Feministic influence in Indian Art

by Priyamvada
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womenWomen – a concoctive subject
Women have always been one of the most interesting subjects to portray through art in India, which has a rich artistic legacy from ancient times. Their intricate physical details, composition, emotive nature have given inspiration to various artists who love to convey them through the stroke of their brushes and try to bring out the depth of womanhood, their aspirations, mystical nature, vivacity, sensibilities and challenges they (women) face in different walks of life. Right from the historical works of Raja Ravi Verma, Abanindranath Tagore to contemporary artists; the theme ‘women’ creates enough dialogue in an artist’s mind that leads to expressionism. In current times the beauty of womanhood is boldly manifested in the works of modern Indian artists like L.N Rana, Pushpamala, Rangoli Garg. 
L.N Ranaln rana
In the work – Feminine Enigma by Delhi based artist L.N Rana, the charm, enigma, mood and expressive
sensuousness of a woman awashes all over the artist’s canvas. He bringsout how a woman seeks solitary contemplation and peaceful exuberance in her structural evolution. The elements surrounding the figures are simple forms and colours which are quite rich in tones of turquoise blue, vermillion red and earthy tones of ochre. He has found a rich mine of new compositional ore evidently visible in ‘The Classic Bath’, ‘Sentiments’ and ‘The Valentine Package’. The artist says, “ I attempt breaking down life to its visual essentials-the charisma of woman, her relationships, emotions, dreams, fantasies that add tone and colour to her life”. Each of his works in the series have build a “story” around ‘her’.
Rangoli Garg-
rangoli gargLaadli, a solo painting exhibition by Rangoli Garg was recently held at India Habitat Centre. As the name signifies, ‘Laadli ‘embodies a typical Indian maiden who is the favorite of all members in her family but still her dreams are captured in the responsibilities of her home and she awaits to step out, on her path of glory. She has a dream away from home which she wants to realize and fulfill. A clear message one could draw from her works is that to accept and encourage Indian girls towards their dreams where they would be working towards increasing their inner courage, self-respect and confidence.
Pushpamala- Indian art has flourished a lot in terns of showcasing the feminine sensibilities and is not restricted pushpamala2to only paintings but also expands its horizons to ethnographic documentaries like the one’s exhibited in the works of photo-exhibition of Pushpamala N and Clare Arni. The exhibition explored the repertoire of icons available to women of South India upon whom they may draw a blue print of the feminine ideal. Pushpamala in one of the photograph is a ‘yogini’, a siren entrapping men through devious seduction while in another she is a native of Andaman Island being measured and displayed and yet in another a young woman bathed in moonlight waiting for her lover. Women artists like her are at the helm of new development and creating change. Pushpamala’s work raises interesting questions on the relationship between the artist and the subject. When the artist is both the creator and created, does she depersonalises herself, remove her own identity in the process of creation to become the idea of herself, her own theme. Also there has been much dialogue on the subject of women being painted throughout history as objects to be consumed by male voyeuristic gaze. Pushpamala uses herself as the subject to delve into these very same objectified portrayal of women for the audience gaze. She uses the most popular banal images to cleverly make her point. 
Conclusion
The abstruseness of women always acts as a muse for artist. Though the socio-political-economic landscape may evolve and change, but women had and will continue to intrigue the creative brains.

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