MORNING GLORY---RISING SUN Painting by Baljit Chadha

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Art Description

Painting: Airbrush, Acrylic, Spray Paint, Color, Marker on Canvas, Other, Paper, Ceramic, Wood.


Right Insticts
It is essential we realize that our response to art depends on a great deal of touch memory and that this information comes to us through our eyes. Added to this is the principle of gravity which gives us a sense of balance and cohesion. We are quick to recognize anything that is top- heavy, lop- sided or in any way unbalanced or incoherent. Finally we are governed by rhythm: the regular rhythm of the human- beats, of breathing, of succeeding days and nights and as indeed of all the other vital rhythms as those of the oscillating atoms and the planets etc.

I believe the work of B.S Chadha responds to all that which is rhythmic, vital and structural in the world, and this means that the artist instinctively bears witness to the basic physical principles of root reality. His work may or not be short on technical rigour as in peak moments of art craft, yet his instincts are sounds. And these are the true substance of his spirals, curvilinear forms and other variations, especially those got up in commanding reds and allied hues. An artist of this genre does what in another art form, like the dance, the dancer does. There is sheer joy in describing circles and the figures of whirling eights.

As a craftsman of the finger- tips, Chadha appears to be in constant search among the myriad forms, structures, and variations of color in nature that reveal to us the particular aspects and degrees of rhythms and structures to which human sensibility responds.

Each artist is a specialist in looking one way or another, and B.S. Chadha has his temperament gifted with special aims, ideals, visions and methods of works, and which must be understood if they are to be respected. It matters not if Chadha is �well known� or not as an ace art marksman. First things first, for his heart, in matters of art, is in the right place. His offering quickens the pace of our blood stream from to time, and which also means the interplay of muscular tensions and relaxations in our body and its sensors. When this happens to happen to our physiology our spirit also comes alive. The choice works of Chadha, do precisely that at a good many moments. So draw your own conclusions!

Keshav Malik
Art Critic
New Delhi

I painted an Eden of flowers divine

�The sun shone in between, and all the little white flowers sparkled. � I went on painting at the risk and peril of seeing the whole show on the ground at any moment -- it's a white effect with a good deal of yellow in it, and blue and lilac, the sky white and blue.�
Letter to Theo van Gogh, c.11 April 1888 by Vincent Van Gogh
The intensity, poetics and singularity of joy that Van Gogh brought to the art of painting flowers remains unrivalled in the annals of art history. In terms of adjusted prices Van Gogh remains the highest priced artist for his paintings of flowers. His �Irises� were priced at more than $100 million (adjusted) and his �Vase with Fifteen Sunflowers� for more than $ 75 million (adjusted).
Before Van Gogh flower painting was a part of Still Life painting tradition. But he changed it all. A man who painted seriously only for two years of his life changed the way we look at flowers and sunflowers specially.
Of other artists who loved to paint flowers the name of American Georgia O�Keeffe comes at the top. Matisse painted flowers largely as part art decorativ style. His flowers carry the flat two dimensionality but are saturated with pure colours as per Fauvist tradition.

True to his Pop Art style Andy Warhol painted flowers as silk screen portfolios of flat colour surfaces reminding about the unreality of �representation�.
Artist friend Baljit S. Chadha has a lasting honeymoon with flowers in his artistic expression. He paints some times with frugality of a Zen master. I can understand that as he had his early training in painting in Japan where he lived and studied as a teenager and had the benefit of the tutelage of great Japanese masters. But his present series on flowers nonplussed me with wonder and joy. He has in the present works a new dimension and a new personality of flowers that I have not seen before. This is because he has distilled the expression from his inner joy and happiness that is the essence of flowers per se and not from their forms.
His flowers have a nearly expressionistic, abstract persona. He uses a watercolour like free flow of colour and tonalities to invest his work with a sensual poetry. His works are acrylic on paper and therefore amenable to idiosyncratic overflows that lends a fresh charm to his oeuvre.
Another landmark quality of Baljit�s new works is that they are rendered in fiery shiny glazes. As we know glazes are traditionally done in oil paint medium. But Baljit has worked them with acrylic colour and without the use of pure impasto. The colours diluted with water float and embrace each other and still have lustrous intensity.
Baljit Chadha has created a fresh stylistic edifice and his creative expression jumps from the visible-familiar to spiritually felt flowers in a divine Eden.
Viktor Vijay Kumar
Director Curator
European Artists� Association Germany
A Rose is a Rose is a Rose is a Rose
(Gertrude Stein, from the poem Sweet Emily, Geography and Plays, 1913)
A contemporary, timeless perspective of a subject dearly beloved to artists, poets,
horticulturalists and beings throughout epochs, flora depictions range from botanical
illustration (for example, the German Baroque naturalist and illustrator Maria Sybill
Merian, d. 1717) to Old Master still-lives, from illuminated manuscripts and miniature
paintings, to classic East Asian ink paintings, to Surrealism, Fauvism, to pop-art and
graphic media. Flowers have always fascinated artists owing to their pureness, and
provided a wonderful way for them to express themselves. Traditionally, flowers in life
and in art imbue their appreciators with symbolic sense. The still-life in this day and age
has lost much of its memento mori or vanitas meaning, and many contemporary artists
shallowly forsake the intense discipline and attention to detail required by this genre for
mere technical slights of hand and machine. Fortunately, there are still devotees of the
love for the rose!
In the floral work of Baljit Chadha, his pathway began with basic flowers, in pen and
ink due to the inspiration of classic sumi-e (ink painting) during his sojourn in Japan.
He understood this as the simple, basic embrace of nature –“to pluck a flower and paint
it!” Pursuing this spirit further, he declares that “I do not believe in straight lines, rather
a spontaneous use of colour.” He is more known in artistic circles to date in India for
his abstract paintings. This series, thus introduces his 11,000 flower oeuvres. Earlier
he added colour and then fexicol to bind the ink. Currently, he has incorporated the
following materials into his process: watercolour, acrylic paint, as well as oil and wax
pastels. This melange enables a broader depiction of the living element of his floral
subjects, such that these blossoms spring to life off the standard sized Chinese imported
paper upon which he steadfastly works.
From the most mannered to the most abstract, passing through each field, medium,
technique, genre and school of painting, the realms of flora bespeak individual
expression. Such iconic images abound as the Iris and the Sunflowers by Vincent van Gogh
(1853-1890), the Water Lilies of Claude Monet (1840-1926), the pop art flowers based on
photographs with a simple motif by Andy Warhol (1928-1987), and fecund depictions
by Georgia O’Keefe (1887-1986) who synthesized abstraction and representation in her
myriad paintings of natural elements.
One of the great painters of flowers, the Belgian painter Pierre-Joseph Redoute (1759-
1840), court painter for Marie Antoinette, eventually emphasized the aesthetic over
botanical accuracy or depiction, having been inspired by the Dutch masters (Jan
Breughel and Rachel Ruysch). Ruysch (1644-1750) was the most celebrated classical
female flower painter. [For reference, the seminal tomes by Sam Segal of Flowers and
Nature: Netherlandish Flower Painting of Four Centuries (1991) and Jan van Huysum, 1682-1749:
The Temptation of Flora (2007)]
In China, bird and flower painting constituted a special genre from the 9th century
onwards, rising to great levels in the Song dynasty (960-1279 A.D.). It heralded a
marvellous deployment of ink and brush. The individual finesse of the artist conveyed
the spirit (qi) of plum blossoms, peonies, chrysanthemums, bamboo, pines and cypresses,
each symbolic of aspects of existence.
In 2004, the BBC Four hosted a four part series entitled Painting Flowers examined
personal artistic themes associated with different species/genres of flora. The following
year, the Flower Myth exhibition in Switzerland at the Fondation Beyeler examined the
evolving approach to floral representation from the late 19th century to the present day.
Ulf Küster, one of the two curators of the exhibition, maintains that "Any painter reveals
his true self by painting flowers.”
Chadha incorporates his personal embrace of abstraction within the depiction of
the ‘divine flower’. Thereby extending the spatial component and fertilising the
surrounding air with colour and stroke. His idiosyncratic method, reminiscent of spin/
action painting, is to squeeze the paint from plastic bottles.
A pansy, gladiolas, lilies, asters, hyacinth, to cite but a few, each painting is unique.
In spirit they are homage to Chadha’s passion to paint. Just as for the Old Master
painters of still-lives and floral subjects, each flower imparts his personal connection
and interpretation. The Mother of the Sri Aurobindo Society also penned a tome on
the significance and meaning of flowers. Chadha earlier had photographed flowers all
over the world, as part of his journeys and daily life. The kinetic nature of his paintings
departs from the photographic lens.
In consideration of the palette and use of materials, Chadha’s works bear a shimmering
sensibility akin to that of stained glass, a sort of translucence reflecting his rhythm of life.
One which he shares with the facets of nature he so consecrates on a daily basis, a true
immersion in this realm of his natural imagination.
For Chadha, this lexicon of intimate and universal beauty celebrates the diversity and
complex, ever startling web of interconnectivity of life. At its core, a true marvelling of
the adavaita, non-duality of humanity and the natural world which surrounds us, one
which we must heed to protect and admire.
Elizabeth Rogers
February 2011
Baljit Chadha

The flower form can justly be dubbed the heart throb of the art world.
This universal vocabulary is the leitmotif of the artistry of Baljit
Chadha who has so far completed about 12,000 flower paintings and thus
made a name for himself in World Records. More
recently, his fine compositions of flora, both realistic and
conceptualized, is making its way to the Arts Festival in Qatar, where
it will become the basis of an installation, spreading the message of
harmony and spiritual healing in a world torn asunder by terrorist
menace, natural disasters, and human suffering. His floral message of
universal brotherhood was the apt idea that the festival curator
Ravinder Kalsi was striving for, giving Chadha’s creations a space to
blossom and unite the world in a garland of friendship.

The fascination with the floral form for Chadha began about two
decades ago when as a teenager sent to Japan he began to imbibe the
essence of Japanese culture. This quest had brought him in contact
with artist Ms Ohta Miyoko, who instructed him in the technique of
‘sui-sai’, or the making of water colour paintings free hand. ‘We
plucked flowers from a garden and then painted them,’ he recalls. Back
home, Chadha realised that the experience had not just equipped him
with a technique but also left an indelible mark on his sensibilities.
‘I was involved with flowers most of the time; whether it was by
painting them, or even shooting flowers with my camera. Even when I
went on a recent trip to Hemkund Sahib, I spent a long time flowers around the area and those shots have been added to my
inventory of flowers for future paintings.’

The floral art that Chadha creates is not a factual reproduction.
There is a wistful familiarity linking them to nature no doubt, but
most often they are perceptions of the angles and the momentary splash
of colour that permeates his mind at sight of a flower. The
spontaneity of his production has to match the flashing impact of the
form on his mind and that is what has led Chadha to devise a way of
creating art speedily. ‘I squeeze colours from push tubes on to the paper
and then swirl the paint into the form that has impacted mentally. I
finish each art work with a coat of lustre and my paintings are
completed. Of course, my sketch book, papers and camera, are always
near at hand. The dining table has a few sheets ready for use. I carry
my camera in my briefcase wherever I go and even sketch while
travelling. In this way, the preliminary work of flower making is
already registered on the sheet. Then, in my studio at home, I work at
completing each work. Immediately after making the art work, I click
images of it and post it on the internet and let the whole world share
in the joy of my creation.’

To fulfill his target of 12,000 paintings for the oncoming show,
Chadha has fine tuned his work life to the discipline of a soldier. ‘I
start work at my painting studio each morning at 4.30 a.m. This gives
me time to create quite a few paintings each morning, provided
the drawing and other preliminaries have been done on them earlier,’
he explains. And on days of dysfunction when the creative Muse is
impossible to awaken, Chadha resorts to mind cajoling rather than
abandoning his work. ‘I tell myself a painting can never go waste. A
work appears a reject because one’s mood suggests it to be so. So
instead of throwing it away I hold back the work and many a time, at a
later date, I have been able to alter it into a new form, that has
pleased me immensely.’

Although it is the eclectic spread of floral forms that defines
Chadha’s art, he insists that it is not the flower that satisfies
intrinsic creative urges that he his fulfilling through them. ‘The
mind is constantly working at making newer happenings. I have thus
worked on other subjects, such as Eternal Circles/windowas of hope . The work took me
into the by lanes of old Delhi in search of ideas and
materials for my creations. I recall once when holidaying in Shimla, I
opened the window of my hotel room and looked at the scenic setting
all around. The idea of opening a gallery for a living struck me and
once back in Delhi I worked at the idea and ran an art gallery for
several years. At another time, as a garment exporter, I was
fascinated with the idea of using Kalamkari forms for printing on
voiles to be made into garments. The project fetched me a golden trophy for best display and design t n interntional garment fair in newdelhi in 1994.>

Currently Chadha’s preoccupation has moved to the next level. As his
floral creations are being readied for an art show, Chadha has become
involved in finding the ideal way of displaying his art. ‘Since 12,000
works would require a kilometer of space when laid out side by side on
a wall, I have been toying with the idea of making an installation
with them. One idea is to place the paintings between two sheets of
glass or acrylic and create a tree form with them. This would make it
easy to handle the works as the exhibition is being planned as a
touring exhibit and carrying 12,000 paintings calls for super
efficient logistics.

Meanwhile work on a catalogue recording date wise, the creation of
each transient floral idea, is an ongoing project. ‘That will be a
limited edition print and can be shared and enjoyed with the art
fraternity residing in different corners of the world,’ he surmises.
Thus Chadha’s art is a matrix of multiple issues. While production is
central to his scheme of things, a connectivity of events links the
phases of present past and future into a holistic form in the workings
of artist Baljit Chadha.
Ms Majmudar
Art critic



Baljit Chadha



Size: 36 W x 36 H x 2 in

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