Asit Kumar Patnaik
Asit Kumar Patnaik has carved a niche for himself in the world of modern Indian art over the last few years, thanks to his hugely appreciated ‘relations’ series. Originally from Orissa where he received his BFA degree from Government College of Art and Crafts in Khalikote, Patnaik later moved to BHU for his MFA course with a National Scholarship and topped his batch. The conventional terminology of classifying painters slots Patnaik within the category of semi-figurative realists. He portrays figures amidst a complex and ever morphing background of almost abstracted textures. His lines and strokes are always exploring and searching in that they never quite appear to convey an impression of finality. The very juxtaposition of semi realistic figures against abstract background continues to unsettle the conventional distinction between reality and abstraction. The same dialogue characterizes his choice of subjects. All he has in his repertoire of figures are a male and a female. It is through subtle variations in their positions and their gestures and gaze that he communicates to the viewers his experiences and observations on various aspects of human relationships. His man and woman are not merely the proverbial yin and yang; they are also the memories and potentials, selves lost and reclaimed. The same looks exchanged between his figures, which resolutely refuse to confine themselves within the rubric of realism alone, could be alternatively read as nostalgic, pensive, introspective and even futuristic.
is engagement with human relations still remains extremely passionate yet the stark distinctions that used to mark the mental horizons of his figures has been progressively resolving itself into a more androgynous realm of ideas and imaginations. The polarities of human relationships are now seen to be ever more into conversation with each other, even as they could not have moved further apart. Even as Patnaik has been going through a significant phase of departure in his career as an artiste, these new departures only serve to reaffirm his position as a sensitive chronicler of the anxieties and the insecurities lurking