K. LAXMA GOUD (B. 1940)
THE ESTATE OF KEKOO AND KHORSHED GANDHY Property from the Collection of Rashna Imhasly-Gandhy and Behroze Gandhy


signed and dated twice 'ARPITA SINGH 1996 96' (lower right)
oil on canvas
66 x 59 7/8 in. (167.6 x 152.1 cm.)
Painted in 1996


"I like to paint, draw the most familiar, what I see everyday, know it, live it, other wise I cannot draw... I cannot say why I like to do
these things, perhaps I am just made like this... perhaps painting is a way of understanding these things, like when you are a child and are
practicing handwriting, that is your way of understanding the alphabets and letters; it is almost like that." - Arpita Singh

Encouraged and supported by Roshan Kalapesi and Khorshed and Kekoo Gandhy, Arpita Singh's first solo exhibition was held at the Kunika Chemould Art Centre in New Delhi in 1972. Since then she has exhibited her work in several cities in India and internationally, winning recognition and respect as one of India's most important modern artists.

"Memories and mappings of dislocations and discoveries of nostalgia and pain, of excitement and anxiety have surged through her images [...] she absorbs the complexities of the world and represents them in her own distinctive way through the sensuous use of paint and brush, signaling joy, wonder, menace and melancholy in an intricate kaleidoscope of human emotions." (Arpita Singh: Picture Postcard, exhibition catalogue, Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi, 2006, p. 1)

Planes and automobiles are among the everyday objects that play a recurring role in Singh's canvases. In this painting, these elements seem to be populating the dreams of Singh's protagonist, a middle-aged woman, who lies asleep at the upper edge of the canvas. Here, the planes and calendar-like sheet that brims with ducks and domestic implements represent the notion of passage, both physical and temporal. The violence that the departures of loved ones and the aging process wreak, particularly on women, has always been among Singh's main concerns. Motifs like planes, clocks, calendars and cutlery embody these "comings and goings, the inevitability and implicit danger of separation and reunion, and the inescapability of death. She makes the past and faraway co-present, in the anticipation of separation, by travel or death." (S. Bean, 'Now, Then, Beyond, Time in India's Contemporary Art', Contemporary Indian Art, Other Realities, Mumbai, 2002, p. 54)

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