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Lot Details

Signed 'Anjolie Ela Menon' (upper left)

Dhoomimal Art Gallery, New Delhi
Private collection

In a career spanning over five decades, Anjolie Ela Menon’s work has a distinct amalgamation of western style with eastern subject influences. Her figures resemble early Christian iconography with a beautiful rendering of Indian themes.

As a figurative painter, her paintings have very distinctive features influenced by Byzantine and Romanesque paintings and murals that she encountered in the early years of her career. Concurrently, the influence of everyday life is also evident in her works as seen in the current picture. Here, she depicted an image of a young Brahmin man, possibly a Namboodri Brahmin priest from her husband's native land of Kerala. The holy man was identifiable through the thread around his chest along with the ritualistic mark on his forehead.

She had frequently depicted them along with sadhus in her works from the 1990s onwards. A period of time when India was experiencing "religious turbulence over issues such as 'the Mandir and the Masjid,' she uses these "essentially Hindu devices to chant a compelling litany of both Ram and Rahim..."

Text Reference:
Isana Murti, Anjolie Ela Menon, New Delhi, 1995, pg. 37

Anjolie Ela Menon

(b. 1940)
Born in West Bengal, Menon received her art education at the Sir J. J. School of Art, Mumbai and later at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux Arts, Paris. Some of her solo shows include those held at the Institute of Contemporary Indian Art, Mumbai, in 2013; Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi in 2010, 2003, 2002 and 1996; Dhoomimal Gallery, New Delhi in 2007; Gallery Arts India West, Palo Alto in 2006 and 2005; and at The Gallery, New York in 1989. Retrospectives of her work have been held at the National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai in 2002, and Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai in 1988. She has also participated in the Paris Biennal, 1980, and the international Triennale of the Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi, 1975, 71 and 68. Some of the group exhibitions featuring her work include those held by Gallery Threshold, New Delhi, in 2009-10 and 2008; Aicon Gallery, New York, 2009; Gallery Arts India, New York, in 2005; Saffronart and Apparao Galleries, Los Angeles in 2001; and Saffronart, Hong Kong, in 2001. She was given the Dayawati Modi Award in 2013 and in 2000 the Government of India awarded her the Padma Shri. Menon lives and works in New Delhi.