David Winton Bell Gallery

Past Exhibitions





March 26, 2011 - May 29, 2011

Tradition, Trauma, Transformation: Representations of Women features the work of three leading contemporary artists: Nalini Malani, Nilima Sheikh and Chitra Ganesh. Indian and Indian-American, their works are influenced by political, religious, and cultural situations, as well as personal relationships, involving sexuality and the position of women. Through their works a viewer gains an understanding of the traditional and traumatic experiences of women that have given shape to a transforming society especially with respect to gender roles.  

Focusing on representations of women, the show explores contemporary India with stunning large-scale paintings and drawings, and provocative and challenging videos. The world has always had an interest in India, whether directed towards its 5000 years of rich visual culture, or its rapidly growing population of over a billion people. Of late there is much global interest in India as a sophisticated and dynamic economic world power. Indeed, today India also holds attention in the area of contemporary art. Addressing issues such as economics, politics, religion, society, culture, gender, sexuality, violence, identity, and urban and rural issues, contemporary artists offer a personal view of a traditional yet modern Indian society.

Nilima Sheikh (b. 1945) engages with and reinvents Indian traditions. Schooled in modernism, Sheikh went on to study miniature painting and uses these techniques in her large-scale and lyrical pain