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December 03, 2015

Artistic Genius of Anjolie Ela Menon

Text by Huzan Tata

Lose yourself at an exhibition of the renowned artist’s recent works in Mumbai

If you’re an art lover, you’ve most definitely heard of Anjolie Ela Menon. The internationally-renowned artist returns to Mumbai for her first solo show in the city after a period of 9 years. The exhibition includes recent works by the Padma Shri-awardee, with themes influenced by Greco-Roman secular portraiture and sacred image-making.

As the press note for the show aptly says about her works, “They approach us in silence, as though gliding towards us from a space that cannot be identified as anything other than a present overshadowed by the persistence of history. Menon’s art proceeds through this dialogue of manifestation and absence, revelation and mystery”. This is Menon at her vintage best.

5 Questions with the artist, Anjolie Ela Menon

  1. Artistic Motivations “I am simply driven to paint. Painting is the core of my life.”
  2. Inspirations “…my amazing family, so many of whom have been great achievers, and also the impact that literature, music and books have left on me. Vivekananda, Bach, Modigliani, Henry Miller, Pudovkin, Ingmar Bergman, Satyajit Ray, Rublev, Bosch, Camus, Bhimsen Joshi, Ayn Rand, Corbusier, DK Pattamal, and Gaugin have affected me profoundly at differently times of my life.”
  3. On the wall at home “I have a vast collection – M F Husain, F N Souza, Bikash Bhattacharya, Manjit Bawa, Arpita Singh, Ram Kumar, Jitish Kallat, K G Subramaniam, Nayana Kanodia, Radhika Chand and forty five others!
  4. Concerns that find a place in your art “I am not a didactic painter. I don’t do ‘message art’. That does not mean that I do not care about issues – I write, I rant, I protest but I think TV is the best medium for spreading an important idea, not painting. Essentially, we have to always ask, ‘who are we addressing’?”
  5. If not an artist, you would be… “A chef !”

Anjolie Ela Menon – Recent Works is on display at Art Musings, Mumbai (1 Admiralty Bldg, Colaba Cross Lane) until December 31, 2015.

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