the self in making

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Self Portrait with Ease Oil On Canvas © Courtesy of Kiran Nadar Museum of Art
the self in making
Curated by: Roobina Karode

145, DLF South Court Mall, Saket
110017 New Delhi
January 31st, 2013 - November 30th, 2013
Opening: January 31st, 2013 10:30 AM - 6:30 PM

011-4916 0000
10.30 A.M - 6.30 P.M TUESDAY - SUNDAY


he self in making examines Amrita Sher-Gil’s self-portraits that were grounded in her self- consciousness of growing up to be an artist and also positioning herself as a modern woman. Her nuanced persona could easily slip from western outfit into a traditional brocaded sari or masquerade the bohemian and get into roles other than the domestic. She drew a series of self-portraits in pencil when she was barely 14, learning the skills to transcribe, transform and transmit varied moods and moments through it.

In art historian Rakhee Balaram’s words,  “The self-portraits display the artist moving from girl to woman to artist as she explored a sensuality that ranges from the heavy-handed to the subtle. Sher-Gil casts herself in a serious light in her Self-Portrait with Easel (1930), moving deliberately from the domestic and the intimate context of the nineteenth-century woman artist to the monumental and majestic poses recalling those of Rembrandt and later Van Gogh. Indira dressed as a European gentleman with Amrita dressed as her female partner.”

Balaram further adds, “At stake was not only a serious and viable artistic career as a woman, but the development of a subjectivity that was being defined through the self-portrait. conscious of being both muse and maker, Sher-Gil took on the position of artist and object with a double consciousness of being both.”   

The glittering life of Sher-Gil and the reality of her untimely death at the age of 28 could lead one to seek her biography in her self-portraits.