Sujata Bajaj: Peregrination of Colour

Ambika Rajgopal of Saffronart announces the upcoming exhibition of Sujata Bajaj at Indigo Blue Art, Singapore.

London: The word ‘peregrination’ makes complete sense when seen in the context of Sujata Bajaj’s new series- Peregrination of Colour, showing at Indigo Blue Art Gallery, Singapore. A quick glance at a dictionary clarifies the meaning of the word, which means ‘to walk or travel over’. Bajaj infuses her canvas with colour in such a dynamic way, that the hues literally travel all over the canvas, leading the eye across its expanse.

Bajaj’s relationship with colours has seen a lot of different influences. Originally hailing from Rajasthan, where colours are the celebratory essence of day-to-day living, her life journey landed her to embrace diverse traditions. Bajaj graduated from SNDT College, Pune in Art and Painting, before going on to pursue a PhD in Indian tribal art, where the focus of her thesis was on tribal art and its influence on contemporary art. After completion of her doctorate, through the patronage of S. H. Raza, Bajaj was awarded a scholarship by the French government and attended the prestigious École Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris.

From every step in her journey, Bajaj picked up aesthetic components so as to form a unique pastiche, where Occidental modernism fused with Indian visual language of tribal art.

…in the ochre yellow and red palette, we are recalled into the ritual circle of sacrifice; a hero-stone, a tribal totem, a lost goddess of fertility is suggested by certain motifs; and in the elegant calligraphy of the sacred texts, the hymns repeated until the pitch of perfection has been achieved.- Ranjit Hoskote

Though currently based in Paris, Bajaj amalgamates an underlying profound ethnicism into her art practice. From incorporating texts from Sanskrit documents like the Bhagavad Gita and Mahabharata, to paying homage to the sacrosanctity of colours. Bajaj elaborates:

For me, red is everything. It has passion, it has violence, it has energy, it has love and aggression, it is the colour of divinity in India. Red is saffron; it is the colour of meditation. As a colour, it has so much power. In India, it is connected to marriage, because we wear red when we marry. Red carries all the meanings of life.

Ascent, 2005, Sujata Bajaj. Image Credit: http://www.saffronart.com/auctions/PostWork.aspx?l=2278

Ascent, 2005, Sujata Bajaj. Image Credit: http://www.saffronart.com/auctions/PostWork.aspx?l=2278

Perhaps this is why the colours occupy such a strong pivotal focus in her work. She offsets the colours with bold black lines intrepidly traversing the frame. Far from being meditative, Bajaj’s canvases pulsate with the energy of the vibrant hues she uses. At the same time, they are controlled by the deliberate strokes of the neutral blacks and whites.

Untitled, Sujata Bajaj. Image Credit: http://www.saffronart.com/auctions/PostWork.aspx?l=8396

Untitled, Sujata Bajaj. Image Credit: http://www.saffronart.com/auctions/PostWork.aspx?l=8396

Bajaj will be present on the exhibition preview on 10 October, from 6.30 to 9 pm to sign copies of her coffee table book, L’Ordre du monde.

The show is on view from the 10th October till the 22nd November 2013. This will be Bajaj’s first solo exhibition in Singapore.

For more information, please access the gallery website.

About the Author

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Ambika Rajgopal, originally from New Delhi, currently resides in London. She has an MA in Contemporary Art Theory from Goldsmiths, University of London and an MSc in Art, Law and Business from Christie’s Education, London. Ambika has previously worked in the Indian and Islamic Department at Christie’s, South Kensington, London. In addition to this, she has written extensively on art, with a special focus on the Asian art scene. She has written for Art Radar, Saffronart Blog, Avenir and Culture Trip, among others. Ambika spends her time cruising through museums, pop-up galleries and cultural institutions searching for that flicker of novelty, which captures her imagination and sends it soaring. When she isn’t culture-vulturing, Ambika can be found holed up in her crib reading something completely unrelated to art theory (usually Irvine Welsh or J. M. Coetzee); or clanging on her piano, in the hope of creating something akin to music. In 2015, Ambika, in collaboration with Delhi Art Gallery, wrote a monograph on the Bombay Progressive modernist - Krishen Khanna, which was published by the gallery. Ambika has previously worked in London, New Delhi and Frankfurt.

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Art

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