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Signed, dated, titled and inscribed 'Manu Parekh' 14' / 'Moonlight Festival at Banaras' / 3' x 6' / Acrylic on Canvas / 2014' (on the reverse)

Private collection, Dubai

Manu Parekh, one of India's best known contemporary artist, is noted for his works on Banaras. He depicts the zany "city of light" in panoramic landscapes bursting with the celebration of colours and noise. Following his visit in 1979, Parekh was struck by the scenery, as the evening descend on the holy city. The view profoundly moved him, compelling him to paint the landscape persistently. Since then, he completed a cycle of immense panoramic works on the city, immersed in the structural elements and mapping the city's particular quality of light during its myriad moods of change.

Resembling his memory, the painting depicts the Banaras landscape at twilight. With the sky dimmed, the trees, houses, boats and the domes of the temples become darker giving way to the lights of temples and shrines to glow. The lit interior of the temples with the floral offerings is depicted bursting with vibrant colors in oblation and worship. The moon hung low illuminating the scenery in a silvery light while the sacred river Ganga calmly reflects the night.

Parekh's Banaras offers a holistic view of the eternal city. The dark landscape with its patches of bright colours depicts both quietude and human energy; capturing the potency and breadth of belief that has since ignited the city that has been his muse for the better part of his career.

Manu Parekh

(b. 1939)
Born in Gujarat, Manu Parekh studied at Sir J. J. School of Art, Mumbai. He has been exhibiting since 1967 and his most recent solo shows include those held at Art Alive Gallery, Gurgaon 2012; Tao Art Gallery, Mumbai, in 2010 and '09; Berkeley Square Gallery, London, in 2006; Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi, in 2004, 1994 and 1991; Jehangir Art Gallery and Tao Art Gallery, Mumbai, in 2003; Sakshi Gallery, Bangalore, in 1999; ARKS Gallery, London, in 1997; Bose Pacia, New York, in 1996; and Dhoomimal Art Gallery, New Delhi, in 1988, '85, '81, '76, '75 and '74. A retrospective of his work was held in 1992 in Kolkata, New Delhi and Mumbai. His works have also been featured in several group shows including those held at Art Alive Gallery, Gurgaon in 2012; Gallery Threshold, New Delhi, in 2011, '10; Tao Art Gallery, Mumbai, 2010, '09 and '08; Nature Morte, New Delhi, in 2004; Saffronart, Hong Kong, in 2001 and Lakeeren Art Gallery, Mumbai, in 1977. He has also participated in the III and IV Triennales of New Delhi, in 1975 and 1978. The Government of India awarded him the Padma Shri in 1990. He received the National Award from the Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi, in 1982, and the President of India’s Silver Plaque in 1972. Manu Parekh lives and works in New Delhi.