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Chandigarh-born US artist to pay tributes to Le Corbusier, says life has come a full circle

Describing himself as a man of two worlds, Antonio Puri said duality has played a role in every aspect of his personal and artistic life.

Written by Parul | Chandigarh |
September 27, 2016 1:06:01 pm
Antonio Puri, Chandigarh-born artist, Chandigarh, US artist, I Love the Beauty of Grey, art, art galleries, Chandigarh news, lifestyle news, art and culture, latest news, Indian express Artist Antonio Puri in Chandigarh. Express

Sometimes, the longest journeys are the ones that take you back home. And for artist Antonio Puri, coming to his birthplace in Chandigarh after more than three decades is a moment that takes him on a journey, one that makes him travel between two worlds, the East and West. “Life has come a full circle and I am doing this for a spiritual cause,” said Puri, while talking about I Love the Beauty of Grey – his exhibition of 12 installations with several pieces of paintings, in honour of Le Corbusier. Describing himself as a man of two worlds, born in Sector 2, Chandigarh, raised in the Himalayas and later moving to study art in USA and living there, Puri said duality has played a role in every aspect of his personal and artistic life.

“I am home when I am not home, my works through pigments, carry the soil of this place and then showcased across the world. My art deals with attachment and detachment, time and timelessness, logic and intuition… I attach strings in my works and remove them. I play with contrasts, drawing inspiration from diverse countries that I travel to and the experiences of my life, as a child growing up without the love of a father, but playing the best father I could be. This exhibition is a reflection of many of these internal and external aspects,” said Puri.

Grey is an aspect that Puri explores in this exhibition, as he uses bright colours and hides them with grey, an aspect of Chandigarh that influenced him, “the effort was to subtly present grey and make it the strength of my work. Corbusier had influenced my work and impacted it, and this exhibition comes at a time when it is his 50th death anniversary and my 50th birthday.”

The installations compile many paintings together and the compositions, with delicate and intricate patterns, layered and a labour of love; reflect visuals of the planned city.

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Puri incorporates Corbusier’s plans, maps, codes in his paintings, which reflect grey and the installations are ideal of Corbusier’s architecture and vision, to design buildings, interiors and artworks that are in sync with the surrounding spaces.

“My works are ideal of Corbusier’s architecture, as I relook at his grey and Chandigarh. Layers allow me to excavate and the 12 installations with many pieces are done by adding and adding, and then reducing, be it colours, layers, textures,” said Puri, with the series of works, installed together result in an entire wall, as you view the many elements underneath the surface of grey of each painting.

“My work is about finding who I am, so I began visiting the city to discover myself and Corbusier, looking at his works from many perspectives. To discover what home is you need to know who you are. There are no destinations in my work, it is all-inclusive, as I strive to push painting to limits, and connecting the two worlds of canvases and installations and in the process connecting to my roots,” explains the artist, pointing to a work titled ‘Assembly Hall.

Challenging paradigms of what painting is and not labeling it, he pushes its space and limitations and uses it as a bridge between two walls.

The idea, he adds, is to find something innovative within a tradition and take painting through the walls, outside the museums. Puri, whose works are exhibited across the world, now hopes to cover 100 countries and then do an installation on his travels, mapping his journey on this planet, and building bridges between two worlds, one which Puri says the universe supports.
The exhibition opens on September 27 at Government Museum and Art Gallery in Sector 10 , Chandigarh.

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