About the Artist
Tuesday, 8 November 2011
Sarbani Sen at La Galleria Pall Mall
AN INDIAN ALBUM
Exhibition of oil Paintings by Sarbani Sen at La Galleria Pall Mall,
London from Nov 30 - Dec 6, 2011
Indian artist Sarbani Sen is back for her 5th solo exhibition in London
Sarbani’s work is about nature and man’s relationship with his environment. A compulsive traveller, a brilliant scholar, an ardent nature lover, that she has the stance of a romantic there is no doubt. She blends classic romanticism with mathematical precision to create a perfect balance of beauty and tranquility.Landscape for her is a subjective reality, an atonement, where the beholder and beholden become one. Nothing is allowed to intrude in this space, not even the artist’s own presence.
The desert paintings are a somewhat different story. The unyielding near empty land, the relentless sun, the harsh wind, the figures as if seen through upward moving hot air, sometimes bordering on surrealism – here the story is of struggle and compromise of life and living with and against nature. A recurrent theme of water pots run through the canvasses. To the artist each woman carrying a pot of water to her desert home is Laxmi, Goddess of Grace bringing home the elixir of everlasting life.
About the Artist
Sarbani has always had a great urge to explore the unknown, to go beyond the horizon, beyond the next mountain range, to see outside a closed gate and inside the covers of an unread volume. Along with her curriculum in the university, she had read extensively on art and gained an in-depth knowledge of classical and contemporary art in India, Europe and Japan. So, when she gave up a career in mathematics and started sketching and painting whole heartedly she was armed with an intensive knowledge of the theoretical side of painting and her mind was completely in tune with the sights and sounds around her.
From 1974 she started painting seriously, her subject remaining nature and man’s relationship with nature. In early eighties, in Bombay, she came under the guidance of late Prof. N. S. Bendre of J.J.School of Arts, Mumbai, one of the great painters in India. From him she learnt the value of following her own instincts over being academic. She said of these years to Economic Times, “… I have spent more time with canvases that I imagined I would be painting than doing the actual painting. My mind has sped, leaving the brush to plod behind. Vision and imagery crowded my eyes but they eluded the hand… ”. While her vision is definitely that of a romantic, nothing diluted the rigours of intellectual scrutiny.
Her work varies from realistic to stylised semi abstraction.
Sarbani started to show her paintings in exhibitions from 1981. She has had twenty five solo exhibitions of her paintings in galleries in Mumbai, Delhi, Calcutta and London, including three in London.