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Artist Profile3
A quick recap of noteworthy female artists from Ind
Highly talented contemporary Indian artists have attained appreciation and applause on the international art scene for their propensity to express current concerns through quaint and recognizable motifs. In this context, the fascinating works by our female artists deserve a special and separate mention.

Through their art, the sensitive practitioners from the country make a genuine effort to archive the times and document the ever changing dynamics of modern mindscape and cityscape from a broader perspective, not restricted to gender alone. Their work represents a collective spirit to reflect, contemplate and at the same, innovate, in terms of style and subject matter. Here are some of the noteworthy female artists who have won the nod of collectors and critics…

Bharti Kher: Her practice revolves around pangs of dislocation and transience, involving an autobiographical examination of identity. The evocative, deeply personal, and layered images explore issues of tradition, identity and multiplicity. Her unique perspective and approach facilitates an outsider’s ethnographic observation of urban India - class and consumerist streaks - adding a new dimension to it. She is renowned for her usage of the ready-made bindi as a motif.

Reena Saini Kallat: She is known to be deeply influenced by the never-ending cycle of life and nature, as well as the extremely fragile nature of the human condition. With a wide range of painterly interests that encapsulates politics, femininity, and subtle evolutions in the human condition, her practice reflects the popular and iconic influences placed in context of the historical as well as contemporary narratives.

Anju Dodiya: The self is often at the center of her work that explores various possibilities within it. Her practice is rooted in the figurative. Deliberating in detail on her ‘sometimes whimsical play on the self- portrait’, an essay in The International Herald Tribune, has noted: “Originally a collage artist, she hoards faces, particularly those in states of extreme emotion. She also confesses to staring at faces on Mumbai's commuter trains, a boon for any artist in pursuit of extreme expression.”

Rekha Rodwittiya: Her female protagonists are often elevated to iconic proportions. They can simultaneously occupy multiple avatars. The artist’s viewpoint is that female empowerment and its attendant baggage is rather a complex issue. A staunch feminist, she believes that in spite of the gender inequality, a multitude of voices still express the desire to dispel the stereotype of gender bias. She describes herself as a colorist for whom it’s not an element she needs to struggle with. According to her, metaphors culled from specific sources of reference, get transformed by virtue of how they are finally delivered, to evoke wider meanings.

Navjot Altaf: Known for her multimedia work, largely interactive sculpture, photo and video based installations, she tackles varied themes of gender/memory/ history and loss. Interactive and collaborative in nature, her oeuvre comprises community-based art projects set in Indian villages and socio-economically marginalized areas.

Nalini Malani: Using texts that have been essentially generated through the memories of people often ignored or marginalized in the cataloguing of history, her art practice focuses on the universal and human aspects of conflict. Her artistic world, largely constituted by visible overlays, is fluid with everything in a constant state of metamorphosis.

Jayashree Chakravarty: For this sensitive artist, painting is a process and means of making sense of the chaos around her. It’s a form of meditation – a journey back to the self. “The way I relate to and identify with string of thoughts before I put them on canvas, and then the laborious execution, are all part of a complex chain,” she elaborates.

Mithu Sen: Known for unconventional themes and forms, she represents the new wave of talent in contemporary Indian art. She puts to use a wide range of media, such as sculptural projects, drawing, collage, objects, video works, and installation. Her drawings often extend into installation and other mediums in order to explore the elision of audio- visual experiences. Viewers are compelled to relate to her works at a personal level, through self-analysis of their own identity.

Anita Dube: She brings together experiences of mortality, desire, pain and pleasure – all rolled in one. Her aesthetic language incorporates ubiquitous objects, everyday materials and images that together resonate with a meaning far beyond perceived local and prosaic associations. Employing a variety of found objects drawn from a wide array of domains and sources, she shares her concerns.

Chitra Ganesh: While firmly rooted in a Western, postmodern discourse, the artist’s cultural references let her convey the principle of a multiplicity as a spirit, which draws together, and not breaks apart. In her comic book like sequences of digital prints, she includes snippets of text, successfully marrying with the post-modern in a truly unique aesthetic.

Schandra Singh: Her paintings transport us to a purgatorial space of curiously contrived paradise. What might outwardly seem like an innocuous theme turns out to be one loaded with extreme tension and visual dynamism, as the artist captures complex shades of modern life. She mostly works in the medium of oil and gouache, touches upon shared social and political realities. Meetali Singh: According to the artist, she treads a fine territory between real-life emotions and sheer imagination. Hence the images are surreal, dreamy in nature; it’s like capturing swings of the pendulum. Painting to her is a quest and a process to answer self-posed queries.

Heeral Trivedi: Looking at history and connecting past histories with present, the artist looks to draw parallels among women in different eras. The idea is establish a strong connection in their shifting emotional realm.

Anu Agarwal: Bold lines, stark contours and fantastic female forms are the hallmarks of Anu Agarwal’s oeuvre. Her artistic agenda revolves around the deeper thought and understanding of human existence – its science and philosophy – the increased understanding of which has given her a new perspective. It’s the human existence and sustenance that the artist probes.

Jignasa Doshi: She focuses on the showbiz for depicting the increasing showiness and shallowness, as she terms it, under the garb of sophistication. According to her, media inspired imagery has a more direct relationship with modern (contemporary) life. Understandably, her work carries a touch and feel of reality.

Suhasini Kejriwal: At first casual glance, her beautiful works -tend to camouflage the more disturbing view one begins to notice after further analyzing it. Startling juxtapositions and unconscious associations, which transcend habitual thinking to reveal deeper alternate levels of meaning, emerge.

Sonia Mehra Chawla: The mixed media artist has developed a style uniquely her own combining print making techniques, photographic references and painting using acrylic paints, oils and inks. Her work encapsulates and inculcates the ever-fluid essence of the organic. The ambiguous, hybrid forms often suggest the generative and the sensuous.

Parvathi Nayar: Her practice largely revolves around drawing and painting; conceptually it is rooted in ideas of narrative, at different ways of looking, perceiving and the privileging of sight. She explores ideas of the daily narrative of our lives in this world through fragmentary, familiar and unfamiliar perspectives – with a keen attention to technique in the eventual resolution of the work, so that the subject of a work is both its content and manner in which it’s portrayed.