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Arpita Singh (Born as Arpita Dutta) is an Indian artist. Arpita Singh was born in 1937 at Baranagar (a place in Kolkata in the state of West Bengal),India. She is figurative artist and a modernist. Her canvases have both a storyline and a carnival of images arranged in a curiously subversive manner. Her artistic approach can be described as an expedition without destination. Her work reflects her background. She brings her inner vision of emotions to the art inspired by her own background and what she sees around the society which mainly affects women. Her works also include traditional Indian art forms and aesthetics, like miniaturist painting and different forms of folk art, employing them in her work regularly.
In 1946, Arpita left Kolkata with her mother and brother when the country was living in crisis. In 1962, Arpita Dutta married to fellow artist Paramjit Singh and then she became Arpita Singh. They have a daughter, the artist Anjum Singh. Currently she lives in Nizamuddin East, New Delhi.
Arpita Singh has significant contributions through a different social and political awareness. She began her professional career in the 1960s. She was a founder member of the artists' group 'The Unknown', with other members of the alumni of the department of Fine Arts of Delhi Polytechnic in the 1960s. The first group show of the Unknown was held at IENS Building in 1962.
She attended the School of Art, Delhi Polytechnic in New Delhi from 1954-59 after which she took up job in New Delhi and Kolkata at the Weavers Service Centre. After graduation she worked for the Indian Government's Cottage Industries Restoration Program. While she worked in the program she met traditional artists and weavers in India. This is said to have impacted her artwork. In the 1970s her paintings were mainly black and white abstracts. Her works have been shown nationally and internationally as well. Her first exhibition was held at Kunika Chemould Gallery, organised by Roshan Alkazi, New Delhi in 1972 after which she extensively showed her work at Royal Academy of Arts at London(1982), the Centre Georges Pompiduo, Paris(1986), show in Geneva(1987) and at the Art gallery of New South Wales Sydney(1993).
She has also Participated in the 3rd and 4th Trienniale of New Delhi and at the Havana Bienniale in 1987 and the Indo-Greek Cultural Exhibition, in Greece, 1984. But in the 1980s she started to paint Bengali folk paintings. In these paintings often have women as the subjects. Many of her paintings of women show them doing daily work and simple routines in their lives. She has had exhibits all over the world both individual and group exhibits. She has also won a number of awards for her work.
She has painted a series of paintings on the subject "Women with a Girl Child" in the last decade of 20th century.
More recently, her works have been exhibited at ‘Modern and Contemporary Indian Art’ at Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi, 2006, 'Progressive to Altermodern: 62 Years of Indian Modern Art' at Grosvenor Gallery, London, 2009; 'Kalpana: Figurative Art in India' presented by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) at Aicon Gallery, London, 2009; 'The Root of Everything' at Gallery Mementos, Bangalore, 2009. Her recent and select solo exhibitions include Work on Paper and Vadehra Art Gallery, 2016.
She has won several Awards throughout her career, including:
- All India Drawing Exhibition, Chandigarh in 1981 and 1992
- Algeria Biennial, Algeria in 1987
- Kalidas Samman, Bhopal(1998–99))
- Parishad Samman, Sahitya Kala Parishad, New Delhi in 1991
- Padma Bhushan in 2011
- Contemporary Women Artists. St.James Press, 1999.
- Collection Highlights. Kiran Nadar Museum of Art. ISBN 978-81-928037-6-0.
- "Arpita Singh". Vadehra Art Gallery. Retrieved 2018-03-03.
- "The Personal Space of Woman: Paintings of Arpita Singh" (PDF).
- Milford-Lutzker, Mary-Ann, "Intersections: Urban and Village Art in India", jstor.org; accessed 6 February 2018.
- Collection Highlights. Kiran Nadar Museum of Art.
- "Arpita Singh". Talwar Gallery. Retrieved 2018-03-30.
- Arpita Singh profile, contemporaryindianart.com; accessed 6 February 2018.
- "Arpita Singh".