A painting graduate from Kala Bhavan, Vishva Bharti, Shantiniketan, Sharmi Chowdhury is a recent postgraduate from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Baroda. Hailing from Bengal, Baroda provided a rejuvenating scenario for this young artist to realize her potential.
Trying to move away from the formal mode of art learning, Sharmi resorted to following her instincts and began creating work in a more natural manner, in search of new means of _expression.
Sharmi's work is based on the attitudes and complexities which create and hone various relationships people create and nuture in our society.
Her canvases enact human relationships. It could be a work depicting a friend’s family and the intimate relationships each one has with each other. Beyond what may appear to be a family portrait lies the reality of how harsh and artificial relationships can actually be. Her figures are a result of her necessity to comment on peoples relationships, which are always related to her in some way or another. What begins as a depiction of simple relationships gave way to the portrayal of something more significant. A journey of discovery of several truths, which the artist saw and learnt as she evolved as a human being and as an artist.
Though the artist does not figure herself in her work, she remains a passive observer and her involvement and presence is made felt through her choice and use of colour. Often rendered in somber and gloomy colours, a work may show the disapproval of the artist to a certain scenario. A brighter canvas is evidence of the artist’s pleasure and agreement to a situation.
Multiple perspectives, reminiscent of miniature paintings are incidental but an obvious choice. To show different incidents and different places thus depicting several spaces and times on a single surface at the same instance. Giving added dimensions, this use of multi-perspective adds to the intricacy of the work.
Theatrical backdrops are deliberately used add to the feeling of drama life has created. Earlier these backdrops were used by untrained painters but the artist has chosen to adopt and adapt this element to add to the dramatic effect of her work. That these backdrops were done originally for the theatre in oils itself prompted the artist to work in oils.
Though she works usually in oils on canvas, Sharmi has experimented in different media like acrylic and tempera and even water colours but her style has remained the same regardless of the medium. Typically shaded figures in tones of black and grey add to the theatrical effect. Flat colours fill the background, and floral motifs from bygone studio and drama backdrops find a place in each work
In the artist’s search for meaning and truth in todays fast world, she continues to experiment and explore the ironic world of human society and existence.
1974 - Kolkata
- 2003-2005 Master of Fine Arts (Painting),Faculty of Fine Arts, Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda
- 1998-2003 Bachelor of Fine Arts (Painting), Kala Bhavan, Visva Bharati, Santiniketan, West Bengal
- 1996 Bachelor of Arts, Faculty of Fine Arts, Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda
Selected Solo Exhibitions
- 2008 ‘When Images Speak Back’, Art Alive, New Delhi
- 2005 Sarjan Art Gallery, Baroda
- 1998 Information Center Exhibition, Kolkata
Selected Group Exhibitions
- 2011 'Quarto', Art Musings, Mumbai
- 2010 1 x 1 Art Gallery, Dubai
- 2010 'Tales of Silence', Art Alive Gallery, New Delhi
- 2010 'Myth, Metaphor and Allegory', Mon Art Gallerie, Kolkata
- 2010 'Black is Beautiful', India Fine Art, Mumbai
- 2009 'Nature vs. Modernity', India Fine Art, Mumbai
- 2009 'Cutting Chai', Sarjan Art Gallery, Vadodara
- 2009 'Think Small', Art Alive Gallery, New Delhi
- 2009 'From Our Cabinets to the Museum', Gallery OED (Open Eyed Dreams), Kochi
- 2008-09 'Popular Reality', The Stainless Gallery, New Delhi; Jam Jar, Dubai; Clark House, Mumbai
- 2008 'Mind, Matter and Mystique', Tamarind Art, New York
- 2008 'Baroda: A Tale of Two Cities', (Part II), Sarjan Art Gallery, Vadodara
- 2007 ‘Come September’, Hacienda Gallery, Mumbai
- 2007 ‘Meandering Membranes’, presented by Empire Art & The Shrine Gallery, New Delhi at Taj Bengal, Kolkata
- 2007 Emerging India, Art Alive Gallery, London
- 2007 Aakriti Art Gallery, Kolkata
- 2004 Sarjan Art Gallery, Baroda
- 2008 ‘Intimate Dialects’, with Shruti Nelson at Hacienda Art Gallery, Mumbai
- 2010 'The Baroda March 2010', presented by Rukshaan Art at The Strand Art Room, Mumbai
- 2007 Singapore Art Fair, Singapore
- 2004 Camlin Annual Exhibition, Mumbai
- 2004 State Academy Annual Exhibition, Kolkata
- 2004 Birla Academy of Art and Culture, Annual Exhibition, Kolkata
- 2003 Camlin Annual Exhibition, Mumbai
- 2001 Camlin Annual Exhibition, Kolkata
- 1998-2003 Kalabhavan Annual Exhibition
- 1998 Annual Exhibition, Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata
Honours and Awards
- 2004 Camlin Euro Trip
- 2003 Camlin Art Award
- 1998 Nokia Art Award
- 1998-2003 Kalabhavan Merit Scholarship, Visva Bharati University, West Bengal