Like many other Modern and Contemporary Indian artists, the artist was inspired by the holy city of Benaras, but what makes his work unique is the manner of his visual signature - the geometric shapes and patterns, as also his unconventional use of hues, using in this instance a vibrant as well as subdued palette. The steps of the ghats, the temples with their flags, and the mishmash of buildings sans its residents and pilgrims are captured enchantingly. The play of light captures the reflection of the cityscape on the waters of the Ganges, and the Cubist rendition of the buildings lends the work an element of abstraction. \n\nIt’s interesting to note that in each of Shrotriya’s work that celebrates the undefinable spirit of the ancient city of Varanasi, and the presence of the holy river in it, much of the pictorial space is devoted to the depiction of the constructions built along the ghat, all seemingly spilling into the Ganges. And yet, one cannot but agree that upon viewing the work closely, the eyes inadvertently scan the canvas looking for that one binding element, only to focus on the all-pervasive, calm rendition of the holy river - that seems to be the anchor of the entire city, the latter’s foundation seeming to be tethered to the indomitable waterbody, washing the sins away of whoever seeks it, thus breaking the cycle of rebirth for the devotees.

Becoming one with the river- I by S. D. Shrotriya

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  • Born in Moradabad in 1939, S.D. Shotriya was a former reader and Head of Department of Drawing and Painting at S.D. (P.G.) College in Muzaffarnagar. He began his creative journey in 1958. His artistic practice sought inspiration from the mountain ranges of North India and the holy city of Benaras. He uses movements and shapes to express emotions in his works, and a palette of cool and soft colours. He was also a writer, poet and an art critic. Born in Moradabad in 1939, S.D. Shotriya was a former reader and Head of Department of Drawing and Painting at S.D. (P.G.) College in Muzaffarnagar. He began his creative journey in 1958. His artistic practice sought inspiration from the mountain ranges of North India and the holy city of Benaras. He uses movements and shapes to express emotions in his works, and a palette of cool and soft colours. He was also a writer, poet and an art critic. He finished his education, Masters and Doctorate in the same disciplines that he later headed. He has been a recipient of numerous accolades such as the Upendra Maharathi Award by the Bihar Govt. in 1988 and 89 and Veteran Artist Honour and Award by All Indian Fine Arts and Crafts Society in 2008, among many more. He has authored several books such as Manvakriti Sanyojan; Chirtan-Vidhan evam samgri; Chitra kala ke Muladhar, and Kala Vichar, to name a few. His work has been acclaimed at several solo exhibitions such as in Triveni Kala Sangam and AIFACS, New Delhi in 2008, Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi in 2005 and Lalit Kala Academy, Lucknow in 2001. Notable group shows include Commonwealth Games Arts Camp, New Delhi in 2010, All India Senior Artist Camp, AIFACS, New Delhi in 2009 and many more.

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