Sharad Sonkusale’s large and abstract canvases are meditations on grey, with hints of colour, and sometimes a touch of gold. His practice, arising from a core of personal and spiritual associations, is deeply meditative. Sharad begins by painting his canvases black – the ‘universal void’ he calls it – and then proceeds to cover it with small squares of rice paper and sometimes newspaper, to create a translucent layer of square grids. He then paints over this, beginning with the dot, a point of focused attention, which then aggregates to form dabs, dashes and lines that travel horizontally and vertically, and sometimes diagonally across the visual plane, creating abstract meandering patterns. The effect is that of an emotional landscape, a reflection of the artist’s own interiority, perhaps, but also one that invites viewers to engage with the surface and make of it what he will. Sharad is greatly inspired by Indian classical music and likens his work to its vibrations. Music often plays in the background while he paints, and sometimes he even carries his instruments to the studio.
Sharad Sonkusale has an MFA in painting from the Sir J.J. School of Art, Mumbai and a BFA from the Government Chitrakala Maha Vidyalay, Nagpur. He is a recipient of the 2016 National Award from the Lalit Kala Akademi and the Junior Fellowship of the Union Ministry of Culture. He has participated in several group exhibitions across India including the 2017 Biennale at Bharat Bhawan in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.