26 July, 2021

Sad In Bright Clothes

Visiting Amrita Sher-Gil’s art on her birth centenary

Sad In Bright Clothes

Amrita Sher-Gil would have turned hundred this January. However, if not in person, in her work, the legendary artist remains alive and fresh in the minds of people more than ever. Generations of artists, from Sayed Haider Raza to Arpita Singh, have been influenced by her compelling works signposting a forceful modern art. A visiting dignitary like Aung Sang Suu Kyi remembered her work vividly while she was a student in Delhi. Sher-Gil has also been a beacon for women at large for her strong and empathetic works about their plight.

What is it that makes the work of the artist so significant for the present? Perhaps it is the unbearable grace of the figures, which reflected the life of people around her, touching upon the essential aspects of their lives. She returned to India in December 1934 after her training at the Ecole de Beaux Arts in Paris, but did not join her parents immediately in Simla. Instead, she stayed for a while in her ancestral home in Amritsar, Punjab. While still there, she painted the Group of Three Girls, which depicts three young women in...

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