INDIAN CONTEMPORARY ARTIST
- Born in 1937, Baranagar, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
- Lives and works in Nizamuddin East, New Delhi, India
UNDERSTANDING THE ARTIST
Arpita Singh sees culture and tradition as being passed along from woman to woman, mother to daughter, just like the age-old rituals performed by Bengali women for the welfare of their families. In her paintings, her depiction of women is in no way limited to a simple narrative, but essentially weaves a multi layered commentary around the problems faced by her kind each and every day.
Apart from her modernist-figurative oeuvre, Singh is known to use traditional motifs in her art as well. The way in which she uses 'perspective' is an attempt to keep alive her background training in traditional Indian arts and aesthetics. Singh's works speak volumes about the impinging violent threats in our day-to-day external environment. Through her depictions, she silently rings the alarm bell about concerns which need to be dealt with urgently.
Arpita Singh is the first Indian woman artist whose work "Wish Dream" sold for a record price in an auction globally. The work is a monumental mural that is set up on sixteen individual canvas panels of varying dimensions. The artist has used a variety of bright colors such as blues, yellows and pinks as well as various objects and motifs like aircraft and cars, guns, floating flowers, numbers, text, and figures. Initially she started painting Bengali folk art with water colours on paper but later made a dramatic shift to painting figurative works with oil on canvas. Singh applies an interesting technique of cloaking motives with the help of a vibrant color palette.
On her father's death, Arpita Singh and her mother moved from Kolkata to the bengali Market in central Delhi, where she witnessed the violence of independence and partition from her balcony. Violence appears in her works subtly, horror and beauty intermingling. In her childhood, paper being extremely expensive, Singh drew on newspapers and industrial catalogue.
Arpita Singh, My Lilly Pond, 2009, oil on canvas, 84 x 108 in
Arpita Singh, Man with a glove, 1989-90, watercolor on paper, 16 x 11 in
Arpita Singh, Icarus Woman, 2015, watercolour on paper, 19 x 14
Arpita Singh, I Could See London through Clouds, 2007, lithograph on paper, 26 ½ x 22 ½ in
Arpita Singh, Growing up Among Female Relatives, 1989, watercolor on paper, 16.5 x 12 in
Arpita Singh, Figures and Flowers, 1971-72, oil on canvas, 43.5 x 39.5 in
Arpita Singh, Farzana Among Unknown Faces, 1987, watercolor on paper, 16 x 11 in
Arpita Singh, Couple Having Tea, 1992, oil on canvas, 41.5 x 41.5 in
Arpita Singh, B for Boxes, 2007, watercolor on paper, 30 x 22.5 in
Arpita Singh, A Woman Sitting and Men Standing, 1993, oil on canvas, 35.4 x 35.4 in