Madhvi Parekh: Retrospective

Madhvi Parekh. Playing With Animals. DAG.

at Delhi Art Gallery, Mumbai

Spanning five decades of her painterly career, this retrospective includes iconic works by Madhvi Parekh which represent every phase of her illustrious career. The show also includes rare drawings and paintings from the 1960s, when the influence of Paul Klee’s abstraction on her early work was evident. Given the solid representation of Madhvi’s paintings from every decade, the exhibition allows viewers to see the continuity in her vision and focus.

Providing a bridge between the urban and the rural through an impressive body of work, Madhvi, art historians and critics strongly believe, is one of the more uniquely talented women artists of Indian modern art. As someone who has begun to be seriously collected in recent years, the timing of the artist’s first ever retrospective is apt. DAG acknowledges Madhvi’s importance as an artist who deserves her position in the pantheon of Indian modernism for her painterly resolve to stick to her own language and oeuvre as a folk style modernist in the face of more conventional art making.

At a personal level, too, Madhvi’s life story, hailing originally from a small village in Gujarat, is inspiring. Married off at an early age to Manu Parekh, himself a painter, her journey as an artist, in fact, began when her husband noticed her interest in art, and tutored her with full enthusiasm, introducing her to Western master artists. Manu bhai’s involvement in his wife’s development as an artist is unparalleled, providing a rare insight into the personal life of this ‘power couple’ of Indian modern art who continuously support each other.

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