October 22, 2021

Lucky Life

Arts Fanatics

Anjolie Ela Menon turns 81, options solo show in New York

4 min read

The artist’s new Goat and Shepherd series is an ode to Nizamuddin in its pre-pandemic days

It is a vivid July morning and we are fortunate to have managed to catch painter Anjolie Ela Menon at residence sipping tea with her gallerist and close friend most mornings, write-up 10 am, she is commonly at her studio in Nizamuddin. The artist, who turns 81 nowadays (June 17) is quite buzzing with excitement, about her solo present at AICON Gallery. The New York-dependent gallery is recognised to feature artwork from noteworthy Indian and Pakistani artists and Menon has previously packed and sent off her functions. But she continues to be in Delhi, house-sure thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. Also, for the reason that The us is not issuing vacationer visas to Indian citizens ideal now, even if they come about to be one of the country’s very well-recognised contemporary painters.

“It’s unhappy that I will not be capable to go to my possess solo demonstrate since for me it was a somewhat major body of function, designed at household all through what has certainly been the most seeking year for humanity,” states Menon, who has expert a whole yr of lockdown, other than recovering from a coronavirus infection herself. “I think it was portray that kept me sane and prevented me from heading stir nuts,” states the Padma Shri awardee, who is always properly-turned out with her signature red bindi, impeccably draped sari and heat smile. What is most admirable is that she has remained active even all through her late 70s and now her early 80s.

A painting from the 'Goat and Shepherd series'

A painting from the ‘Goat and Shepherd series’  


Performing by the pandemic

“I could no lengthier stop by my studio in the Nizamuddin Lal-Dora place, because everyone in the complete segment where by I operate, had Covid-19,” recalls Menon, who is regarded for her figurative and intimate will work. “So I ended up bringing my supplies residence to get the job done. I could not quit function, even for the duration of the pandemic,” she affirms. One particular has visited Menon in the two her nicely-appointed dwelling and her studio and the flavour of the Nazimuddin Basti region and its hectic outdated Delhi style does indeed permeate her workspace. Adjacent to Humayun’s Tomb Complex and Sunder Nursery, a popular picnic location for the duration of the pandemic, it is comprehensive of character.

“I normally like getting surrounded by a little flavour of what could still be seen as the rural or village life of India, and the goat-herds and their goats have typically featured in my paintings…even all through the Covid-19 lockdown,” claims Menon who has been actively involved in the renewal of the Heritage of the Basti place.

Masonites and Christian iconography

In a job spanning about 6 many years, the artist has experimented in acrylic, fiberglass, even Murano glass sculptures. But her quintessential design has been to work with oil on board, as is the situation with her 25 new works as very well, each individual reflecting her fond reminiscences of Nizamuddin in its pre-pandemic days. “I like functioning on a tough surface because my system is this kind of that I like to function with slim levels of paint,” claims Menon about favouring Masonite board, and her exclusive fashion that resembles a Byzantine fresco. The palette of translucent colors is obtained by her layering slim glazes of oil paint onto hardboard. The finely textured surfaces are even further improved by burnishing the completed function with a smooth dry brush, generating a glow reminiscent of medieval icons.

A painting from the 'Goat and Shepherd series'

A portray from the ‘Goat and Shepherd series’  


The Goat and Shepherd series has something divine about it, however her shepherds have a secretive air. Whether or not they are olive-skinned youthful men in turbans and prolonged draped coats, or white bearded more mature men, they hold the goats like they are in some way sacred. There are also shepherdesses cradling youngsters, almost like the Virgin Mary and her infant Jesus, with dim eyes, a bit matted hair and of course colourfully patterned dresses.

The assortment has “united me with my muse,” suggests the artist. She hopes to check out New York shortly, exactly where her son lives. “My gallerist jokingly informed me, ‘Anjolie, if you have not been in a position to have an opening evening, we could have a closing ceremony’. Let us hope that we can in fact go to that at the very least,” the artist states superior naturedly. We surely hope the identical.

Anjolie Ela Menon’s clearly show at AICON Artwork Gallery,NYC, is from August 19 to September 18, 2021