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 Valsan Koorma Kolleri  (20/21st century)

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     Known for: painting and sculpture

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Biography from Saffronart:
Valsan Koorma Kolleri came to Madras to study in 1971 at a time when the sculptor Dhanpal headed the College of Arts and Crafts.  An Artists' Village, under the guidance of K.C.S. Panicker offered several possibilities for practicing artists to continue working without the anxiety of having to find other means of physical sustenance. 

Working initially with the geometrical abstraction which originated from the study of the human body in its structural configuration and in movement, Kolleri would cast plaster and concrete in single and multiple modules, later assembling them into totemic formats which created a startling dialogue between the primitive and the urban.

Subsequently, in the late 80's and 90's, he cast two significant bodies of work in bronze, with fragments of organic and geometrical forms, braising the pieces together in the manner of sculptural collage, and in the process combining brass pots, machine parts and other finds gathered during forages among the assorted scrap in the junkshops situated in the older quarters of Madras.

From the late 90's he moved quite naturally into the area of environment and architecture, via projects conceived by local municipalities or private organizations which promoted the idea of incorporating sculpture into recreational spaces.  In Subhash Bose Park in Kochi, for example, he used the stucco technique to build a central skeletal pyramid surrounded by smaller units, spaces in which visitors to the park could recline or dream. 

The range of materials which he now uses has widened to include wood, leather, bones, hair, nests and hives, things which have been outgrown or discarded, having aged or lost their value in the quest for novelty.  Turning loss to advantage, he creates a theatre where these things are reinstated, pending further use; by virtue of their relationship to their surroundings, they encompass a space which far exceeds their immediate limits.

Kolleri has an affiliation with working processes which marginalizes any message that stands apart from the act of putting a piece together.  As he asserts, concept apart, the placement of the object or the angle of inclination which it finally assumes is in fact the sculpture, the instant of intervention creating a value hitherto non - existent.

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