Thursday, March 21, 2013

“Wonderful to have a show in Mumbai’ - Anjolie Ela Menon

When you wish to present the artworks of a practitioner par excellence, with a vast oeuvre, it can indeed be quite a task. But the Institute of Contemporary Indian Art chairman, Vickram Sethi took it up and collated a show of around 45 paintings done by Anjolie Ela Menon over her illustrious career – right from 1970 until now. The artist is back in the city of Mumbai after a ‘hiatus’ of nearly eight years.

We highlight the thought processes and philosophy of the master artist that she reveals in a chat with Debarati S Sen of TNN. She talks of her art and also what exactly influences it, apart from speaking about her contemporaries.

  1. It is wonderful for me to have an exhibition in the city after so long. Mumbai was my home for many years and many of the paintings shown here were done in Mumbai and belong to Mumbai collectors. So, it is wonderful of this gallery that they have collected all the works from various collectors that cover a span of about 40 years. It is great for me to see the sampling of works over these many years. All of it put together, hung so well in this beautiful gallery, so that I can see them as a huge body of work.
  2. I have a long association with the owner of the gallery Vickram Sethi - so we have been going very often to wonderful art camps that have been held by this gallery. And each year it is sort of very refreshing to be able to come back here. As you all might know that my husband has been in the navy. We all have spent most of our lives near the sea and as I leave the airport I have a sort of particular whiff of Mumbai and my heart gladdens.
  3. I think in color and I paint directly on to the canvas without drawing. I do draw, the drawings are separate when I am doing a big work to a certain extent when you are doing a large work in oils it kinds of paints itself. One area leads to another and if you are drawing I think the work becomes more stilted more as though it has come out of a drawing board rather than coming out of the emotions and spontaneity of the artist.

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