Memories of Significance Solo Exhibition at Jehangir Art Gallery
Being an avowed contemporary artist, Nikam underlines his position in a historical continuity of global aesthetics that interestingly plays a larger role in his creative life as an artist and as a pedagogue. The precision of world renowned graphic artists like Albrecht Durer, the enigmatic capturing of the forces of the universe in lines by artists like Leonardo da Vinci, the use of multiple perspectives by the miniature artists of various Indian traditions, the earthy art of the tribal and folk artists, the craft of the minstrels who narrate folklore and mythologies have been functioning as a springboard for launching himself to the heights of imagination and the depths of feeling. Discerning viewers could see it all even when Nikam changes the sizes of his works. Nikam mainly uses two kinds of surfaces as medium; paper and canvas. Irrespective of the mediums, Nikam indulges in textural experiments using paper boards stuck on the surfaces. The incisions, scratches and manipulations done on these additions, added with color come to be the meeting point of two major streams of artistic styles; painting and printmaking. It is a sort of attaining what has been apparently impossible. Nikam’s interest in geometric forms originates from the desire to see how such forms have been the integral parts of the traditional Indian art that include the folk and tribal art. When he makes an assemblage of pyramid-like structures it is this traditional continuity coming to the fore; solid structuring included. But the conical form is to be seen as the form of memories, lived life, experiences gathered, journeys undertaken, places seen and so on, so that they keep the artist firm on the ground reminding him of the village lay out, rural architecture, trees and rivers, games and noises, dawns and dusks- the seed that has become the tree called Anant Nikam, the artist.