Saturday, July 13, 2013

Influences, processes and philosophy of India’s foremost artist

Anjolie Ela Menon’s mixed-media works as well as oil on masonite paintings have continued to enthrall and intrigue art connoisseurs. The multi-faceted practitioner has also worked in glass, computer graphics and installations in public spaces. She even chose to paint objects sort of retrieved from ‘the junk heap’.

She has reminisced: “My art became retrieval. Being a compulsive painter, I had to paint almost every day. So, I started painting objects like chairs, cupboards and suitcases that would get discarded. “I began working with kitsch since I needed to be indigenous.”  In a way this restlessness and inner urge has greatly influenced thought processes of India’s foremost artist. Indeed, her very individualistic style defies any classification and defines the crux of her unbounded creativity!

One of the internationally celebrated and acknowledged contemporary Indian artists, she has carved a niche for herself with an inimitable artistic approach and ability. The vast body of work that she has produced signifies her aversion to compartmentalization. She does not relish being fitted into a specific category, method or style, always keen to develop a mode of self-expression based on constant experimentation.

A comprehensive document, titled ‘Anjolie Ela Menon: Through the Patina’ (Publisher: Vadehra gallery), tracks the journey of this celebrated contemporary Indian artist. Presented as a beautiful pictorial illustration and analysis of her rich oeuvre, authored by Isana Murty, incidentally the pen name for renowned defence analyst C Uday Bhaskar, it contains informative essays on her evolution as an artist.

Her own collection comprises such impressive names as Souza, Husain, Jamini Roy, Arpita Singh, K.S. Radhakrishnan and Manjit Bawa apart from many younger generation sculptors and painters. Among her collection of Indian works, the one that are particularly special to her include ‘Crucifixion’ by Jamini Roy. She also has a fondness for Russian and Greek religious icons, which have shaped her own perspective in terms of human expression and overall composition.

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