About his Art
Codes of colour
Madan Lal Chandigarh based Artist the city design by famous architect Le-courbouser. He grew up in Ferozepur Punjab north part of the India and the culture, heritage, motifs, landscape of his state and its rural areas have defined his imagery and vocabulary on canvas. The miniature tradition, frescoes of Ajanta and Ellora, Sufism, Buddha, all have a strong presence on the painter’s canvas, who studied applied arts at the Government College of Art, Chandigarh. Recipient of the National Award by the National Lalit Kala Akademi and several prestigious awards, Madan Lal served as honorary vice-chairman the Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi (2012-2018), and assistant professor, NIIFT. Secretary Chandigarh Lalit kala Akademi (2003-2006) & Punjab Lalit kala Akademi (2000-2003)
His works have been cited and referenced at numerous platforms .They have been appreciated by the art lovers and complemented by the critiques. He was honored with various awards like Gold medal at All India Exhibition by Avantika, New Delhi in2001, All India Millennium Drawings by PLKA &Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi in 2000 and All India Exhibition by AIFACS at Chandigarh, in 2000.Praful Dhanukar State Award Gold in Mumbai in 2015 and PrafulDhanukar North zone silver award in the category of painting in 2016 and highest achievement National Award by Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi, INDIA-2016
Participation in camps and workshops have been a regular feature with him. Working in places like, London in 2008, Sweden in 2009 Turkey Istanbul, Antalya, IZMIR in 2014,2018 Macedonia in 2016/2017 , Dubai UAE in2016/2017 , Lakshadweep Island -2018 , international art camp Nirja Modi school Jaipur -18,APJ Jalandhar -18 / 19 bharti vidhyapheth university Pune -17 , Chikldahra (MP) in 2016, jammu & Kashmir in 2015\16\17\18, ,Barog, Gangtok, Pune, Kurukshetra, Shimla ,Amritsar and many more have inspired him through his journey since,1995. A part of several National & International workshops, art camps, group and solo shows in both India and abroad, Madan’s works of art are in the collection of leading galleries in India, UK, Germany and USA and also many private collections.
The painter’s imagery is multi-layered and replete with life’s many motifs, materialistic and metaphysical and colours that exude a mysterious vibrancy are drawn from many journeys, internal and external, with the forms finding their own space and place with the elements of nature -- everyday life, birds, animals, dreams and fantasies. Madan’s anthropomorphic images, part human, part animal are employed deftly to paint the emotional-scape of human beings and the complexity of man- woman relationships. Eroticism too is a recurring thread. Chandigarh’s landscape, surroundings, architecture, has also inspired many of Madan Lal’s series of works, as he constantly explores new ways to express through his art. Drawing remains Madan Lal’s first passion, as he creates hundreds of sketch books, which also contain his poetry and tell many stories, as he embarks on new artistic journeys.
Vice Chairman- Chandigarh lalit kala akademi since-2012-2018
Honorary Secretary -Chandigarh lalit kala Akademi 2003-2006
Honorary Secretary -Punjab lalit kala academy 2000-200 National Award by Lalit kala Akademi , Ministry of culture Govt. of
Punjab Lalit kala Akademi sanmaan-2019
Qualifaction- BFA, Five year degree in fine art from Punjab university Chandigarh
worked as an asstt. Director Design (Textile ) in the Institute of design for Handicrafts Punjab , Chandigarh from -1990-2011
Asstt. Director Desigens (Textile ) with Department of induteries & commerces , govt. of Punjab November 2015 to May 2019
Asstt. Professor At Northen India Institute of fashion Technology Mohali Punjab from 2011 to 2015
2019 Codes of Colours exhibition of paintings at Jehangir art gallery Mumbai
2017 Exhibition artist palette at HYATT Regency Chandigarh
2016 Exhibition of paintings & drawings at punjab kala Bhawan
2013 Exhibition of paintings at Sridharni , Triveni kala sangam New Delhi
2013 Exhibition of paintings and drawings at Art Indus Gallery New Delhi
2013 Exhibition of paintings at Jehangir art gallery Mumbai
2012 Exhibition of paintings & drawings at Art Folio Chandigarh
2011 Exhibition of Paintings at Sridharni Triveni Kala Sangam, New Delhi
2008 Exhibition of Paintings Jahangir Art Gallery, Mumbai
2007 Exhibition of Drawing & Paintings at Art Indus, New Delhi
2006 Exhibition of Painting at Art Folio, Chandigarh
2005 Exhibition of Paintings at Art Folio, Chandigarh
2005 Exhibition of Paintings at Triveni Kala Sangam, New Delhi
2004 Exhibition of Paintings at Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi
2004 Exhibition of Paintings at Triveni Kala Sangam, New Delhi
2001 Exhibition of Drawings at Punjab Lalit Kala Academy, Chandigarh
1999 Exhibition of Paintings at Lalit Kala Academy, Rabindra Bhawan New Delhi
1998 Exhibition of Drawings & Paintings at Museum of Fine Arts, Punjab University, Chandigarh
1996 Exhibition of Paintings at Punjab Lalit Kala Academy, Chandigarh
1995 Exhibition of Drawings at Punjab Lalit Kala Academy, Chandigarh
International symposium /Exhibition & Art Residency
2019, Government of Bihar National art workshop at patna Bihar
2019 3rd international CH Kalpak art festival Sarkoy Turkey
2019 2nd International art fest nomia boutique hotel Yalikavak Bodrum Turkey
2019 international art symposium Amritsar & Jalandhar
2018 International art workshop at Lakhshdweep Island
2018-zeytinli kosk uluslarasi sanat international festivali Izmir Turkey
2018-international art meeting Havasu park Kumluca Antalya Turkey
2018 International art camp Nirja Modi school Jaipur
2017 world Dubai art fair 12th to 15th April Dubai UAE
2016 colors of pride group exhibition at hotel Pullman , creek city centre Dubai
2016 International artist camp by art colony kivevo Macedonia
2016 participation in fabrianoin Acquarello Italy 2016
2014 International Art days Baisktas Istanbul Turkey
2014 Exhibition of Indian art Tradition in modernity at POSK Gallery
byAtria Gallery at LONDON. UK
2013 Ethnic Concurrence exhibition of paintings Asian art gallery USA
2009 International Artist Camp by Tellus art at Hega Park , Stockholm Sweden
2009 Exhibition by Indian & Swedish Artist by Tellus art Sweden
2008 Group Exhibition by 4 artist at Nehru Centre London
2003 Exhibition ‘’ our Roots are our wings’’ by Indian Artist network at Jakarta Indonesia
2001 Contemporary Indian Painting “Tradition to Modernity at Kleinessen Art gallery Fulda” Germany
AWARDS & Honour
2017 58th national akademi Award by Lailt kala Akademi New Delhi
2016 prafulla dahanukar art foundation sliver medal
2015 prafulla Dahanukar art foundation Emerging artist Award
2001 Gold medal All India Exhibition by Avantika, New Delhi
2000 All India Millennium Drawings by PLKA & Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi
2000 all India Exhibition By AIFACS at Chandigarh.
Secretary -Punjab lalit kala academy 2000-2003
Duties of secretary -
Organized ,art exhibitions, art workshop , (paintings, sculpture graphics , photography ect )national & International ,scholarship to young artist , Audio visual lectures & slide show .
Secretary -Chandigarh lalit kala Akademi 2003-2006
Vice Chairman- Chandigarh lalit kala akademi since-2012-2018
Planning of art activities of whole years , finical matters , grant-ads , look after national & international activates , printings of catalogues of annual exhibition.
2017 Instalation art project plate & palette at museum of fine art department panjab university Chandigarh & lailt kala akademi Rabindra Bhawan New Delhi
2017 58th national exhibition Bengaluru
2016 Global art fair world trade center Mumbai
2016 Indian art Fair worli Mumbai
2015 57th National Exhibition of art by lalit kala Akademi new Delhi
2015 All India National Exhibition by Lalit kala Akademi New Delhi
2015 Indian art fair Worli Mumbai
2014 56th Nation Exhibition of Art by Lalit Kala akademi New Delhi
2013 55th national exhibition by Lalit kala akademi New Delhi
2010 52nd National Exhibition, by Lalit Kala Academy New Delhi
2005 Camlin Art Foundation, New Delhi
2005 Harmony show Mumbai
2004 Annual Art Exhibition, PLKA, Chandigarh
2002 45th National Exhibition, by Lalit Kala Academy New Delhi
2001 44th National Exhibition, by Lalit Kala Academy New Delhi
Participation at state Level & National Level since 1995
2014 Group exhibition of paintings at Birla Akademi Kolkata
2013 Triveni exhibition of paintings by Three artist at Gallery Art Place Gurgaon
2012 Exhibition of paintings by untitled group at Punjab kala Bhavan Chandigarh
2011 Group show Curetted by Art File art promoter & services at Govt. Museum Art Gallery Chandigarh.
2011 Group “UNTITLED “show at Punjab Lalit Kala Academy ArtGallery, Chandigarh.
2011 Group “UNTITLED” show at Rabindra Bhawan, Lalit Kala Academy Art Gallery, New Delhi .
2010 Exhibition of paintings & Drawings at Chandigarh & Ludhiana By Chandigarh
2010 Exhibition of Untitled Paintings Punjab Lalit Kala, Chandigarh
2009 Exhibition of Paintings at Stokholm, Sweden
2008 Exhibition of Painting Habitat Centre, New Delhi
2007 Exhibition of Paintings at Lalit Kala Academy, Rabindra Bhawan, New Delhi
2007 Exhibition by Nvya Art gallery, New Delhi
2006 Exhibition of Paintings by Art Indus at Habitat Center New Delhi
2006 Exhibition by Indian Art form at Habitat Center, New Delhi
2005 Polka Vision by Polka Art Gallery, New Delhi
2000 Exhibition of Paintings at Nehru Centre , Worli Mumbai
1997 Exhibition of Paintings at AIFACS, New Delhi
1997 Exhibition of Paintings at Punjab Lalit Kala Academy, Chandigarh
1997 Exhibition of Paintings at Punjab Lajpat Rai Bhawan, Chandigarh
1995 Exhibition of Paintings at Fine Art Deptt., Punjab University, Chandigarh
Art CAMPS & workshops National & International
2019- National art workshop by Govt. of Bihar at Patana
2019 International art symposium by Indian fine art akademi Amritsar
2019 International art symposium& worshop by Apeejay college Jalandhar
2018 National painting workshop Patnitop (J & K)
2018 arts & heritage festival 2018 by Chandigarh lalit kala Akademi
2018 International art camp Nirja Modi school Jaipur
2017 National art festival at L K singhania education center Gottan Jodhpur
2017 Bharti National art camp by Bharti vidyapeth Pune
2017 National art camp at New Delhi by Metro Delhi
2017 National camp with tribal artist at tribal Museum Bhopal by Kora art
2017 National artist workshop at summer festival by Govt Museum & Shimla Himachal
2017 National camp by Lalit kala akademi New Delhi Ai Bangalore
2016 National painting camp at International “Gita “Parv Kurukshetra
2016 National painter camp at patnitop J&K
2016 National artist camp by ACAD India at Chikldahra (MP)
2015 National artist Camp at Patnitop J&K
2014 International artist workshop Istanbul Turkey
2014- National artist camp by Lalit kala Akademi New Delhi at Guwahati
2013 National Artist camp at KARGIL by Jammu & Kashmir Academy
2011 Artist camp at Goa by Mystic art foundation Pune
2010 Artist camp at Bheem Tal by Rai Foundation New Delhi
2009 National Artist Camp at Rajori Jammu
2009 National Artist camp by Lalit Kala Academy New Delhi at Gangtok
2008 Artist Camp by Advance Study ,Vice Roy lodge Shimla
2007 Artist Camp at Mysore by Art Indus & ITDC
2007 National Artist camp by Artistic Creation at Barog (HP)
2007 Artist Camp by Art Mall at Dehradoon
2006 National Artist camp by Art Mall at Barog (HP)
2005 Artist camp by AIFACS, New Delhi
2005 National Camp by Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra
2004 Artist Camp by Amrit Kala Kumbh at Amritsar
2003 Painting Workshop by PLKA at APJ College, Jalandhar
2003 Painting Workshop by Govt. College, Mohali
2002 Artist workshop at Chandigarh Press Club
2002 Artist Workshop by CLKA & Distt Administration Panchkula
2002 Painting Workshop at Chandigarh Carnival
2002 Drawing Workshop by Chandigarh Lalit Kala Academy
2001 Painting Workshop at BCS, Shimla
2001 Artist Camp at Jalandhar by PLKA
2001 Young Artist camp by AIFACS, New Delhi
1999 Artist Camp by Chandigarh Lalit Kala Academy
1999 Painting Workshop by Art & Film Society, Chandigarh
1999 Homage to Kargil Heros Artist Workshop by Punjab Lalit Kala Academy
Art Indus art gallery New Delhi
Nvya art gallery New Delhi
Aura art foundation Mumbai
Shri Yash art gallery New Delhi
Gallery The Art place Gurgano (HR)
Atria gallery London
Asian art gallery Boston USA
Art land gallery Mumbai
Mojarto An NDT venture
Art flute Bangalore
Art smiley world Dubai
Dr Grewal Eye Institute . IFFCO, Mr Atul Khanna , Ms Vandhya Bargodiya , Ms Pinkky kumar , Ms Neepa Sharma , Ms Nonika singh ,Ms Anupam .Late Mr Harish dhillon
Govt. Museum & Art Gallery, Chandigarh
Museum of Fine Art, Punjab University, Chandigarh
Fine Art Deptt., Kurukshetra
ITDC, Rai Foundation
Aura Art Foundation
AIFACS, New Delhi
Indian Academy of Fine Art, Amritsar
Chandigarh Lalit Kala Academy
Punjab Lalit Kala Academy
Bank of Punjab, Gallery 54 Paris, Art Folio Chandigarh, The Art Mall New Delhi
Artistic Creation New Delhi,. Advance Study, Shimla. Metro Delhi , London, Germany ,USA. , Dubai , Macedonia , Turkey. .
Curiosity might have killed the cat,
but the ever eager and forever curious Madan Lal believes it’s important to
ponder and wonder. When Goldie Hawn said, “Curiosity, I think, is a really
important aspect of staying young or youthful” she perhaps forgot to add
In a perpetual state of awe, struck by life’s immeasurable beauty, Chandigarh based Madan celebrates life in as many myriad hues.
Of course, the celebration isn’t surface deep or superficial. Its joy in pure form, anand as our scriptures inform and one that finds inspiration in Sufi thought.
Like the swirling dervishes his works create their own rhythm and melody lost in its own musicality. Poetry in motion, resonant and vibrant these follow the Gurbani’s deep philosophical thought mann tu jot saroop hai, apna mool pehchan. (O my mind, you are embodiment of the divine light recognize your own origin.)
Though he is not pompous enough to delude himself that he has found his true self yet what he wanted to be was revealed in his childhood years. As a student of class six growing up in Talwandi Bhai he knew art was his muse. Whether he would end up in the Government College of Art Chandigarh one day, this lad from rural Punjab had no clue. Five years of training in art did not change or transform the innate artist in him. In fact, since he was a student of applied art and not painting various schools and isms of the west didn’t impact him greatly.
His own cultural roots, the miniature tradition, the frescoes of Ajanta and Ellora, however, have consistently defined his imagery. Till date in the mudras of his figures you can sense the deeply imbibed influence of the Indian tradition. Sufism that also defines his poetry makes a strong presence on his canvasses too. The central figure in many of his paintings with head bowed in submission is almost like a Sufi figure. Buddha appears in many of his series... for which Indian artist can escape the influence of his mantra of eternal bliss?
Madan’s anthropomorphic images--- part human part animal--are employed deftly to paint the emotional-scape of human beings and the complexity of man woman relationships. Eroticism too is a recurring thread. He doesn’t view erotica and spirituality as two disparate ends of the spectrum as both demand complete submission and immersion.
Art and aesthetics too go hand in hand for him. Whatever may be the subject, he paints beauty... period. While elements of nature such as birds, peacocks, clouds, trees are bound to be beauteous, in his hands, dustbins become rose plants, road maps a lyrical figure. Why he lends sensuality even to a urinal. Besides, when he uses animal form… it’s not with negative thought or connotation. It’s not animal instinct that he is alluding to but animal power, drive and energy. Negativity has no place in his art even when he is reflecting upon profound issues. Like a true blue Punjabi he finds joie de vivre in everything he sees and touches. The world anyway is swarming with ugliness.... why add to it? So he believes and practices.
For someone who paints in wee hours of morning expectedly painting is an act of prayer, meditation and riyaaz. When the world stands still something within him stirs and finds form that is at once evocative and poetic, alluring and awe-inspiring. Replete with metaphors which are like alphabets of the visual language his works are always redolent with meaning. If he were to just paint two figures the outcome he believes would be downright insipid. Unless figurative forms are correlated with metaphors, the work will have no resonance.
Rang udde han bina khamab de, rang bolde han bina shabdan de.”(Colours fly without wings and speak without words). If his colour palette seduces the viewer, technique that involves days of labour completes the process of entrapment. He might have been taken in by pahari school of painting, flatness of surface never ever fascinated him.
The methodology he has arrived at is very much his own. He moved away from time consuming medium of oils to acrylics for it suits his temperament and his technique. Step by step he applies one layer of colour, draws a little then adds another layer and the process goes on and on till he knows the dialogue with his canvass is over.
Of course, the communion that he strikes has its genesis in the craft of drawing. He draws like a man possessed and has an unending collection of drawings which form the blueprint of his creativity. Drawing from the reservoir of Sufi flavour that he could smell in his village Talwandi Bhai in Ferozepur district, barely 35 km away from Kasur, the land of mystic poet Bulle Shah he immersed deep in poetic musings at an early age. By the time he came to Chandigarh he had not only read Bulle Shah, Shah Hussein, Baba Farid but also Shiv Kumar Batalvi. Somewhere along the poet within was also born. But be it the poet or the painter, it’s the journey of self-realisation.
Roop rang aakar se nirakar tak, rachna se rachnakaar tak …. Apne se aap tak…( From form colour and shape to the formless, from creation to the creator from I to the self ) life is looking within an inward journey. Any wonder the little boy in him who would gaze ceaselessly at the vast expanse of fields and the endless horizon is very much alive and kicking off the ennui that envelopes most ordinary mortals. As wonderstruck and enamoured, the child within ensures that the artistic vision never turns stale or monotonous. So his vocabulary is forever seasoned with freshness and is continually changing. Much of what he experienced in his formative years has informed his artistic sensibilities. For instance writing on takhti in school days has transformed into calligraphy.
Living in Chandigarh for over three decades too has rubbed on his artistic process. Preoccupation with geometric forms for instance is most certainly a fall out of living in Le Corbusier’s well planned city.
Urban living lends itself to Urban Emotions in which he introduced urban images like lock and key and symbols of calculations hinting at growing materialism. Most of his images go beyond the obvious. Lock and key, also analogous of sexual intimacy, is meant to open doors to deeper recesses. Keyhole peep into the life of man and woman tells you more about urban living than sociological essays can. Urban Phulkari, his more crowded series is his way of amalgamating two different worlds. Rural and urban coexist and stitch together memories of urban life just as his mother would piece different motifs while embroidering Phulkari.
But just when his Phulkari became too dense and populated with far too many motifs, he broke out of the mould. Now figures appear more fleshed out and realistic.
Full cycle… but he began his artistic journey with abstraction. Five elements of nature were his muse for a long, long time. From realism to abstraction, Madan has been going back and forth. Over time actually since 2005 figures became his constant artistic companion leading him to express fully and more evocatively.
As he crosses seven seas and participates in workshops across continents in places as diverse as Turkey and Macedonia he is enthralled with how visual idiom connects beyond cultural divide. Vice-Chairperson of the Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademy, he likes forging the bond between art lovers and artists. Working with Handicrafts & Textile with Punjab Government, Chandigarh has also cemented his connect with the world of art.
Tera Pinjara Jangaal Ney Khana , Mian Mithu Urh Jana. (Your cage will be eaten by rust Mian Mithu( the parrot ) will fly away ).
Deeply aware of the ephemeral nature of human life – body like the cage will rust and only the soul would remain– though he has found a ready and steady market that includes buyers like Tina Ambani, it’s spiritual quest that he is ultimately seeking.
Anhad naad... the sound of the cosmos and of human consciousness is where his search is directed and finds a resounding reflection in his canvasses. At the heart of his creativity is nostalgia, memory, mythology, roots, past and of course the ability to make it all possible and relevant to the present. As– Doug Ivester said; “Never let your memories be greater than your dreams,” he dreams with mind’s eyes and imbues a dream-like allegory to his paintings.