Arpita Singh (b.1937)

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Arpita Singh | Biography | Life | Artworks

Arpita Singh
Arpita Singh

The paintings of Arpita Singh, although somewhat reflective of Chagall and Rousseau, are sourced in her whims which gave them a personal touch of difference. 

Her organization of space is in a psychological sense rather than the physical. Colored forms float around as independent elements. 

She seems to filter the fluid images of her consciousness and makes them visible—a dream-like the situation, familiar and tangible with an enchanting decorative effect enriched with col- our and texture. There are visions of fantasies and surreal surprises. 

Arpita Singh Working On Her Painting
Arpita Singh Working On Her Painting

The content of her paintings, however, has been gradually changing; from men and women in the ritual of their routine life depicted with a sense of naive humor, to series of maze- cities with men in suits and dress-jackets, militiamen point- ing guns in all directions, perhaps, to symbolize absurdity and irrelevance of man’s behavior in the turmoil of our present-day society. 

Sometimes a humorous expression and sometimes a nightmarish feeling seems to pervade the entire canvas with absurd synchronized movements and gestures and multiplicity of motifs typical of the urban situation. 

Whatever is Here-Arpita Singh
Whatever is Here, 2006, Oil on canvas, 84 x 108 inches, Collection: Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi

Arpita has packed her pictorial scenes with people and things; there are dots and other patterns, flags, bouquets and baskets of flowers, birds and ducks and the girl-child’s playthings. 

There are guns, cars, airplanes and portrait heads or busts. Her obsession with repeating motifs may have some significance for her. Perhaps they hold for her different meanings at different times. 

Arpita Singh-My Mother
Arpita Singh, My Mother, 1993, Oil on canvas, Collection: Mahinder Tak

Weaving all this material around stories and events; men groping, grappling, crouching, sleeping and even ‘dying out there’, she has created highly captivating imagery. 

Her recent works, however, show dressed-up men and naked women as in A Tree, A Man, and A Woman and Aftermath, or The Naked Mother with a Girl-child. 

Arpita Singh-Journey-1971
Arpita Singh, Journey, 1971, Oil on Canvas, 42.5 x 42.5 inches, Collection: Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi

She fabricates her paintings like a tapestry with a variety of repetitive motifs spread all over, simplified in form and modified in color. 

The paneled spaces on the sides, in some, are used to accommodate figurative elements related to the main theme: a characteristic compositional device. 

The patches and layers of brilliant paint are applied with careful and delicate movements of the brush. 

The thick paint moving along with the gesture of her brush in a certain rhythm lends a quality of vibrancy to her paintings.


Pablo Picasso 4. Salvador Dali 5. Frida Kahlo

Indian Artist

1.G.R. Santosh  2. Jai Zharotia 3. Ramkinkar Vaij 4. Dhan Raj Bhagat 5. Somnath Hore 6. Raja Ravi Varma 7. Ratnabali Kant 8. Satish Gujral  9. Anjolie Ela Menon 10. Jagdish Swaminathan   11. Bishamber Khanna  12. Shanti Dave  13. Om Prakash  14. A Ramachandran 15. Arpita Singh 16. Gulam Mohammad Sheikh  17. Biren De  18. Manjit Bawa 19. Gogi Saroj Pal  20. Arpana Caur 21. Vivan Sundaram  22.Amar Nath Sehgal 23. Jatin Das  24.Meera Mukherjee 25. P. V. Janakiram 26. Ved Nayar 27. Mrinalini Mukherjee  28. Lydia Mehta 29. Krishna Reddy 30. Surindra Chadha 31. Anupam Sud 32. Sankho Chaudhuri 33. Gaganendranath Tagore 34. Rabindranath Tagore 35. Nandalal Bose  36. Abanindranath Tagore 37. Jamini Roy 38. Amrita Sher-Gil 39. A. R. Chughtai  40. Zainul Abedin 41. George Keyt 42. M.F. Husain 43. Binod Bihari Mukharji 44. K. G. Subramanyan  45. Krishen Khanna  46. Tyeb Mehta  47. Ram Kumar 48. Pran Nath Mago 49. F.N. Souza 50. B.C.Sanyal 51. K.S.Kulkarni 52. HarKrishan Lal 53. Jahangir Sabavala 54. Sailoz Mukherjee 55. N. S. Bendre  56. K.K.Hebbar 57. Bimal Das Gupta  

Female Artists:

1.Amrita Sher-Gil  2. Arpana Caur  3. Anupam Sud   4. Lydia Mehta   5. Mrinalini Mukherjee   6. Meera Mukherjee   7. Ratnabali Kant

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