The Dream of Hyderabad-based artist Annarapu Narender’s Jehangir Art Gallery

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The train tickets are booked and the suitcase is packed and ready but Annarapu Narender is still in a state of amazement. “Exhibiting my works at Jehangir Art Gallery has been a dream since my student days; I can’t believe this is happening now,” says the Hyderabad-based artist. Narender’s solo exhibition ‘Music of the Heart’ will be held from May 3-9 at Gallery 2 of Jehangir Art Gallery in Mumbai.

With 20 sketches and 32 paintings, the abstract canvases of cubes and layers containing a multitude of images appear three-dimensional. “People are attracted to a painting of geometric shapes and lines because it gives the impression of having two or three figures,” explains the artist describing the joy of finding a figure in a cube on canvas. Music, dance, the different stages and moods of a woman, the romantic gestures and expressions of a couple were his themes and the artist developed his own technique to bring them to life on the canvas. “I want my paintings to evoke positivity,” he says.

Annarapu Narender

Annarapu Narender | Photo credit: special arrangement

His love for music is represented by a series of images emphasizing a singer’s expressions and musical instruments. “The expressions of a singer during a alapana, turning sideways while singing or a turn of expression create many impressions. It’s interesting to convey the passion of a singer on the web,” he says.

By Annarapu Narender

By Annarapu Narender | Photo credit: special arrangement

A student of Fine Arts, Narender was 23 when he went to Delhi, at the invitation of his friend M Shankar, to work as a curator at the National Gallery of Modern Art. Since it was summer, Narender preferred to stay indoors and read about masters such as MF Husain, Rabindranath Tagore and Ramkinkar Baij in the library than pursue an artistic career in a new city. “I struggled a lot to create my style, but I stuck to it. When the emotions are conveyed on the canvas, the work – although abstract – feels like a visual story, with its form, composition and its colors,” he explains.

By Annarapu Narender

By Annarapu Narender | Photo credit: special arrangement

His family could not understand his love of “triangles and lines” in his abstracts and persuaded him to take up portraiture; but it was fixed on lines that took different shapes. He also worked as an art teacher in private schools and a tutor to the grandchildren of former (late) Chief Minister NT Rama Rao. A difficult phase when his wife and son had health problems only created a deeper connection with the art.

Now he is looking forward to opening a new chapter with the exhibition at Jehangir Art Gallery.

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