Arpana Caur

(b. 1954) Born in New Delhi in 1954 into a Sikh family, Arpana completed her M.A in Literature from the Delhi University in 1975. As an artist, she is largely self-taught. Her work can be seen to continue the line begun by Amrita Sher-Gil which is feminine and feminist in its perspective, with portraits of women placed in a contemporary urban context. Caur's work speak with an eloquent intensity of the current state of women's affairs in India, resolutely refusing to look away from the many problems inherent in the present system, yet equally determined not to be defeated or overawed by them. If the experiences of Indian womanhood can be said to be the primary focus of her work, her exhibition of work also directly deals with metaphysical issues common to all mankind: youth and age, attachment and detachment, suffering and enlightenment. She was influenced by the events of her life and her surroundings; from the crowded Patel Nagar of her childhood to events such as the rape of Maya Tyagi and the widows of the Chasnala mining disaster. She has created several large non-commercial murals on subjects relating to the environment in Delhi, Bangalore, and Hamburg. Her work has been part of many solo, curated and group shows in India as well as abroad including Masterclass, Dhoomimal Art Gallery, New Delhi, 2011; 10 x 10, Gallery Threshold, New Delhi in 2010. Arpana has been honoured and awarded with the Eminent Artist Award from the Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi in 1992-91-90-89; Commendation Certificate, Algiers Biennale, Algiers in 1987. Caur's works are part of the collection of several important institutions including the Museums of Modern Art in New Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Düsseldorf, Singapore, Bradford, Stockholm, Hiroshima and Los Angles, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco and the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem. Arpana lives and works in New Delhi.