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(PDF 37 K) October 20, 1997, New York
- Bose Pacia Modern gallery presents an exhibition of recent paintings by Arpita Singh
. The show will run from November 14 through December 20. The gallery is located at 580 Broadway, 2nd floor, in Soho. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 12-6 p.m. and by appointment. A reception will be held on Thursday, November 13 from 6-8 p.m. The public is invited.
Arpita Singh has emerged as one of the most important international contemporary painters working today. Her work was most recently exhibited in New York as part of the Asia Society's highly acclaimed contemporary art exhibition entitled "Traditions and Tensions." Her paintings are also currently being shown as part of an exhibition of contemporary women artists at Mills College, California. On exhibit here are recent works on canvas, paintings on acrylic sheets, and a brilliant new series of watercolors on paper.
Arpita is perhaps best understood as a master narrative painter. Throughout her career she has provided an ongoing discourse on the sorrow and angst and joy and suffering and hope and despair that effects her gender, her country, and the world. This is eloquently portrayed in the vibrant hues and subtle textures of her deftly executed watercolors and translated in oil onto her important works on canvas. As a figurative painter and a modernist, she is in touch with the history of Indian aesthetics from classical miniaturists to traditional folk painters. Her use of perspective as a narrative tool shows a true understanding of her heritage in miniature painting. She is renowned for her unabashed use of brilliant color in simple, almost naive configurations rendering the pulsating plurality of life teeming with cars and guns and planes and humans and flowers and animals and objects, inhabiting an enchanted, magical world. With all this, she pays the greatest tribute to the folk traditions of India's past and present. Where her classical and folk influences merge most wonderfully with her powerful modernism is in the "illumination" of her paintings. Though it may be thought of as mastery over contemporary painting technique or as a device to separate foreground and render depth, her use of patterning and decorative motif and her dynamic, fluid, and relentless use of every inch of pictorial space fills her paintings with life and cause them not just to reflect light but to emit a luminous phosphorescence.
Born in Bengal in 1937, Arpita Singh studied at the School of Art, Delhi Polytechnic. She held her first solo exhibition in 1972 in New Delhi and since then has exhibited extensively, in London (1982, Royal Academy of Arts), Paris (1986, Centre Georges Pompidou), Geneva (1987, Halles de L'lle), Havana (1987, Biennial) and elsewhere. Her works are held in numerous public and private collections including The Victoria and Albert Museum, London and The National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi. Arpita Singh currently lives and works in New Delhi. This show marks her first solo exhibition in the United States.