Mrinalini Mukherjee

19492015 | Bombay, India
Informations

Indian sculptor.

Daughter of painter and writer Benode Behari Mukherjee (1904-1980) – considered one of the pioneers of modern Indian painting – and of sculptor Leela Mukherjee, Mrinalini Mukherjee studied painting in the Fine Arts Department at the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda (1965-1970) and then completed her studies in 1972 with a degree in mural design under the direction of artist K. G. Subramanyan (1924-2016). Under his influenced she became interested in the visual potential of various local materials, judged as poor and non-conventional, to create a new imagery. Following her early small rugs and tapestries, she elaborated increasingly complex compositions with the same materials. She chose to use mostly hemp (sulti) and burlap, conceiving biomorphic sculptures that are increasingly monumental. Hung from the ceiling or buried in the ground, her effigies, often regrouped in installations as in Vriksha Nata (Arboreal enactment, 199101992), fill spaces. In an almost “hand-crafted” way, she braided and multiplied knots to give life to a game of folds, curves and drapes, of fullness and emptiness.

Her textures recall the earth and her colours are influenced by the environment and flora. Her ornamental sculptures mixing human and vegetal forms often feature female-like forms (Pushp [Flower], 1993) and have been considered metaphors for fertility (Kapur, 2000). Maternal goddesses are both nurturing and devouring, working to take away male power. Although the titles of her works often refer to Indian mythological figures, Mukherjee refuses to see any connection with existing deities. With no preliminary drawings or particular influences, the forms evolve, according to the artist, unconsciously, into works that tend towards abstraction. She experimented with metal, ceramics, and bronze in all types of formats with series such as Matrix (2006) and Lava (2010), while always keeping references to nature and earth.

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Judith Ferlicchi

Translated from the French by Katia Porro.

From the Dictionnaire universel des créatrices
© 2013 Des femmes – Antoinette Fouque
© Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions
Mrinalini  Mukherjee — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Mrinalini Mukherjee, Adi Pushp II [Etc. II], 1998-1999, dyed hemp, 40 × 112 × 94 cm, private collection, Courtesy of the Mrinalini Mukerjee Foundation, © Mrinalini Mukherjee

Mrinalini  Mukherjee — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Mrinalini Mukherjee, Jauba, 2000, hemp fibre and steel, 143 × 133 × 110 cm, Tate, Courtesy of the Mrinalini Mukerjee Foundation, © Mrinalini Mukherjee

Mrinalini  Mukherjee — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Mrinalini Mukherjee, Memorial II, 2006, bronze, 71 x 56 x 51 cm, collection Vadehra Art Gallery, Courtesy of the Mrinalini Mukerjee Foundation, © Mrinalini Mukherjee

Mrinalini  Mukherjee — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Mrinalini Mukherjee, Ritu Raja, 1977, hemp and mild steel, 190 x 82 x 50 cm, Tate, Courtesy of the Mrinalini Mukerjee Foundation, © Mrinalini Mukherjee

Mrinalini  Mukherjee — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Mrinalini Mukherjee, Serpent Deity (Naga), 1979, rope and hemp fibers, 127 x 63.5 cm, The Cleveland Museum of Art, Courtesy of the Mrinalini Mukerjee Foundation, © Mrinalini Mukherjee

Mrinalini  Mukherjee — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Mrinalini Mukherjee, Untitled (The Storm), ca. 1980, bronze, 25.4 x 58.4 x 35.6 cm, private collection, Courtesy of the Mrinalini Mukerjee Foundation, © Mrinalini Mukherjee

Mrinalini  Mukherjee — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Mrinalini Mukherjee, Untitled, 2002, glazed ceramic, 63.5 x 38 cm, private collection, Courtesy of the Mrinalini Mukerjee Foundation, © Mrinalini Mukherjee

Mrinalini  Mukherjee — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Mrinalini Mukherjee, Untitled, undated, ceramic, 38. 7x 48.3 x 53.3 cm, private collection, Courtesy of the Mrinalini Mukerjee Foundation, © Mrinalini Mukherjee

Mrinalini  Mukherjee — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Mrinalini Mukherjee, Waterfall, 1975, hemp and cotton, 264 x 100 x 15 cm, National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, Courtesy of the Mrinalini Mukerjee Foundation, © Mrinalini Mukherjee

Mrinalini  Mukherjee — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Mrinalini Mukherjee, Yakshi, 1984, dyed hemp, 246.4 x 121.9 x 73.7 cm, The Museum of Modern Art, Courtesy of the Mrinalini Mukerjee Foundation, © Mrinalini Mukherjee

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