DAG Modern is pleased to announce Madhvi Parekh’s retrospective spanning five decades of her painterly career, this retrospective is critical in that it includes iconic works by the artist that is representative of every phase of her illustrious career, including rare drawings and paintings from the 1960s, when the influence of Paul Klee’s abstraction on her early work was evident. Given the solid representation of Madhvi Parekh’s paintings from every decade, the exhibition allows viewers to see the continuity in her vision and focus.
Providing the bridge between the urban and the rural through an impressive body of work, Madhvi, art historians and critics strongly believe, is one of the more uniquely talented women artists of Indian modern art. As someone who has begun to be seriously collected in recent years, the timing of the artist’s first-ever retrospective. DAG Modern acknowledges Madhvi’s importance as an artist who deserves her position in the pantheon of Indian modernism for her painterly resolve to stick to her own language and oeuvre in the face of more conventional art making.
At a personal level, too, Madhvi’s life story, hailing originally from a small village in Gujarat, is inspiring. Married off at an early age to Manu Parekh, himself a painter, her journey as an artist, in fact, began when her husband noticed her interest in art, and tutored her with full enthusiasm, introducing her to Western master artists. Manu Parekh’s involvement in his wife’s development as an artist is unparalleled, providing a rare insight into the personal life of this ‘power couple’ of Indian modern art who continuously support each other.
The retrospective, accompanied by an exhaustive book on the artist, titled Madhvi Parekh: The Curious Seeker, creates a dialogue to understand, contextualize and place the artist’s contribution within the larger context of Indian modern art. Not only does this richly stylised book include images of works by the artist, it also has essays that provide readers with an understanding of Madhvi’s work. Eminent art curator Gayatri Sinha, who has previously included Madhvi’s work in an exhibition and book on women artists in India, and in talks or presentations on Indian women artists, most recently in the U.S., has contributed a comprehensive essay that allows readers an insight into the artist’s oeuvre.
Art historian Annapurna Garimella, who has known the Parekhs well, writes about Madhvi’s work from a point of intimacy and understanding that is essential to analyzing her as a person and as an artist while Kishore Singh, president of DAG Modern, and the curator of the show, points out how the artist should be seen as the natural contender for the folk modernism that Jamini Roy had begun at the start of the twentieth century.
The retrospective of this dynamic, self-taught artist by DAG Modern will allow viewers to appreciate Madhvi’s evolution as an artist through her folk tradition roots even as she branched out of it to create her own distinctive style.
Exhibition Title: Madhvi Parekh – The Curious Seeker
Date: September 21, 2017 – November 30, 2017
Timings: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm (expect Sundays)
Venue: DAG Modern, 11 Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi