Devadatta Padekar whose latest work is presented in an exhibition by Gallerie Ganesha concentrates on creating a beautiful composition through the play of colours, strokes and movement, and are not essentially profound or cerebral in their intent and treatment.
Devadatta paints young girls, women, singularly or in pairs playing with birds, fawns, goldfish, flowers and the like. The effort is to create an aura of pristine innocence; of being one with the organic and the natural world, free from the taint of the artificial and alien post-modernist world. The artist states that the current theme is about curiosity and innocence, a bonding and sharing between man and the natural world, in which beauty is of prime importance.
Padekars’s works are influenced by late nineteenth century impressionist artists, especially Edgar Degas, and the creative locus of the work is largely Euro-centric, evoking a stylised Occidental innerscape. The artist uses oil and pastels on canvas and board to create feminine and childlike subjects which seem to evoke a world of simplicity, subtlety and purity evocative of Blake-like innocence; perhaps a desire to retreat from the frenetic pace of the contemporary world.
Devadatta uses subtle colours in profusion, so much so that the titles are named after the use of colours, such as a series called ‘Symphony in Pearl and Gold’. Even where red and green have been used in abundance, whites dominate because of the impasto-like lighter strokes.
In terms of technique in oils, despite working by building layers on a layer of colour, the works suggest an artlessness, and sparkle of spontaneity. A lot of movement has been suggested through strokes, though this movement is necessarily not very expressive. The pastel works however have a disarming simplicity of an actual spontaneous creation.