The contribution of women artists to the growth of Indian modernism stands unchallenged but remains largely unrecognised. A new exhibition by DAG, Mumbai, ‘A Place in The Sun: Women Artists from 20th Century India’ hopes to remedy this somewhat. The exhibition brings together works by leading women artists in which they have expressed their perspectives and emotions on bias and patriarchy during the time when women were often dissuaded from taking to art. Call it courage on canvas.
It is a sea of abstracts, sculptures, and printmaking that make up the carefully curated collection. In the metaphoric narrative, The River Of Dreams, artist Rekha Rodwittiya brings in the making of accord and discord through a visually demarcated color palette. “As a painter, I have always articulated my views about gender politics in my art all these many years — right from 1980,” she says. “India is a country so steeped in patriarchy, where both overt and subverted displays of male power are encountered each day in almost all areas and sections of daily life. The River Of Dreams is a work that speaks of the violence, subjugation, and oppression that women face, yet hope continues to bolster their courage, and not allow their spirit to be crushed. Committed forever to nurture life through their amazing capacity to define self-dignity and offer lessons of forgiveness, they remain the possessor of Shakti and find their empowerment unaided. My content is culled from this everyday struggle of women: the lives of ordinary women from both rural and urban existence and the many hidden stories of valour and sacrifice,” she says. The exhibition covers the span of the 20th century, bringing in 10 women artists, including
Shilpi Madan for Deccan Herald