JAYASRI BURMAN

(1960, Kolkatta, India)

AvailableWorks|Biography|Past Exhibitions

 

Jayasri Burman did her art education at Kala Bhavana, Santiniketan (1977-1979), and the Government College of Art and Craft, Kolkata (1979-1980), followed by a year in Paris where she studied print-making. Despite this formal grounding in art, Burman refuses to be constrained by the conventional codes. She combines her academically trained image-making style with practices of collection and embellishment that have affinities with more modest, domestic forms of art-making. She gains artistic momentum by replenishing herself from such fountainheads of creativity as folklore and the cruelly undervalued women’s arts of India’s villages and small towns. One sees the influence of the rich cultural heritage of Bengal that is predominant in Jayasri Burman’s work. Fables and folk tales from her childhood creep into the narrative, which is full of myth and magic, rituals and festivals. 

Jayasri Burman has evolved, over a period of time, an iconography that is saturated in the aura of Nature’s nurturing, sustaining, maternal capacities. She invests these capacities in the archetypal figure of the Great Mother, manifested as the Devi, the guardian of waters both still and flowing, attended by animals symbolically associated with fertility and plenitude. Her paintings have an altar-like quality, and depict Nature as divinity. The imagery in her work has a dream-like and lyrical quality with a unique sensitivity which, although inspired by the Indian folk element, retains a quality of refreshing candor and reflective honesty, that is as original as it is endearing. She manages very successfully to weave the aesthetically engaging design element of the folk idiom into the intricate patterns of her canvas, without losing the natural charm and naiveté of her work, which is uniquely her own. She has had several solo shows, including Dhārā, 2023; Lila, 2014; Fables and Folklore, 2010; Sacred Feminine, 2006 and with Art Musings. She has participated in landmark exhibitions all over the world. Group Exhibitions include Visages, 2023; If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller, 2019; The 20th, 2019; The Confluence Monsoon Show, 2018; India Art Fair; 2013, ‘12, ‘11, ’09; X @Jehangir, 2008. Her works can be found in prominent museum and private collections including the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, and the Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi. The artist lives and works in New Delhi.