If you haven’t caught the big fat retrospective exhibition of one of India’s leading woman contemporary artists, Arpita Singh at Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (DLF South Court Mall, Saket), you have till July 14.
About 180 works by the 82-year-old Delhi-based artist have been curated by Roobina Karode in the show titled Submergence: In the Midst of Here and There.
Singh who hails from Baranagar in Kolkata, graduated with a Diploma in Fine Arts from Delhi Polytechnic in 1959. In 1972, she had her first solo exhibition at Kunika Chemould Gallery, New Delhi.
She’s exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts at London (1982) and the Centre Georges Pompiduo, Paris (1986), and in 1991, she won the Parishad Samman from the Sahitya Kala Parishad.
“She’s undoubtedly the standard-bearer for women artists in India, too,” Nishad Avari, Indian art specialist at Christie’s in New York, was quoted saying on the auction house’s site, last year about Singh.
The same article even compared her to Franco-Russian artist Marc Chagall given the imaginary, dreamlike and playful treatment she has lent to her paintings in watercolours and oils.
Karode, however, views Singh’s practice through the precariousness of a woman-centred world.
She says, “The edges, the dark corners, the lurking streets, the reality, these are all parts of a multi-layered and uneven terrain of a woman’s life. Her mature works show the kind of urban spectacle we live in, with spacing and threats, a rise of fear, insecurity, and how the woman remains the most vulnerable in these spaces. Her paintings are embedded with visuals and verbal clues and she wants the viewer to discover these. And this is what I have tried to create through the thematic clusters of her works.”