If India could boast of its own impressionistic tradition in fine art, the first artist that would come to mind today is Hyderabad-based Surya Prakash. In his two most recent series of paintings, ‘Pool of Life’ and ‘Dream of Nature’ he unabashedly admits his debt to artists like Cézanne and Monet, and it isn’t difficult to see how he has learnt from their style in his own renderings of water lilies and ponds reflecting the skies above them.
There is something idealistic and dreamy about the manner in which this artist chooses the colours he will use, the way in which they are combined and finally just how they will be applied to the surface. Surya Prakash's images have come a long way since the initial take off of his artistic career. Today their principal concern and influence is the artist’s personal perception of nature. His semi-realistic representation of flowers and foliage, are like the impressionists’ works, marked by layered colours and carefully rendered textures.
But the impressionistic movement was not the only European approach to painting that touched this artist and his work. In his earlier series of canvases titled ‘Barren Leaves’, a definite surrealistic force is evident in most of the paintings, and one cannot but help notice a Dali-esque quality to the larger than life autumnal leaves floating to the ground. Looking at an even earlier set of works called ‘Jargon of the Junk’, the convoluted metal forms Prakash uses as subjects bring to mind the style of the Fauvists and Francis Bacon, not to mention that of the Indian artist Tyeb Mehta. It is clear that Surya Prakash is a truly multifaceted artist, constantly learning from other painters and evolving his style and expanding his oeuvre as he experiments with new forms, colours and motifs. In media and surface as well, Prakash continually experiments and furthers his reach, most recently trying his hand at etching.
This artist was born in 1940 and has been in the forefront of the art movement in the Hyderabad region, organizing camps, workshops et al. His artistic career spans more than four decades, and has been marked by several solo and group exhibitions held both within India as well as in Poland, Germany, Iran, Czechoslovakia, Russia, Hungary, the United Kingdom, Syria, France, and the United States. His work has found place in numerous forums including the India Triennale and the Paris Biennale. He has been a jury member and commissioner for national and state level exhibitions as well as the fifth India Triennale. The recipient of the National Award and gold medals from the Andhra Pradesh Lalit Kala Academy and the Hyderabad Art Society, Surya Prakash has been honoured with the title "Kala Vibhushan" by the All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society in New Delhi. This artist’s paintings have found a home in several museums, corporate houses, banks, institutions and in other private and public collections in India and overseas.His work displayed with us is an acrylic on canvas made in 2019.