New Delhi, India
The latest solo exhibition of 100 art works by one of the most talented artists of our time, the Bhopal based artist Yusuf, is being hosted at the Shridharani Gallery at Delhi’s Triveni Kala Sangam, from February 13 – 21, 2023. The exhibition is curated by Prayag Shukla. The exhibition opened on 13th February, with the screening of a film on Yusuf by Dr. Shruti Lakhanpal Tandon at 5 pm. And on the last day, Tuesday, 21st February, at 5 pm, a poetry reading by Joshnaa Banerjee Adwanii is scheduled.
In modern art, abstraction comes in two different forms. An explosion of colours with unique types of light can occur in one kind. The other sort, despite the existence of colours, shows the artist’s world of restraint, concentration, and colourlessness. Representative of the second type of abstraction, Yusuf joined the realm of colour after spending many years battling the intricacy of lines drawn in black and white, bringing with him a special characteristic of colourlessness.
In contrast to typical lines, those drawn by Yusuf tend to travel straight when making curves. Most of them are “skinny.” But when they are all together, they form an oddly textured, densely patterned mass. The lines can also be in motion at times, perhaps with ragged, loose edges that are free to show their dynamic, spontaneous powers. They appear to take in, summon, and consecrate feelings, dreams, and ideas.
Yusuf says, “The line is a crucial element in my work, typically drawn to represent a moving point. But a funny thing happens when I visualize the collection of lines as a fundamental building block. This indivisible point gives rise to several lines, which in turn give birth to countless unrecorded lines. As a result, when I draw a single line, I really draw two lines—one positive and one negative. The white line that separates two black lines is not only empty space. It is a conscious decision. It takes the same shape in my line drawings as the black lines, together creating a sensuality that gives them movement, life, and energy.”
The exhibition promises to be a unique experience for art lovers and enthusiasts. The drawings are intricate, detailed and engage the viewer in a conversation. Each drawing tells a story and takes the viewer on a journey of exploration and discovery. Yusuf’s lines are life, as he keeps drawing them, creating forms that are gracefully presented, yet carry a substantial weight of explorations and an assertion.
The drawings are not static and do not limit the viewer to any particular interpretation. Instead, they keep expanding and inviting a whole gamut of perceptions. Yusuf’s lines create a mass, curiously textured and intricately patterned, reflecting the diversity of experiences that the artist has had in his life.
The drawings are a reflection of Yusuf’s passion, dedication, love, and care for his art. Yusuf is not just a practitioner of art, but he lives and creates art with passion, and his art reflects his dedication to his craft.
The lines of Yusuf are well-known to him, but following them closely to see how they take their own course, their own journey to see them through to their unique ends, was a new experience. This goes to the credit of Yusuf, who lets lines enjoy their freedom, and in turn, enjoys their freedom himself.
Yusuf has a long history of solo and ensemble performances and currently resides and works in Bhopal. The All India Exhibition MKKP, Raipur 1976-77 International Asian European Biennial, Turkey 1980, All India Drawing Exhibition, Chandigarh 1984-85, Bharat Bhavan Biennial, Bhopal 1986, National Award Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi 1987, MP State Award 1997, 80, 81, Raza Award, Bhopal, 1994 All India Kalidas Award, and the Ujjain M P Youth & Social Welfare Award in 1997 are just a few of the prestigious awards he has won.
According to Yusuf, “A line is a living unit with endless possibilities, and when an artist constructs a shape using the line, then it is the line that gives it a certain shape, thereby excluding all other possibilities.”
His paintings are not produced using unnecessary lines. In actuality, they are a collection of countless lines that may be expanded or extended in any direction. Since the lines are the source of his creation, their shape and space are always simple, where the options are unlimited and the deepest values stay the same.