Maya Burman was trained as an architect at the École Nationale d’Architecture Paris-Villemin and the École Nationale d’Architecture Paris-Belleville during the 1990s. She spent a gap year at the Centre for Built Environment, Kolkata, working on a survey of the historic North Kolkata residential quarter, associated with the Bengal Renaissance. Apart from painting and drawing, Maya’s practice embraces diverse media and projects, including mural commissions, posters, and illustrations for books such as Fatik et le Jongleur de Calcutta, the French translation of Satyajit Ray’s novel, Phatik Chand.

Maya Burman’s watercolours and pen-and-ink works are peopled by pneumatic figures, usually depicted in moments of play, festivity or ceremonial, expressive of an abundant joie de vivre or what, in the Indic tradition, would be celebrated as lila, the cosmic spirit of play and creativity. The dancer, a key protagonist in Burman’s art, draws on diverse genealogies, among them Degas’ ballerinas and the folk and classical dancers of eastern India. This is consonant with Burman’s transcultural background: her mother is the French artist Maïté Delteil; her father is the Indian artist Sakti Burman, long resident in France. The artist’s immersion in the European and Indic civilizations manifests itself, as does her lifelong exposure to the history of art, through the details of her work. Maya Burman’s technique is a slow step-by-step process. She makes a pencil sketch first, and then applies the layer of watercolors and finishes the outlines and detail in black ink with a pen. The paintings are a meeting ground of two cultures – Indian as well as French. The details of Indian miniature painting and European Middle Age architecture merge in her art, and literature and poetry are also very much present. Maya’s characters live in mythology and metaphor. Her figures float through fields, their bodies curving with the shapes of the landscape. Maya creates a dreamlike fairyland in her paintings. Her former training in architecture influences her work, visible in the scenes set within arches, columns and porches. Burman’s detailed paintings have a tapestry like effect where everything is subordinate to floral, decorative patterning, reminiscent of the French art nouveau tradition. Maya Burman has held several solo exhibitions with Art Musings, including Rhapsody, 2014; A Dreamer’s Labyrinth, 2010; and Once Upon a Time, 2007 and well as The Flower & the Bulb, 2016, where she featured her works alongside her mother, artist Maïté Delteil. Group Exhibitions with Art Musings include India Art Fair; 2023, ’22, ’13, ’12, ’11; Fête Champêtre, 2021; Pilgrims in Space, Time, Identity, 2019; The 20th, 2019; Confluence Monsoon Show, 2018; BLACK /white, 2017. The artist lives and works in France.