The many shades of Amrita Sher-Gil

Updated: Apr 06, 2019, 21:32 IST | Snigdha Hassan | Mumbai

A city gallery enters its 10th year with a rare solo show of works by an eminent artist, celebrating her versatility

A young Amrita Sher-Gil sketches a model in her stud
A young Amrita Sher-Gil sketches a model in her stud

In her short but eventful life of 28 years, Amrita Sher-Gil soaked in a gamut of experiences, which she then suffused her canvas with. From her early years in Hungary, her family's move to Shimla when she was eight, her training in art in Paris, and her return to India, each phase of her life left its impression on her oeuvre. A rare solo show of Sher-Gil's artworks in the city now stitches together these chapters of her life with her brush strokes.

Amrita Sher-Gil — Perhaps it will fly away if I get up, which opens next Tuesday, kicks off the 10th-anniversary celebrations of Akara Art, founded by art dealer and consultant Puneet Shah. "We wanted to enter our 10th year with a spectacular show. Given the sheer stature of the artist and her contribution to modern Indian art, it was an obvious choice," says Shah, who has dealt in Sher-Gil's works for many years.

The sketch, Untitled, Pencil on paper, 10 x 7 inches, 1930, will be displayed at the gallery

The exhibition, titled after a poem she wrote in 1934, features an essay by Skye Arundhati Thomas, who has also written the wall text. Conceived of and curated in-house, the show includes a self-portrait in oil, seven watercolours, and six works in charcoal.

Untitled, Watercolor on paper, 14 x 10 inches, 1926 -28

"The idea was to show a large range and body of her work, and how versatile she was in different media," informs Shah. During the curatorial process, the gallery also discovered a picture of Sher-Gil at a young age in her study in Shimla, sketching a model. That drawing in charcoal is part of the show.

"With Amrita, the context gets reinvented every time her work is shown," Shah shares. "Her story will keep evolving because the character is so strong."

FROM April 9 to May 8, 11 am to 6.30 pm
AT Akara Art, 4/5 Churchill Chambers, Colaba
CALL 22025550

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