Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke
ARTISTS  >  VARUNIKA SARAF
INTRODUCTION

Saraf's paintings are like poetic visions in which the land and its people act as catalysts for her imagination and emotions. Plucking some of her figures and forms from Indian miniature traditions, the artist re-casts them into ever changing mediums and situations in narrative paintings that assert their capacity for new adventures and journeys.

Her material is at times tie-dyed, at others sprayed with gold spangles, or studded with starry thumbtacks.  The eccentric selection of her cast of characters: actors, angels, soothsayers, masked clowns, acrobats, skeletons, moon walkers and a host of others, when assembled in groups, often has an enduring frieze-like quality.  At other times they are reminiscent of the participants of a traveling circus or of an itinerant Jatra theatre, captured as if mid-performance in the lingering spotlight of the ages.  Through her use of draftsmanship, of pattern and design, of color and painterliness, Saraf creates a layered world of dream, memory and imagination.  Each work seems to shut out everything except the experience of that particular instant of viewing in something like an Alice in Wonderland slipping-through-the-looking-glass moment.

Born 1981 in Hyderabad, India

Currently pursuing a PhD (Supervisor Dr. Kavita Singh), School of Arts and Aesthetics, JNU, New Delhi
M Phil, School of Arts and Aesthetics, JNU, New Delhi

MFA (Painting), University of Hyderabad
BFA (Painting), J.N.T.U. College of Fine Arts, Hyderabad
Lives in Delhi

Solo Exhibitions
2010
The Chair in the Cloud, Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai
2008
Tales of our Times, Kashi Art Gallery, Cochin
Selected Group Exhibitions
2011
5th Anniversary Exhibition, Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai
2011
India Inclusive: Contemporary Art from India, World Economic Forum, Davos, Switzerland
Curated by Tasneem Zakaria Mehta
2009
Unfaithfully Yours, Gallery SKE, Bangalore
Curated by Alex Mathew
2007
Emerging India, Royal College of Art, London
Presented by Art Alive Gallery and SA Fine Arts, London
Soft Spoken, Bombay Art Gallery, Mumbai
Curated by Bose Krishnamachari
Meandering Membranes, Shrine Empire Gallery, Kolkata
2006
Kashi KAVA 2, Kashi Art Gallery, Cochin
2003
A Walk of Art, Daira Art Gallery, Hyderabad
J. N. T. U. College of Fine Arts Exhibition
Telugu University Annual Exhibition
Awards
2006
Kashi Award for Visual Arts
2006
Gold Medal, University of Hyderabad
2004
Merit Scholarship, University of Hyderabad
2000
J. N. T. U. College of Fine Arts Merit Scholarship
Grants and Fellowships
UK Visiting Fellowship, Nehru Trust for the Indian Collections, Victoria and Albert Museum (2010-11)
Visiting Fellowship at the Kunsthistorisches Institut, Florence (September 2008)
Junior Research Fellowship, University Grants Commission, New Delhi (2007-09)
Seminars
2009
Visual Cultures of British India, Graduate Student Summer Seminar, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, USA
EXHIBITIONS

The Chair In The Cloud
October 22 – November 27, 2010