The exhibit is at Gelabert Studios Gallery, 255 West 86th St. New York, NY 10024. The phone number there is 212-874-7188. The exhibit runs from April 18 to May 1, 2004 and is open from Tuesday to Saturday, 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. A wine & cheese reception will be held on April 23, between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. If you are interested in meeting the artists, they will be at the gallery on April 19 and 24 and on May 1, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
From the Press Release
Salma Arastu's present works, which began over the last four years, explored and expanded the accent on the continuous and lyrical line with intent to express the whole thought and form with a single continuous brush stroke. These works reflect an integration of Eastern spirituality with Contemporary Western art form. The colors and traditions of Rajasthan, India, the region of her birth, have created the inspirational foundations of work, which she express through layers of colors with intricate textures that sometimes reveal or hide the continuous line. Present work is greatly inspired by miniatures from the Rajput-Mughal India and Persia.
Salma Arastu was born in Rajasthan, India. She has been painting for twenty-seven years, since graduating with a Masters degree in Fine Arts from MS University, Baroda, India in 1975. Her native culture and her residence influence her work with continuous and lyrical line after marriage in Iran and Kuwait before coming to the US in 1987. Kristin E. Holmes, Philadelphia Inquirer says “For decades, Arastu has crafted artwork that aims to transcend boundaries, depicting indistinguishable people together on color-filled backgrounds. With works such as Hope the Moon and Spiritual Ecstasy she incorporates themes of prayer and praise.”
Present works of Murali Harathi are composed of a collection of watercolor depicting the Manhattan images. Central Park, Fifth Avenue and Grand Central Station as backdrops, he documents the long heritage of landscape and city that unfolds daily on Manhattan's streets. The city is an intangible element that compels every tourist to attempt to capture it on film. Murali Harathi is able to harness this mercurial force in sketches and photos and then returns to his studio where he unleashes it in paint. It results his impressionist rendition of Manhattan that is above any imagination.
Murali Harathi's was born in Hyderabad India. During mid 1980's the city of Hyderabad with its composite culture inspired Murali Harathi for his first series of painting “Royal Palaces of Hyderabad”. Hyderabad with its Royal Palaces. 400-year-old city in central south India, overflowing with Palaces built by and reflecting the opulent tastes of its rulers, the powerful Nizams or the Royal nobles (Paigahs). Murali Harathi's graduated architecture in 1984 and worked in various positions as an architect in different countries. Since 2000, he participated in-group exhibitions throughout the United States and India and has held numerous solo exhibitions.
Murali Harathi is an emerging artist whose work is very well appreciated and collected by collectors from Easton and New York. In a short time of three years he had four shows in Easton (PA), Philadelphia New York and Plainsboro (NJ). He is one of emerging artist in Asian American community. He is contemporary to artists like Dhurva Acharya or Bari Kumar
Manhattan Icon of America is a series of 15 painting offers works on paper in watercolor, each of which seems to capture essence of the New York with spontaneity and dramatic effect. Present works includes selected work at 27th Annual Small Works Juried Exhibition, Juror: Molly Barnes 80 Washington Square East Galleries, department of art and art professions, NYU, NY.
Harathi presenting New York is a continuation of art traditions of Impressionists; modernists, abstract expressionists and contemporary realists. Over 100 years New York City has inspired many schools of Art. Great impressionists like Childe Hassam, Maurice Prendergast, Colin Campbell cooper and William Merritt Chase tended to seek genteel themes in their urban depictions. In the early twentieth century a group of realist artists (the Ashcan School) were drawn to the vitality and character of New York life in all of its varied aspects. For the Modernist painters, the city symbolized the dynamic spirit of an age of progress and industrial expansion. Other modernist artists used city forms as the inspiration for abstract arrangements Aware of the rich legacy of artistic representations of New York, artists to this day have sought to find the means to record their emotive responses to the city in their work.
Dedicated to this goal since moving to close to New York City in 2000, Harathi started creating watercolors of urban architecture as a vehicle for expressing the city's intensity, catching the essence of the city with spontaneity and dramatic effect. Using broad brushstrokes and a sweeping style, try to capture the City's vitality, its landmark structures. The deep shadows of its canyons, the sun catching the tops of skyscraper towers, the pavement glistening from a recent downpour, all are caught as if glimpsed from the window of a passing taxi.
As a body of work, it is professional and creative way of depicting familiar urbanscape of New York in unfamiliar compositions. Each painting is rendered in rich tones with a slight painterly touch recalling the American impressionists. Yet his use of realistic images is wholly contemporary. His blending of these various aesthetics lends well to work whose content borrows from such disparate sources as actual locations, his experiences and wide influences of photographs and film.
Salma Arastu is a part of Asian American artists' community for last 15 years. She is contemporary to Rina banerjee, Tara Sabharwal or Ela Shah. She is next generation to established artists like Zarina Hashmi, Vijay Kumar, Arun Bose or Natwar Bhavsar. Over 15 years in America she is featured widely in media for her work. Her presence in Philadelphia, Washington, New York and Bethlehem with her artwork and shows is noticeable. Her work is in private collections, in several museums in India, and at local businesses in the Lehigh Valley area. Ms. Arastu has won many awards for her art. Her works are represented in several galleries, including Artjaz gallery in Philadelphia; Gmunder gallery in Schwabisch, Germany; Art Heritage gallery in New Delhi, India. She has held twenty-five solo shows throughout the world, including the US, Germany, Kuwait, Iran and India.
The technique is more contemporary that I have developed over the years with thin glazes of Acrylic paint and pen & ink details. The figures are faceless and drawn loosely with single line to show continuity and linear lyricism. The colors are subdued with golden glaze on the top, to give them a mysterious and jewel like quality. There are about 12 paintings from the series being exhibited.
Some other works like “Love is the truth” & “My Son” are samples of my regular large works, which are figurative linear works against textural surface.
The paintings, which will be on view at Gelabert Studios, are, series of paintings that I have done in the past year based on the compositions of miniature paintings from various schools. I have always been drawn towards the intricately depicted courtyards, terraces, and gardens in miniature compositions. And I have tried to use them in my work on and off but this year I planned this series on square panel of wood of 20″/20″ and placing a smaller square on it and composing the entire picture with emphasis on inner square and thus giving it kind of relief or three dimensional lift.