ANJOLIE ELA MENON


Born 1940, Burnpur, West Bengal, India


Throughout her artistic career, Anjolie Ela Menon has re-envisioned her role as an artist and has produced various bodies of work toward her aim to defy categorization. Menon’s early paintings, mainly portraits, imply inspiration from the likes of Modigliani, Van Gogh, Amrita Sher-Gil, and M. F. Husain. She comments on her approach of using flat areas of thick bright color with sharp outlines, which were done "with the vigor and brashness of extreme youth."


Menon’s studies in Paris in the 1960s exposed her to the techniques of medieval Christian iconography, particularly Byzantine art. A period of experimentation led to a muted palette of translucent colors, by her layering thin glazes of oil paint onto hardboard. The finely textured surfaces were further enhanced by burnishing the finished work with a soft dry brush, creating a glow reminiscent of medieval icons. As her style continued to evolve, Menon developed the distinctive features of early Christian art - namely the frontal perspective, the averted head, and the slight body elongation - but took the female nude as a frequent subject. The result is a dynamic relationship of eroticism and melancholy. Menon developed her artistic approach of distance and loss in her later works through her thematic depiction of black crows, empty chairs, windows, and hidden figures.


Menon’s prolific output has resulted in solo and numerous group exhibitions internationally. Her works have been acquired by major museums in India and abroad and reside in both private and corporate collections. She is also well known for her murals and has represented India at the Algiers Biennale and in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Solo exhibitions include the Winston Gallery, Washington, USA; Doma Khudozhinkov, U.S.S.R; Rabindra Bhavanand Shridharani Gallery, New Dehli; Academy of Fine Arts, Calcutta and a major solo exhibition at the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco in 2006.


The artist lives and works in New Delhi.


Education


1980-81 Study tour to France, UK and USA (invitation by the Government of France)
1961-62 Atelier Fresque, Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris, France
Bachelors in Literature, Dehli University, Delhi, India
Sir J.J. School of Art, Bombay


Select Solo Exhibitions


2015 Recent Works - Anjolie Ela Menon, D-40 Defence Colony Gallery, New Delhi
2013 Institute of Contemporary Indian Art (ICIA), Mumbai
2010 Through the Patina, organized by Vadhera Art Gallery at Visual Arts Gallery, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi
2008 Three Generations of Art, Dhoomimal Gallery, New Delhi
2007 Menongitis - Three Generations of Art, Dhoomimal Gallery, New Delhi
2006 Six month solo show at the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, USA
Celebration, Aicon Gallery, Palo Alto
2005 Aicon Gallery, Palo Alto
2004 Aicon Gallery, New York
2003 Vadehra Art Gallery at Shridharani Gallery, New Delhi
2002 Four Decades, Vadehra Art Gallery at National Art of Modern Art (NGMA), Mumbai, Karnataka Chitrakala Parishad, Bangalore
2000 Gods and Others, Apparao Galleries at Admit One Gallery, New York
1998 Retrospective organized by the Times of India, Jehangir Art Gallery
1996 Exhibition by Vadhera Art Gallery in Hong Kong and Gallery Madras, New York
1988 Retrospective 1958-88, organized by The Times of India, Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai
1976 Gallery Chemould, Mumbai
1963 Alliance Francaise, Mumbai
1959 Gallery 59, Mumbai


Select Group Exhibitions


2012 Iconic Processions, Aicon Gallery, New York
Gallery Collection, Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi
Women: Sacred and the Temporal, Shrishti Art Gallery, Hyderabad
Contemporary: A Selection of Modern and Contemporary Art, prsented by Sakshi Gallery at The Park, Chennai
2011 The Lost Sparrow, presented by Gallery Threshold at Visual Art Gallery, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi
Masterclass, Dhoomimal Art Gallery, New Delhi
2010 Figure/Landscape - Part One, Aicon Gallery, New York
2009-10 Unclaimed Spaces, Gallery Threshold, New Delhi
Master Class, The Arts Trust, Mumbai
2009 Indian Art After Independence: Selected Works from the Collections of Virginia & Ravi Akhoury and Shelley & Donald Rubin, Emile Lowe Gallery, Hempstead
In Search of the Vernacular, Aicon Gallery, New York
Kalpana: Figurative Art in India, presented by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) at Aicon Gallery, London
2008 Mapping Memories – 2, Painted Travelogues of Bali and Burma, Gallery Threshold, New Delhi
2007 From the Vault, Aicon Gallery, London and New York
Sitaaray - A Galaxy of Artists, Indian Habitat Centre, New Delhi
2005 Drishti / Vision – Indian Contemporary Artists, Valentine Willie Fine Art, Kuala Lumpur in collaboration with Bodhi Art Gallery
2004 Confluence 2004, Aicon Gallery, New York
Jiva- Life, Contemporary Indian Painting, Bodhi Art Gallery, New York
2001 Kitsch Kitsch Hota Hai, Gallery Espace, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi
The Sacred Prism III, Apparao Gallery, London, New York, San Francisco
1993 Reflections and Images, Vadehra Art gallery at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai
1986 Indian Women Artists, National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi
1980 Paris Biennale, Paris, France
1980 Exhibition in Washington D.C and New York
1968,71,75 1st, 2nd, 3rd International Triennale, Lalit Kala Akademi, Delhi


Awards


2000 Awarded the Padma Shree by the Government of India
1959-61 Received French Government Scholarship for Higher Studies in Paris