(Last Updated on : 21/06/2013)
Arpita Singh was born in West Bengal
in 1937. She attended the School of Art, Delhi
Polytechnic in New Delhi from 1954 to 1959. After her graduation she worked for Indian Government's Cottage Industries Restoration Program. She met traditional artists and weavers in India while she worked in the program. This has influenced her artwork. Her paintings were black and white abstracts in the 1970s. However in the 1980s she started to paint Bengali folk paintings.
Singh paints the range of emotions of a woman. Many of her women paintings show women doing daily work and simple routines in their lives. Initially she started painting using watercolors on paper which connected her painting to the Indian tradition. However in the 1990s Singh started paint oil on canvas which was a dramatic shift. In some of her paintings the woman is portrayed naked. This is said to show the woman's vulnerability. The surface tension created by the short, overlapping patches of pigments and tones is often transmitted to the surreal surprise which arise out of the continuous synchronicity of domestic objects. She uses vibrant colours like pinks and blues and her paintings are teeming with life forms and objects or motifs. She is considered as a figurative artist and a modernist. However, she makes it a point to stay tuned in to traditional Indian art forms and aesthetics, like miniaturist painting and different forms of folk art.
Between 1973 and 1993, Arpita had 12 solo shows in New Delhi, Bombay, Amsterdam and Germany. She participated in 46 national and international group shows which included the Festival of India in London, at the Royal Academy of Arts, 1982, Indo-Greek Cultural Festival in Athens and Delhi, 1984, Five Indian Painters, in Istanbul, Ankara and Belgrade, in 1985, Festival of India exhibition at George Pompidou Centre, Paris, in 1986, the Second Biennale, Havana, 1987, Geneva: Coup de Coeur' Halle Sua, Switzerland, 1987 and in the same year the Algeria Biennale, Contemporary Figurative Indian Art Kuwait in 1988, Sotheby's Exhibition and Auction, New Delhi, 1992, 'India Songs' at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Sydney, in 1993, and 'Indian Encounters' in London in 1993.
Awards received by Arpita Singh
* All India Drawing Exhibition, Chandigarh
in 1981 and 1992
* Algeria Biennial, Algeria in 1987
* Parishad Samman, Sahitya Kala Parishad, New Delhi in 1991