Art Detail | Ilham Gallery

Though Mithu Sen’s drawings feature regularly in her repertoire, they vary greatly in theme and method of production. Depending on the context, they can be enjoyed as objects in themselves or better understood as part of an elaborate performance. This particular series features parts of the human body in uncomfortable relationships with other life forms. The artist often attempts to transcend the cultural baggage that comes with formal, written language; she speaks of the “Mithu Experience”, where viewers are captured by elements occurring in the work, and despite not fully understanding their meaning, are tempted to peer further, drawing themselves deeper into the purely visceral.

Mixed media on paper
42 x 29 cm
Credit Line:
Collection of ILHAM Foundation
© Mithu Sen
About Mithu Sen

Born in 1971 in West Bengal, Sen lives and works in New Delhi. She obtained her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in painting from Kala Bhavan at Santiniketan before completing a postgraduate programme at the Glasgow School of Art in the United Kingdom. An enthusiastic traveller, many of her works have evolved from her travels and experiences. Her installation and painting contrast scale, subject and even genre, and she often works spontaneously switching between both forms. Characteristic of her work are her peculiar collection of motifs, where she playfully subverts commonly held beliefs about femininity and sexuality. Juxtaposing the intricate with the large, conflating animals, humans and inanimate objects, and combining drawing, painting and collage, Sen’s works provoke with humour as well as compel serious consideration from her audiences. Her provocative multi-media works earned her India’s inaugural Skoda Prize in 2010.