A Confluence of Tradition and Sensuality: The Artistic Mastery of K Laxma Goud

 A Confluence of Tradition and Sensuality: The Artistic Mastery of K Laxma Goud

Sunny Chandiramani

On the occasion of his birth anniversary, we celebrate the life and art of artist K Laxma Goud, who has left an indelible mark on the world of contemporary art with his unique style that seamlessly blends traditional and modern influences. Born in 1940 in Nizampur, Telangana, India, he studied art at Government College of Art & Architecture, Hyderabad and Post Diploma from Faculty of Fine Arts, M S University, Baroda.

Untitled (Devi), Oil on canvas, 2014, 48 x 60 in

Goud’s journey as an artist has been one of relentless exploration, pushing the boundaries of artistic expression and challenging conventional norms.

Goud’s early experiences growing up in a rural environment heavily influenced his work. He intricately weaves the essence of his rural upbringing into his art, often portraying the rustic life, human figures, and animals that were a part of his daily life. His masterful use of various mediums such as painting, printmaking, and sculpture showcases his versatility and expertise.

Untitled, Acrylic on silk, 1993, 77.5 x 48 in

One of Goud’s distinct contributions is his depiction of sensuality and eroticism, which sets his work apart from his contemporaries. He approaches these themes with a refreshing honesty and sensitivity, celebrating the human form and its connection to nature. Through his bold strokes and intricate detailing, Goud captures not just the physicality, but also the emotions and narratives associated with his subjects.

Untitled, Gouache on paper, Circa 1980, 60 x 37 in

During his formative years, Kalal Laxma Goud was immersed in an environment characterised by a candid approach to sexuality. With an uninhibited perspective on this facet of life, Laxma Goud delves into the realm of eroticism intrinsic to the natural world. The artist reveals this sensuality by metamorphosing humans into goats, goats into women, and men into creatures, even sketching trees that carry vaginal openings. Devoid of constraints, the artist starkly contrasts the genteel demeanor of the refined urban society, constrained by rigid sexual norms, with the liberated sexual expression observed in rural villages. Goud venerates exposed human forms and endeavors to establish a relationship, be it one of comfort or unease, with nature. His portrayal of eroticism assumes a surreal yet playful quality, blending elements of fantasy and humor.

Goud’s deep engagement with traditional Indian art forms, especially the folk and tribal art, is evident in his work. He skillfully marries traditional techniques with modern concepts, resulting in a captivating fusion that appeals to a wide audience. His creations resonate with both art connoisseurs and the general public, transcending cultural boundaries.

Untitled, Acrylic on canvas, 2022, 60 x 36 in

Laxma is a remarkably versatile artist who effortlessly excels in printmaking, painting, drawing, and sculpture. Since 1965, he has showcased his talents through numerous solo exhibitions in both India and abroad. He has also left his mark on a series of significant national and international art exhibitions, some of which include the following: “Contemporary Indian Art” at the Royal Academy of Art, London (1982); “Contemporary Indian Art” at the Grey Art Gallery, New York (1985); “Indian Art Tomorrow” at The Phillips Collection in Washington DC (1986); “Contemporary Art of India: The Herwitz Collection” at Worcester Art Museum (1986); and “Wounds” at the Centre of International Modern Art, Calcutta, and the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi (1993).

In 1974, he established a print studio in Hyderabad where he has continued to refine his craft. He made his mark at the Prints Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Art, London during the India Festival. In 2000, he received an invitation to participate in the Y2K International Exhibition of Prints at the National Taiwan University of Arts.

Laxma’s creative works have been sought after by numerous esteemed institutions and organizations. His pieces have found a home in prestigious collections around the world, including the Davida & Chester Herwitz family collection, which was gifted to the Peabody Essex Museum; the Masanori Fukuoka & Glenbarra Art Museum in Japan; Ebrahim Alkazi & Art Heritage, New Delhi; and the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, among others.

Untitled, Oil on bronze

Throughout his career, he has been the recipient of various esteemed awards and honors. His recent accolades include the Padma Shri in 2016, the Telangana State Award in 2015, the Prafulla Dahanukar Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015, the Gagan Abani Puraskar from Vishwa Bharati University, Santiniketan for outstanding contribution to art in 2012, the Gold Medal from the Lalit Kala Academy, Andhra Pradesh in 1971, the Gold Medal from the Hyderabad Art Society in 1969, the Silver Medal from the Hyderabad Art Society in 1968, and recognition in the Annual Exhibition of the Lalit Kala Academy, Andhra Pradesh from 1966 to 1970. He also represented India in the Sao Paulo Biennial in Brazil in collaboration with the Cultural Ministry of the Government of India in 1977.

Sunny Chandiramani, Senior Vice President at AstaGuru Auction House






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