Joey Horn is an avid collector of contemporary art and has focussed her collection on art from Norway, China and India. Currently, there are a number of very successful female artists working in India who are gaining international recognition as well as demanding very high prices at auction. For further information on Indian art, refer to the attached PDF.
There is a great diversity in the work that is made by female Indian artists, with individual artists exploring themes of politics, memory, history, identity and contemporary culture. One such artist is Shilpa Gupta, whose practice is highly interdisciplinary, using video, interactivity, photography, performance and installations in her work. Gupta’s interests range from consumer culture to human rights, as well as the themes of desire, religion, nationalism and security.
Bharti Kher is renowned for her intense focus on the ‘bindi’, the traditional decoration that is worn on Indian women’s foreheads throughout the country. Kher uses the bindi in her work in order to question the role of women in the country, as well as delving into the bindi’s spiritual association with the ‘third eye’. Exploring the ambivalent and fluctuating meaning of the bindi, it appears in many of Kher’s works, from her sculptural installations to her paintings.
Zarina Hashmi mostly uses paper as her medium, creating abstract work with a limited visual vocabulary that is rich with associations. Hashmi’s work is deeply personal – exploring the themes of home, exile and dispossession – which resonate with her own life experiences. In Hashmi’s work, the idea of ‘home’ is seen as geographical, national, personal, spiritual and familial – and she is also interested in exploring the importance of language in her practice. Hashmi’s oeuvre includes drawings, etchings, woodcuts and sculptures made from paper pulp.
Mythology, history, literature and personal experience combine in the work of artist Nalini Malani. Malani’s work explores the concept of transcending boundaries, and as such her work is noted for its ability to cross cultures. Drawing, painting, video, film and animation make up Malani’s oeuvre, and her work is often related to contemporary issues in society.
Rina Banerjee is known for her colourful works that combine textiles, clothing, furnishings, organic materials, taxidermy and other colonial objects that she finds in junk shops in New York. Banerjee takes the found items and combines them to create new meanings, which often take the form of multimedia works.
Dayanita Singh is a photographer who explores the everyday lives and stories of those around her. Singh captures everyone in society, from those on the fringe of society to the upper classes, and as such, she is able to gain a clear perspective on contemporary Indian culture. Singh is particularly well known for her work with Mona Ahmed, who has reoccurred in her work since the late 1980s. For more information on the collaboration between Singh and Ahmed, please refer to the embedded video.
Reena Saini Kallat is a multimedia artist that combines several mediums into each piece of artwork. Kallat’s work engages with the cyclical nature of life and the fragile nature of the human condition. Birth, death and rebirth are observed in human life, as well as in buildings, monuments and history. Rubber stamps are a recurring motif in Kallat’s work, used as a symbol of bureaucracy and state control.
Hema Upadhyay uses photography and sculptural installations to explore ideas of belonging, dislocation, identity, nostalgia and gender, as well as taking a broader look at contemporary culture in Mumbai.
Sheela Gowda makes sculptures, installations and photographs that look at India’s urban and rural areas. Using everyday items, found objects and natural materials such as cow dung, turmeric and hair, Gowda makes work that blurs the line between fine art and craft.
Other notable female Indian artists include Anju Dodiya and Chitra Ganesh.