In June 2018, Nehru Centre, the cultural wing of The High Commission of India presented Indian born British artist, Tushar Sabale’s second Solo Exhibition at the gallery titled ‘Chiaroscuro’ (Italian for light and dark).
In this exciting new body of work the artist has departed from his usual contemporary flamboyant style and looked into the elements of classical art as an inspiration. He demonstrates a series of allegorical paintings based on the theme of light and shadows.
In the past two years the artist has travelled extensively to Italy and many art galleries in New York and North Carolina to study the works of various artists from the classical period, and has been particularly intrigued by their works highlighting chiaroscuro.
Chiaroscuro has been used by the artists and art historians for centuries and first originated during the Renaissance period. The term was coined by the masters like Leonardo Da Vinci, Caravaggio, Raphael, Rubens, Rembrandt, and Vermeer, who widely explored it in their paintings followed by Fragonard, Goya, El Greco, John Singer Sargent, Giovanni Boldini and many other artists worldwide.
In this exhibition, Tushar presents a series of oil paintings in two particular categories, Portraits in Hall one and Still-life paintings in Hall two. Tushar has reiterated elements seen in classical portraitures like the fabric, textures in the materials, jewellery, marble sculptures and the interiors, appropriating historic art into contemporary context.
The series of portraits displayed in this exhibition are mostly the paintings he has been commissioned to paint. In each of his paintings he has consciously attempted to capture the essence of his subjects with the help of a strong backdrop that complements the sitter in their portraits. It can be noted how the artist has carefully chosen the cozy warm corner of the stately Provender House of Her Highness Princess Olga Romanoff as a backdrop to her portrait, while an ornate dressing area in her Castle Goring for The Hon. Lady Colin Campbell, where the sitting for her portrait took place. On the other hand the contemporary interiors of Brown’s Hotel in Mayfair were chosen for the editor of Mayfair Times, Selma Day’s portrait who won the Wintrade awards 2018, for a woman entrepreneur. There are various elements like the silk dress made from her grandmother’s sari that expresses her rich heritage and the greek statue that represents the travel and work she is engaged in. The monochromatic hues in the artist’s own self portrait, aptly titled #No filter, as a satirical portrait of the selfie generation, reminisces El Greco’s ‘An Allegory’.
While re-interpreting the classical aesthetics in his Still-life paintings, Tushar has chosen subjects to paint from his everyday life that he likes collecting. The vegetables and flowers seen in his paintings have all made an ambitious journey from his own garden to his canvases.
In a very exclusive and private viewing of the exhibition, three portraits of important members of the society were unveiled namely-the commissioned portrait of Her Highness Princess Olga Romanoff, British socialite and royal author Lady Colin Campbell and Mayfair Times Editor and business woman, Selma Day. The evening was attended by Princess Olga and her special guests, art lovers and media.