Delhi based Painter, Writer, Professor & Sitarist Om Prakash Sharma lovingly known as O. P. Sharma amongst the art fraternity left this planet on 18 July, 2019. I knew him from the late 60s through a figurative painting housed in the collection of Government Museum & Art Gallery, Chandigarh. Met him only when he took over the reins of College of Art, New Delhi. His creative presence on the campus infused a new energy among the young and aspiring artists undergoing training in the college. It also stresses a point that a practising artist at the helms of the affairs in an institution of learning makes all the difference in cultivating a professional outlook In the act of learning art as a medium of creative expression. Though he was Principal yet his approach to art education was more of an artist that gave a new autonomy to expression.
He was a contemporary of artists who was known for Neo Tantra art. To name a few was Biren De, Ghulam Rasool Santosh, K . C. S. Panicker, J. Swaminathan, Rangaswamy Sarangan and so forth OP was meticulous in his technique and the range of his cosmic geometric transcriptions infused with energy emanating from the vigour and vitality of the beauty of the place of its birth. An innate gift for colouring added a new sparkle to his work .
Tantra, according to him, originated from the union of Shiva & Shakti, an intense practice of rituals & customs. While he doesn’t practice that as an artist it still remains socially relevant form of self expression. It delves Into the source and the core of existence. (2007)
G. R. Santosh used to say that his technique was so impeccable that one would not see a speck of dust on his canvas. He spent a good time travelling all over the globe and met some of the significant artists including Mark Rothko.
He was also a recipient of 1969 Lalit Kala Akademi Award , New Delhi . Born in Bawal, Haryana the then in Punjab , OP obtained National Diploma in Art with distinction in 1958 from Delhi Polytechnic. From 1964 to 1966 he attended Columbia University & Art Students League in New York as a Fulbright scholar.
It was an experience to be part of his Retrospective opened in the galleries of Rabindra Bhavan by Kapila Vatsayayan – a scholar of recognised international eminence.
In his death India lost an artist who in his own humble way was enlightening the path of creativity ……. and quietly vanished into the vastness of the blue.
… Prem Singh