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Home > Mumbai Guide News > Things To Do News > Article > How artists Sakti Burman Maite Delteil and Maya Burman explore different styles in their first Mumbai exhibition

How artists Sakti Burman, Maite Delteil and Maya Burman explore different styles in their first Mumbai exhibition

Updated on: 29 November,2023 07:19 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Shriram Iyengar | shriram.iyengar@mid-day.com

With their first exhibition in the city, Sakti Burman, Maite Delteil and Maya Burman spark a conversation about their distinct styles and influences

How artists Sakti Burman, Maite Delteil and Maya Burman explore different styles in their first Mumbai exhibition

Sakti Burman’s Ganesh Janani & the Flying Figures, oil on canvas

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Aesthetic is a unique trait in every artist. Unless one possesses a strong streak of individuality, they can hardly claim to be an artist. By that sense, Sakti Burman, Maïté Delteil and Maya Burman would pride themselves in their distinct style. Yet, the three artists are bound together in a familial bond that makes their first group exhibition of their works this week all the more unique. Titled Reverie & Fantasia, the exhibition curated by Art Musings at the Jehangir Art Gallery will offer a peek into their latest works over the last two years.


Delteil’s  Bird’s Songs, oil on canvas
Delteil’s  Bird’s Songs, oil on canvas


“Art has always been a personal journey for me. I work with themes and concepts that have soaked my imagination,” the 88-year-old Sakti Burman shares over email, adding that his influences come from diverse sources — old mythological tales in the family, miniature art and Kalighat paintings, and the European masters. While Sakti turns to concepts of the past, Delteil turns to nature. She explains, “My work is largely classical. Nature has been one of my greatest influences. Even now, I am in the habit of sketching every day. I am also greatly interested in the European masters and often study them in an effort to bring more nuance into my work.”


Maya Burman’s Automn Games, watercolour pen and ink on paper

Maya Burman’s Automn Games, watercolour pen and ink on paper

It was this shared love for art and the European masters that brought Sakti and Delteil together as students at the École des Beaux Arts in the late 1950s. They would often travel across Europe to museums, observing and studying the past masters. While this would have suggested that any child growing up with such parents would have a natural inclination to visual arts, their daughter, Maya chose architecture before the canvas.

Sakti Burman’s A Quiet Evening, oil on canvas
Sakti Burman’s A Quiet Evening, oil on canvas

Fifty-two-year-old Maya admits as much by saying that she has built her style over the years. “Painting is a way to express our complexity. Every painting will reflect a new side of our personality. In that sense, I didn’t choose to work in a style that follows my parents’ style. I surely have absorbed what I loved in their paintings. Perhaps the bright colours of Maïté, or the poetry of Sakti. There are little things in my work that I might link to something I saw in their art,” the daughter elaborates. Delteil concurs. She notes that while both hers and Maya’s works share a fascination with nature, Maya and Sakti retain a sense of playfulness in their figures.

(From left) Sakti Burman, Maya Burman and Maite Delteil
(From left) Sakti Burman, Maya Burman and Maite Delteil

It is rare for a trio from the same family to have such distinct, individual styles. How then does one unite them for a singular exhibition? Gallerist and curator Sangeeta Raghavan of city gallery Art Musings remarks, “All three of them are strong artists, and I did not want to make a curatorial theme. The set-up is not designed to capture their individuality, but rather to allow the works to speak with each other.” It might be interesting, the gallerist adds, to see how the artists respond to their own work as well.

Sakti shares, “I have great admiration for the work of Maïté and Maya. While all three of us are familiar with each other’s work, it’s also interesting to see the new directions they take.” Maya remarks, “You can see it from many perspectives — three personalities, an artist couple,  a family of artists. Now that my parents are aged, it also has a sentimental meaning to exhibit along with them.” It is a sentiment that art lovers in Mumbai will share. 

From Tomorrow to December 4; 11 am to 7 pm
At: Jehangir Art Gallery, MG Road, Kala Ghoda, Fort

From: December 5 to December 31; 11 am to 7 pm
At: Art Musings, Admiralty Building, Colaba Cross Lane, Azad Nagar, Cuffe Parade
Call: 22163339

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