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Malavika Rajnarayan

The human figure is central to my painting as much as people are central to my life. I am enriched by human interaction and it feeds the ideas I deal with in my paintings. At another level, art is a space of contemplation, where I ponder over issues that demand deeper comprehension. More often than not, we encounter circumstances that make us feel unresponsive and are therefore compelled to seek clarity.

Linear drawing demands sharpness in my articulation, a keen observation and keeps my intellect nimble. The human figures I draw reflect this attempt for nimbleness and strength. My language and aesthetics are closely aligned to Indian and Asian cultural traditions, where the poignancy of ideas are conveyed through beauty, grace and poetry. Methodologies and conducive structures are very important for me. It does two things: One, it challenges me to push my ideas to achieve the maximum potential from limited contexts. Looking at this within social structures is relevant, as it trains us to work within systems- bureaucracies, patriarchies, institutions and so on. Secondly, repetition can become stagnating and I remain a little wary of that tendency. Patterning, on the other hand can imply growth and subtle change. A lot of Indian art and music relies on canons, modes and ragas with intricate rules, formulae and structures, but I find it fascinating that they have infinite possibilities for interpretation and continue to be tirelessly explored for centuries.

Regardless of the subject or narrative represented in the artwork, the preoccupation with evoking the ethereal and ephemeral spans across disciplines and philosophies. My narratives are fed by everyday experiences but removed from references, offering a multitude of meanings to be extracted by each viewer.


In Roads / Acrylic on canvas / 24 in x 42 in / 2014


Untitled / Acrylic on canvas / 42 in x 24 in / 2014


Untitled – 11 / Acrylic on canvas / 48 in x 48 in / 2011


Untitled – 13 / Acrylic on canvas / 60 in x 42 in / 2011


Untitled – 11 / Acrylic on canvas / 72 in x 24 in / 2011


Untitled – 9 / Acrylic on canvas / 48 in x 36 in / 2011


Under One Sky / Acrylic on canvas / 10 in x 8 in / 2010


Under One Sky / Acrylic on canvas / 12 in x 16 in / 2010


Under One Sky / Acrylic on canvas / 10 in x 12 in / 2010


Under One Sky / Acrylic on canvas / 10 in x 12 in / 2010

Malavika Rajnarayan was born in Hyderabad, India in 1982 and grew up in Bangalore completing her B.F.A in painting from the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath in 2003. She completed her post-graduation in painting from the Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S.University of Baroda in 2006 and has made Baroda her home ever since.

Her works have been exhibited in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Ahmedabad in India and at the 2007 Sosabeol Art Expo in South Korea. She was the recipient of the Nasreen Mohammedi scholarship for post-graduate study in 2005 and the Promising Young Artist award by the Fundacao Orient, Goa in 2003. Malavika has conducted workshops for children and has participated in several art camps. She has been an artist-in-residence at The Collective Studio Baroda, The Contemporary Artists Centre Troy New York and more recently at CAMAC Centre for Art in Marnay sur-Seine, France, which was supported by the K. K. Hebbar Art foundation and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations.

One Comment Post a comment

    Excellent clarity of thought, expression and execution.

    November 13, 2014

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