Rini Dhumal

rini dhumalFrom an art history point of view, prints have long been a highly popular medium of expression. There have been close links between prints and people’s lives. Today, as contemporary art is developing towards even greater diversity, their role is bound to become even more important than in the past. Prints are at once intimate and political, public yet private. The role of a printmaker is two-fold. It requires a disciplined exactitude and a sense of aesthetic beauty. It is most important that a print communicates its message clearly and is accessible to everyone.

I have been a printmaker and a painter. For some time now I have been painting and enjoyed it immensely. In fact my printmaking background was an added asset. Painting has been equally helpful in my new series of prints, in encouraging a simpler approach and technique. In today’s contemporary art in India vis-a-vis painting or sculpture, prints have been looked down on as a stepchild. Of course, a lot of effort has been made to bring prints into the mainstream of the art world in India, but have not been successful as yet.

One has to make a conscious effort to make the public or art lovers want to own a print, make them understand that it is as relevant and original as a painting itself. A close relationship exists between a printmaker and his prints. The serial nature of prints permits an artist to see and record the development of their ideas, figurative or abstract.

Recently I have returned to prints with a new vigor, with a heightened awareness of size and colour. The contents of these prints are not in any way a diversification of my paintings. They do, however, convey the same concern for human relationships and dialogues.

The series of serigraphs are an extension of the series of glass paintings I had done. The luminosity of painting on glass made me want to experiment with this medium, which is seldom used by artists. There is a misconception that silk-screen cannot be a very creative medium of expression, but to me, any medium is creative if the artist acquires a significant expression within the frame through colour and line and a transparent psyche.

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