Represent “Devi” through folk and tribal art

New Delhi

The power and beauty of the female life force has captured the imagination of artists forever in various traditions of Indian folk and tribal art. And now, focusing on the depiction of women as Devi or goddesses in Indian art, an ongoing exhibition in the capital draws on the regional painting traditions of Kalighat, Madhubani, Mata ni Pachedi, Pichwai and the folk art paintings from Assam, Bengal and Odisha. to present a captivating curation on the common theme of “Devi”.

Viewers can see goddesses and women depicted on a roll of Bengal Pattachitra by artist Montu Chittrakar.

The exhibition features around 70 works from Siddhartha Tagore’s 6,000-piece collection, curated by Seema Bhalla. Bhalla says, “I have walked through works from various regions, mediums and time periods for this exhibition, and I realized that the power of the goddess and nature as a birth force was felt even by the people of the earliest. civilizations. Different art forms started to create a visual vocabulary, as I browsed the collection.

The curator adds that the goddess theme has been popular in Hindi cinema, and viewers often mistaken the actors for a true deity and worshiped them with the same emotions and feelings they experienced in temples. The exhibit includes some of the “welcome cards” from films based on goddesses.

Visitors can also find striking shadow puppets and wood carvings from Karnataka at the exhibit, depicting the village goddess worshiped locally.

Tagore, gallery owner and collector, declares: “I have had this collection for 25-30 years. I used to travel at that time and acquire works directly from the artisans who made them. The art of Bengal Patachitra, for example, mainly depicts tales from the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, and the goddesses Manasa and Durga. Regarding ‘Devi’, there are also movie lobby cards on the show, which were cards put in the lobbies before entering the main cinema.

Catch it live

What: Devi

Where: India International Center, 40, Max Mueller Marg

Until: December 29

Schedule: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Closest metro station: JLN Stadium on the Violet line

Author’s tweets @siddhijainn

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Christopher S. Washington