Valson Kolleri

Valson Kolleri was born in Kerala in 1953. Towards the end of his diploma course in sculpture at the Government College of Arts, Madras (1971-18) he did abstract pieces where cubical and bubbling volumes interacted in static-dynamic ways suggestive indirectly of organic and bodily phenomena and Noguchi inspirations. His post-diploma days at Baroda (1979) increased the minimalist tendency in the modular constructions coast from corrugated boxes, which indicated anonymity among urban buildings. Later and during his scholarship at Cholamandal his work hesitated between hard gads and more organic, rippling forms. Further studies at the Ecole Superieure des Beaux Arts, Paris (1986-87) saw an interest in fund objects and waste materials, like packaging in sculptures architecturally 'geometric but with tactile and sexual undertones. After returning to Madras his present idiom clarified by 1989. Physicality of materials is essential to Kolleri. Taken from ordinary circumstances locally, they act through their abstract palpable, qualities as well as the load of feelings and multifarious associations linking ancient past with the present, city with nature, intimacy with ritual in a constantly changing flow of life pulse - chaotic, urgent and affirmative. having used concrete, plaster of Paris, also bronze, Kolleri probes weighty, elemental substances intrinsically bound with certain utilitarian and sacral objects from grinding stones to terracotta pots, bronze or brass bells, old fashioned kitchen utensils, wooden wheels and carvings, tangled tree roots and lush vegetables. He breaks them open and rugged in their rawness, confronting and uniting with one another, also transformed partly by his imagination so as to make them yield poetic, playfully serious expressions evocatory of preciousness to and a capacity for revival. Such processes are induced in a filigree-coarse balancing as felt in the human frame. Kolleri's solo show are one at the British Council Division, Madras 1989, CCA, New Delhi 1990, Sakshi, Bombay and Madras 1994. The participations include AIFACS, New Delhi 1979,83,90, national Exhibitions, New Delhi 1981-84, 90, 94, Festival of India USA 1985, Russia 87, Paris 1987, Sakshi Bombay, Bangalore, Madras, New Delhi 1991-92, Kassel, Germany, Becanson, France 1992, Vadehra, New Delhi 1995. A heart surgery in 1992 shifted Kolleri's focus to ecological concerns in his site specific works with installation elements which enact the wish to redeem human and natural vulnerability. The projects, often perishable, involve trees and water, rocks and symbolic forms relating to primeval forces (Cochin, Peringode, Kerala 1994, Madras, Nagothane, New Delhi's Budha Jayanti park, Trivandrum, Bangalore 1995). He has received awards from the Kerala Lalit Kala Academy in 1983, National Academy in 1990 and Bharat Bhavan's grand price in 1996, Bhopal.

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Valson Kolleri
Sculpture's Bronze Age
Bronze & Stone

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Valson Kolleri
Homage to the Beast
Cowdung, leather & wood
79" x 45" x 43"

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Valson Kolleri
Between silence and sound