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Review of Elsbeth Buschmann work

by Keshav Malik (Padmashri)
Fellow of Lalit Kala Akademi, Art Critic and Poet


What is an artist? To whom does he address himself? And what sort of a speech is to be expected of him? Well, there is all kind of speech in the case of Elsbeth Buschmann, but one invariably of tenderness and musical intensity. Indeed the work is suffused with the spirit of the dance of the human imagination. The artist was surely, always, a comprehensive soul, who knew the surrounding humanity by instinct, and cared for it. This, especially when she painted myriad themes, especially the votive ones, or any others. She never looks down upon the earth beneath her feet. That is, she does not observe the world from on high, but is right down on the ground in complete empathy. This same stance cannot have been pursued in so many of the works, had not the painter personally lived and breathed gentleness. It is how come the abstracts: pictures of spiritual joy. By the very force of the logic of her soul, the artist is innerly benign.

To all appearances she is also rooted in Indiaís cultural heritage, and in its lovely liturgies and ceremonials, those ones is which the higher reaches of the spirit plays so seminal a role. Such upbringing gives many a nuance to the painterís new genre. As artist she closely observes and paints the subtle, if ephemeral, beauty of the human or natural form, and as such the light of a sacramental vision is seen steeped even in the abstract work as if in celebration and praise. Her work is not designed to arouse the horrors of life but to sense beauty in the human as well as the divine.

The reflection of beauty, then, would seem to be manifested in the body of her otherwise varied fresh compositions. Therefore she invariably tells us something moving of our own true nature. The artistry is means to an end: to consecrate the warmth of forms; to plant through visual music the feeling of love amidst a long suffering world, and in which much of our lives are spent. Such is the landscape of this artistís soul. But this does not in the least imply that Buschmann is sentimental. Oh no, she is cognizant of the latest new fangled art fashions, but yet to stick within the strait and narrow of the authentic and uplifting human emotions. The range of the colours is sober, and they express a chasteness, which only a few artists achieve. In her works the quality of colour is secure. The strong strokes of the artistís brush highlight a good hand. The work, as an instinctive design, surely invigorates her paintings no little. They are structured and not a vague colourism.

Formally abstract , these works are yet harmonious arrangements, which turn back on themselves. This method enables the compositions to exist unassumingly in their individual grids. At moments the artistís personae are no other than states of mind, but at others they may be emphatic symbols and signs. It may be that the painter wishes to recreate the aura of the artfully sacral, and so in veneration. Is this not how we sense the tenor of communion in the choice of her works?

The temperament of her genre is therefore relaxed and yet intense, complimentary with the overall aesthetic whose formal qualities are constantly enriched by the psychological or spiritual elements. Since both the designing as the emotional elements are well fused in it, it gains ample meaning. So, in one sense, the painterís art is essentially an expression of inner personal faith, strongly tinged with the higher of the life values. She is not pandering to the crowd and so come her stylistic hesitancies as betoken good breeding and much culture, in a cultureless period.

It is to the good that the artist has had the skill and sureness of what she really liked to paint, indeed, as though she has always had the tact not to shout out in loud garish colours. The brushwork is sure but never brash. There are also those qualities, as that of the purity of the line. She depends keenly on rhythm as apart from structure. She is a modest by temperament painter, but still we do know that she invariably paints when the level of her spirit is high and that she has no awareness that the world is looking over her shoulder. She paints to please self, as much as to explore the recesses of her own mind, and in praise of life.

Hailing from Germany the painter touches us finally, with an Indian sensibility. Thus does her work gain considerably more in an aesthetic finesse. And this sensibility is clearly also experienced in her paper on her own creative process.

Here, then, is an artist whose fresh, most achieved work touches us by its sincerity as well as unpretentiousness.


About the auther


Keshav Malik is an outstanding Indo- English poet as well as art critic.

Born in Miani(Pakistan) and graduating from Srinagar (Kashmir), Malik served as a personal Assistant to prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru between 1947-48. He was the recipient of Italian and French Government scholarships for art history between 19#-53i and studied in Columbia university, New York from1954-58. He served as the art and literary editor of Thought weekly from 1960-75 and Honorary Editor/Editor of Sahitya Akademi's bi-monthly journal Indian Literature from 1972-1984. He was art critic of The Hindustan Times! New Delhi from 1961-1972 and has been the art critic for The Times of India, New Delhi ever since 1977. He also edited Art and poetry, a quarterly, during the seventies and the eighties for seven years, was the poetry editor for Youth Times during 1973-75 and Honorary Editor Lalit Kala contemporary for 1984-85. He has contributed widely to several art and literary journals in India and other countries .
Malik has lectured on Indian art and poetry in East and west Europe, Pakistan and South America between 1971-91 on innumerable occasions; he was commissioner of a major exhibition of contemporary Indian paintings to five European countries in 1973-74. He has delivered several prestigious lectures on the Arts & literature which the Bhadra Singh Memorial Lectures at the Manipur State Kala Akademi, Imphal & the Tagore Memorial Lectures, Gujarat University, Ahmedabad, in 1984-85 & 1983 respectively. He was the member of the executive board of the lalit Kala akademi, New Delhi in 1981-85 & the first president of the Poetry Society.
ndia in 1984-1987. He has been a participant in many National & International seminars on art, culture & literature


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