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Home > Discover Mumbai > Art and Culture > Personalities


  Madhavi Parekh's art has a deep rooted secularism - Peter Nagy 

Madhavi ParekhThe art of Madhavi Parekh seems to hover independently between genres, styles and cultural constructs. Much has already been written on the importance of her work as a bridge between the village and the city in India today, a bridge between the avant-garde and the traditional arts. Likewise, one can say that her works may cross over from a naive charm to a self-conscious surrealism. They may incorporate influences as diverse as Rangoli decorations, Gujarati embroidery, and the early-modern paintings found in the Swaminarayan Mandir at Vadtal. Parekh's works are currently on display at Chemould, at Jehangir Art Gallery upto Febraury 3, 2001.

The logo of Chemould Gallery; the venue for Madhavi Parekh's art exhibition.In recent times, as the artist has travelled more extensively, the works have become a sort of souvenir scrap-book of her adventures. Parekh's work shuns the monolithic authorities of organised religions and gives pre-eminence to the common man and his simple acts of devotion, the areas in which religious programs overlap and blend, the spaces occupied by the gentle iconoclast and the philosophical wanderer.

The other aspect which needs to be addressed is the relationship of Parekh's art to other works of contemporary art which also picture the rural villages of India today. As the contemporary art scene of India continues to expand, growing increasingly diversified and increasingly competitive, it is important to understand what art means in relation to other art and to society as a whole.

According to Peter Nagy, art critic, "Madhavi's art has a sense of deep rooted secularism. It is a natural, generous humanism which infuses everything she does, a child like refusal to acknowledge any of the existing categories or divisions with which the adult world has structured itself. Certainly, the polymorphous narrative structures and constantly transforming characters of Hindu mythology have influenced the artist's thought of pattern greatly. "

Shirin Gandhi, owner of the Chemould Gallery, the venue of Madhvi Parekh's current art exhibition, says, " Her work is for anyone and everyone. A layman can figure what she is trying to portray in her art. And this style separates her from the rest of the artists."

Watercolours by Madhavi Parekh are currently on display till February 3rd, 2001 at Chemould, at The Jehangir Art Gallery.

By : Sharmistha Chakraborty

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