PRAMOD MANN : TREE NYMPH Black marble
ART PILGRIM, DELHI
On a pedestal stood a black marble head, a face of aquiline features, it had a charisma that drew me to its compositional control and clarity of thought. Instantly I wanted to know who it was and I was told the name of Pramod Mann. In 31 years I have never come across his name or work, but this work called Tree Nymph drew me into its maw.
I came back and read up about him, I recall he was one of the participants of Neera Gupta’s Sculpt for Delhi at IIC and I was delighted to know he was National Award Winner 2010.
Mann has a sensibility that embraces the occindental as well as a deeper understanding of cosmic creation. The face spoke through the periods of history it had an aura of anticipation and articulation.It spoke of the realm of the declining ,outworn world.
Poise and elegance both combine in this head that has been chiselled with a layered pedestal that pulses with vibrations of contemplated cohesion-at best this was an archetypal annunciation.
In many ways it reminded me of abhinaya, the very essence of Indian classical dance, in all its forms, and here was a face that embodies the irrepressible celebratory nature of the human spirit. This Tree Nymph had a profoundly female power, here engaged--as if a Maenad utterly possessed--in a Dionysian rite that will end in exhaustion and oblivion, but bringing with it a cathartic release of transforming energy and contemplation.
Mann has a language of disciplined and formal elegance, he also contemplates on style and simplicity as tools that are closely intertwined, and each stimulates and enriches the viewer for that moment, as nowhere else in the world. Mann makes expression in stone as the central element in his modernist vision of this black marble beauty.
This face brought back the experience of pounding music of a kind never heard before and a deliberately primitivist choreography of conventional tastes.
The face depicted as leanly modelled and elongated is chiselled in a mould that can exist only in an artist’s imagination and this is what makes Mann distinctive . He also defines the truth that a
sculpture may begin where space is embraced by the material.
We are also looking at a compactly tensioned form which shows off a restrained, introverted character.In this face is a poetic passion, a restrained lyricism, creating a counterpoint of formal elements.The angularity of the face goes beyond academic tradition and reveals the sculptor’s interest in both cubism as well as naturalism. The large elongated forehead at first makes you think of primates as a species but it is high cheek bones and the nose and lips that signify the beauty of feminine fervour. In this sculpture of gorgeous gravitas, we are looking at emphatic effect in the language of angular articulations.Pramod Mann needs to be discovered ,I told Gita Singh who possesses one of the greatest collections of sculptures that I would like to meet him to study his work. At this time of Ganesh pooja this is a discovery for many seasons.