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Anjolie Ela Menon

BORN
1940 Burnpur, Asansol, West Bengal, India.

 

EDUCATION QUALIFICATIONS
Bachelors in Literature, University of Delhi, Delhi
1959-61 Atelier Fresque, Ecole National des Beaux School of Fine Arts, Paris

 

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2017 Anjolie Ela Menon A Retrospective, Aicon Gallery New York
2013 Recent Paintings, Grosvenor Vadehra, London
2013 Institute of Contemporary Indian Art (ICIA), Mumbai
2010 Through the Patina, organized by Vadhera Art Gallery at Visual Arts Gallery, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi
2007 Menongitis: three generations of art, Dhoomimal Gallery, New Delhi
2006 Celebration, ArtsIndia West Gallery, Palo Alto
2005 ArtsIndia West, Palo Alto
2004 ArtsIndia Gallery, New York
2003 Vadehra Art Gallery at Shridharani Gallery, Delhi
2002 Four Decades, Vadehra Art Gallery at National Art of Modern Art (NGMA), Mumbai, Karnataka Chitrakala Parishad, Bangalore
2000 Gods and Others, Apparao Galleries at Admit One Gallery, New York
1996 Vadhera Art Gallery, Hong Kong
1996 Mutations, organized by The Gallery, Madras, at Wallace Galleries, New York
1988 Retrospective 1958-88, organized by The Times of India, Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai
1976 Chemould Gallery, Mumbai
1963 Alliance Francaise, Mumbai
1959 Gallery 59, Bombay

 

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2014 Immutable Gaze Part I Masterpieces of Modern and Pre-Modern Indian Art, Aicon Gallery, New York
2013 Remaking the Modern An Exhibition of Modern and Contemporary Art from India, Alon Zakaim Fine Art, Dover Street
2013 Glimpses of I Am the Tiger, Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), New Delhi
2013 Ideas of the Sublime, presented by Vadehra Art Gallery at Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi
2013 ROOM 13, Art Musings, Mumbai
2013 The Drawing Wall, Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi
2013 Color My World, presented by Mahua Art Gallery at Leela Galleria and Windsor Manor, Bengaluru
2013 Edge of Reason and Beyond, into pure creativity, presented by Indian Art Circle at Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi
2012 Talking Heads, Art Alive Gallery, New Delhi
2012 Iconic Processions, Aicon Gallery, New York
Gallery Collection 2012, Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi
2012 Sacred and Temporal Women, Shrishti Art Gallery, Hyderabad
2012 Contemporary A selection of modern and contemporary art, presented by Sakshi Gallery at The Park, Chennai
2011 The Lost Sparrow, presented by Gallery Threshold at Visual Art Gallery, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.
2011 Master Class, Dhoomimal Art Gallery, New Delhi
2010 Landscape of Figures - Part One, Aicon Gallery, New York
2009-10 Unclaimed Spaces, Gallery Threshold, New Delhi
2009.10 Master Class, The Arts Trust, Mumbai
2009 Indian Art after Independence Selected works from the collections of Virginia and Ravi Akhoury and Shelley and Donald Rubin, Emile Lowe Gallery, Hempstead
2009 In Search of the Vernacular, Aicon Gallery, New York
2009 Kalpana Figurative Art in India, presented by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) at Aicon Gallery, London, Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR)
2008 X to the rhythm of Jehangir, presented by Art Musings at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai
2008 Mapping Memories - 2, Painted Travelogues of Bali and Burma, Gallery Threshold, New Delhi
2007 Sitaaray - A galaxy of artists, Indian Habitat Centre, Delhi
2005 Drishti, Bodhi Art Gallery, New York
2004 Confluence 2004, Gallery ArtsIndia, New York
2004 Jiva- Life, contemporary Indian painting, Bodhi Art Gallery, New York 2001 Saffronart and Apparao Galleries, Los Angeles 2001 Saffronart, Hong Kong
2001 Kitsch Kitsch Hota Hai, organized by Gallery Espace, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi
2001 The Sacred Prism III, organized by Apparao Gallery, London, New York, San Francisco
1993 Reflections and Images, Vadehra Art Gallery at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai
1986 Indian Women Artists, National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai
1980 Exhibition in Washington D.C and New York

 

PARTICIPATIONS
2015 Selections of Abby Gray and Indian Modernism from the New York University Art Collection, Gray Art Gallery, New York University, New York
2013 Palette Summer 2013, Palette Art Gallery, New Delhi
2012 Art for Humanity, Coomaraswamy Hall, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, Mumbai
2011 Of Gods and Goddesses, Cinema, Cricket India's New Cultural Icons, Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai
2011 Resonance, Art Musings, Mumbai
2010 Art Celebrates 2010 Sports and the City, represented by Art Alive Gallery at Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi, coinciding with the Commonwealth Games
2010 Art Dubai 2010, presented by Aicon Gallery, New York
2010 Manifestations IV, Delhi Art Gallery, New Delhi
2010 ARCO 2010 Madrid, presented by Aicon Gallery, London
1980 Paris Biennale, Paris, France
1968,71,75 1st, 2nd and 3rd International Triennale, Lalit Kala Akademi, Delhi

 

HONORS AND AWARD
2000 Awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India
1959-61 Received French Government Scholarship for Higher Studies in Paris
1980-81 Invited to study by The Government of France, the UK and the USA

 

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Throughout her career as a painter, Anjolie Ela Menon has periodically rethought her role as an artist. Menon's early canvases exhibited the varied influences of van Gogh, the Expressionists, Modigliani, Amrita Sher-Gil and M. F. Husain. Primarily portraits, these paintings, according to the artist, were dominated by flat areas of dense, bright color, with sharp outlines that were painted with the vigor and boldness of extreme youth. Menon admits that her work has undergone enormous changes in every phase of her life and that as she has grown up, the narcissism of her early years has transformed into nostalgia for the past.

 

Menon took up art when she was still in school and, by the time she was fifteen, she had already sold a couple of paintings. Finding J.J. In 1959, at the age of twenty, Menon left India to study art in Europe on a French government scholarship. There, she was influenced by her exposure to the techniques of medieval Christian artists. While she was at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux Art in Paris, she began experimenting with a muted palette of translucent colors, which she created by repeatedly applying oil paint on thin glazes. When painting on pressed boards, Ella Menon enhanced the finely textured surface of her paintings by polishing the finished work with a soft, dry brush, creating a shine reminiscent of medieval icons. Menon used features of early Christian art, including frontal perspective, tilted head, and slight elongation of the body, but she took the female nude as a frequent subject. The result is a dynamic relationship between the erotic and melancholy. Menon has developed this iconography of distance and loss in her later works through her thematic representation of black crows, empty chairs, windows and hidden figures.

 

It is a challenge to classify Menon's work, not only because she has been painting for a long time, but also because of the extreme changes that her work has constantly undergone. He notes that dissatisfaction is the source of growth, encouraging artists to abandon familiar (and often acclaimed) terrain in search of new territory. The work he has produced is a testament to his disdain for categorization. Menon is more than happy to not fit into a single category and be considered a nonconformist who finds self-expression in a language out of context with the time and place in which she lives. She says that I am not a didactic or narrative painter. I hardly care about events, although I like to expose my people; I like to strip them a little further than is decent, sometimes opening a chest to reveal the beating heart inside. Of course, there are many who have identified with the women I paint, especially those who are trapped or sitting alone in a chair, the innocent ones with a newly awakened sensuality, and those who are waiting.

 

Menon also disapproves of reading only symbolism in his art. Threads, necklaces, kites, animals or draped fabrics, transparent or opaque, are the decorations and embellishments that accompany the figure in his work. These are not conscious attempts at symbolism; sometimes it is mere ornamentation, the essentially feminine need to embellish or embroider, and other times it is the need to accentuate or focus on color for purely pictorial reasons such as perspective or tension.

 

Menon points out that when repeated often enough, a motif becomes a symbol which in turn becomes a cliche, a cliche becomes an absurdity, a caricature. Therefore, in 1992 he organized an exhibition of chairs, trunks and household cabinets, all painted with images appropriated from his paintings. This radical recontextualization of his work constituted a preemptive strike by Menon to remove art from its pedestal. He continued the reimagining of his corpus in his Mutations series of pentimenti works from 1996, in which Menon manipulated images of his best-known paintings on a computer and overpainted the prints with acrylics and oils.

 

Anjolie Ela Menon was awarded the Padma Shri, one of India's highest civilian honors, awarded by the Government of India in 2000. Her most recent exhibitions include Menongitis-Three Generations of Art at Dhoomimal Gallery, New Delhi, in 2008, and Gods and Others presented by Apparao Galleries at Admit One Gallery, New York, in 2000. In 1998, the Times of India organized a retrospective of his work at the Jehangir Art Gallery, and in 2002, another retrospective exhibition titled Four Decades was held in Mumbai and Bengaluru. Anjolie Ela Menon has also been honored with a six-month solo exhibition at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, featuring her large triptych titled Yatra in 2006.

 

The aforementioned works have appeared in several group exhibitions, including Kalpana Figurative Art in India, presented by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) at Aicon Gallery, London, in 2009, Mapping Memories - 2, Painted Travelogues of Bali and Birma at Gallery. Threshold, New Delhi, in 2008, and Kitsch Kitsch Hota Hai at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, in 2001.

 

Notification - We do not usually display Anjolie Ela Menon's work, only send it to private art collectors and interested art buyers.

 

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