Art fraternity bids adieu to Surya Prakash

CM condoles death of eminent artist

Art community in the city on Wednesday bid adieu to well-known artist Surya Prakash who passed away on Tuesday morning at his home following a heart attack. He was 79 and is survived by wife and daughter.

Leading the tributes, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao described him as an artist who brought name and fame to Telangana art, and conveyed deep condolences to the bereaved family.

Artists and citizens who came in touch with Surya Prakash over the years remembered the gentle man whose voice rarely rose above a whisper.

Born on March 23, 1940, in Madhira of Khammam district, Surya Prakash came to Hyderabad and he found his true calling. “I was an academically poor student. When I failed to secure admission to any college, a friend of my brother suggested the School of Fine Arts where I was accepted and I learnt under Vidya Sagar and Jagdish Mittal. Later, I worked under Ram Kumar but was always inspired by the works of Cezanne, Monet and other artists who did outdoor figurative works,” he had told The Hindu in an earlier interview. He created a niche for himself with his pots of colours and the delicate dots of brush strokes that he applied to create magical landscapes.

Beginning his career in a garage with Laxma Goud and Dakoji Devaraj, Surya Prakash began as a painter of abstracts who experimented with greys, blacks and browns. Years later, he shifted track and began working with a richer colour palette.

Dreamer but pragmatic

“Surya Prakash was soft and gentle but could be firm when needed. He was a dreamer like an artist but there was a pragmatic side to him. He was a good organiser,” said Chandana Chakrabarti, who saw him from close quarters when he came on board of Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) as ‘Artist-in-Residence’ when the lab was being established in the early ’80s.

“CCMB had a central gallery where exhibitions were organised on a regular basis. Surya Prakash brought his vision to that art movement. He was in the thick of things about the layout, landscape and the colour scheme of various facilities at the lab,” said Ms. Chakrabarti.

Art collector and curator Kali Kondury said, “The Hyderabad art community owes a deep debt of gratitude to Surya Prakash. He helped organise numerous art exhibitions, mentored many artists, advised even more, and supported a generation of artists and art lovers.”

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