding attention….. The rustic rhythm of his is on display at Jehangir Art Gallery

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Mid - Day 06-08- 2002
milon kA Mela

The current exhibition is not just music-inspired paintings. True to the title of the show, Spectrum, the collection presents Mukherjee's works form the '70s, '80s and '90s. And, he says that for the first time he is showing drawings that he made as his first year art student. A set of fine drawings made as studies of landscape are also part of the show… His paintings, however, are not full of sorrow. On the contrary one finds celebration and joy in them. Vibrant colours and energetic strokes make his paintings one of a kind.

 

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