Women Artists: from the collection of National Gallery of Modern Art 

National Gallery of Modern Art

Meera Mukherjee
Meera Mukherjee, one of  the most outstanding Indian Sculptor to emerge in the post-Independence period, produced works of considerable power. A heroic individualist, she denied any feminist content in her work, considering herself to be a professional first and a woman second. Mukherjee had her first lessons in sculpture from a traditional sculptor, gaining further technical training later in Munich. On returning to India she renounced her western training in favour of traditional art, Mukherjee used the circ perdu or the lost wax process for her sculptures. Deeply influenced by the Dhokra sculptors of Bastar in Madhya Pradesh, Mukherjee perfected a technique in bronze that was completely her own. Similarly, she evolved an iconography that was unique. Opposing pulls of mass and movement, strength and vulnerability give an intense character to her figures enhanced by the textural play created by the use of decorative elements on the surface experience that included an anthropological study of the Bastar crafts: ‘To my mind, every artist must also be an artisan, who brings to his work a devotion
Sandhu Harbhajan
Hailing from Punjab and having studied at Baroda followed by higher education at Kent, USA, Ms Harbhajan Sandhu had a firm foundation in art. Ms Sandhu was not contented with just one medium and experimented with different media – bronze, cement and stone, easily slipping from one to another, testing their inherent qualities and creating different forms with them. 
Latika Katt
Latika Katt experiments in a multidimensional way; on the one hand she prefers to capture typical characters in her portrait sculptures; on the one hand she releases energies by movement of material in pure abstract kinetic forms. She displays a world of dream in a conscious distortion. The Plane at which Latika meets the materials is clearly characterized by a surrealist strain, especially in the way her teasing of the material yields form. 
Pushpmala N.
Pushpmala N showed her promise in the representation of human and animal forms, through terracotta. Her treatment is soft and very intimately handled. There is an overwhelming descriptive realism and representation of detail in her attempts.  Starting off her career as a sculptor, Pushpamala began using photography and video in the mid -1990s, creating tableaux and photo-romances in which she casts herself in various roles. She is known for her strongly feminist work and for her rejection of authenticity and embracing of multiple realities. As one of the pioneers of conceptual art in India and a leading figure in the feminist experiments in subject, material and language, her inventive work in sculpture, conceptual photography, video and performance have had a deep influence on art practice in India.
Mrinalini Mukherjee
 A brilliant sculptor of the post 1980’s generation, Mrinalini Mukherjee is the daughter of Binode Bihari Mukherjee and a student of K.G. Subramanyan at Baroda. She offers a subtle but complex feminist message through the medium of an unconventional material, a species of vegetable fibre resembling hemp. Mrinalini fully exploits the dynamics of the material, its capacity to fold, twist, drape and stretch. She begins by dying the material in deep colours, such as purple or carmine, and then knots and weaves it. She then slowly builds up her totemic figures, some of them menacing, many of them sexually ambiguous, occasionally a flower symbolizing the genitals.  
Navjot Altaf
A painter, sculptor, installation artist and filmmaker inspired by Marxist ideologies, Navjot consciously questions various frameworks of social commitment. Born in Meerut, she has travelled extensively across continents in her quest for empowering people, whether in art or in the different issues she has addressed as a writer and filmmaker . In the Seventies, she was also associated with the Progressive Youth Movement. Navjot maps the trajectories of memory, history and culture, interrogating ‘body politics’, seeing the self as a source of knowledge. I her work She articulates her own experience to address issues related to the social, the political and the artistic. Her interaction and experimental works with traditional artists from Bastar, a tribal community from Madhya Pradesh, lasted over two decades. 
Leela Mukherjee
Wood carving has been a special interest of Leela Mukherjee. She evidently chiselled prototype aboriginal human forms with great confidence. Dark polished surface also adds intensity in its archaic behavior. 
Pilloo Pochkhanwala
During her lifetime Pochkhanwala, proved her competence both as a technician and visualizer. She was of the strong opinion that "art can exist without a subject to portray", however maintained that  "form and emotion are interlinked. The moment a form is consciously created, it has an emotional content, even when it depicts the negation of emotion"  For Pochkhanawala, every new material was a challenge to be confronted and phrased into the often archetypal or literary images that fascinated her, whether abstracted figures, cloud forms, masks or weathered architecture. She would work with aluminium, steel, wood, and stone of various kinds, producing works on a scale from the intimate maquette to the monumental public sculpture.
Credits: Story

-The artworks included are a part of the collection of National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi.

References

-Indian Women Sculptors (in Celebration of international Women’s Day) National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, 1987

-Indian Contemporary Art Post Independence Vadhera Art Gallery New Delhi, 1997

-Marg Contemporary Indian art other Realities ed Yashodhara Dalmia March 2002 Vol 53 No. 3

-Marg Vol 52 No. 1 2000

-Contemporary Art in Baroda ed Gulammohammed Sheikh Tulika Publication, New Delhi, 1997

-A Visual History of Indian Modern Art Volume Ten- In The Round: Modernism in Indian Sculpture. Delhi art Gallery, Delhi, January February 2015

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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