Shrimanti Saha | Reveries in the Atelier: D-53 Defence Colony, New Delhi

15 March - 14 April 2023

Shrimanti Saha | Reveries in the Atelier
15 March - 14 April 2023
D-53 Defence Colony, New Delhi

Vadehra Art Gallery is pleased to present a much-awaited solo exhibition by Baroda-based emerging artist Shrimanti Saha. Featuring a body of works on canvas and paper as well as video animations, Reveries in the Atelier will open on 15 March at our contemporary gallery space and continue until 14 April 2023.

Shrimanti Saha’s practice reveals a highly cognitive and deeply perceptual understanding of the world at large, which she approaches through historical and contemporary sources and systems of knowledge – from news reports, Indian miniatures, science fiction, literary criticism, cinema, European art history, comic books, architecture and natural almanacs, among others. Her multi-narrative works are plotted in assemblage and explore esoteric themes surrounding the Anthropocentric human condition, leaning into visual and intellectual contradictions to dissolve subjective divisions of time as well as play with juxtapositions between vibrancy and rupture, and pedagogy and humour. Using her imagination to enter, interpret and edit a plethora of these impressions and references, Saha maps alternative histories or futures in the viewing frame of the present effectively offering up bold and dynamic dreamscapes, where the possibilities of truth for the questions that matter are endless – particularly around the global ecological crises, human interventions in knowledge and political maneuvers of control. Saha’s magical realism supports a world built on organic creatures, visceral characters and fragmented structures, yielding surrealist manifestations in imagery much of which repeats in her narratives as poetic vocabulary. Much of her ruminations on form come from natural history books and imperial archives that detail the flora and fauna of colonized nations, as well as quotations from European art history, culturalized imagery and media interventions.

Saha’s long-awaited solo exhibition
Reveries in the Atelier endears the studio as a space for performance rooted in both creativity and chaos. As we’re invited to read her works as one might a novel or poem, the act of viewing becomes subsumed in camouflage as much as reveal, leaving us with open-ended interpretations that intimate a secret beginning in the artist’s subjectivity. The ingenious confluence of Saha’s posterity and futurism is explored through objectivity in her works on paper, autobiography in her oils and experiment in her animations – a cohesive body of work being presented together for the first time.

Paintings like
The Bear Hunt, The Dance Party, Fire in the Museum, Monument Formation and City of Djinns present stirred characters implementing haphazard gestures surrounding issues of identity, control, gender, representation and ecology in a kind of theatrical diorama. Her forays into oil consider traditions of Euro-centric painting in India alongside the relevant materiality of oil as a medium, and adopt a more personal voice; in works like Red Studio, Nightmare and Studio Visit, an existential figure invokes the perplexities of the creative process ­that involve companion instincts to articulate and to silence. Finally, Saha presents a series of analogue, hand-drawn animations like The Secret Matriarchy, Bulldozer Babu and Clash of Perspectives – recreating an alternative origin story of the woman, addressing inequalities in feudal systems and commenting on the supposed westernization of India – that level-up on comedy and irrationality through sound and moving image in familiar subjects that she otherwise deals with more clinically in her painting.


Born in 1987 in West Bengal, Shrimanti Saha completed a Bachelor’s and Master’s of Visual Arts in Painting from the Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda, in 2009 and 2011 respectively. Saha has participated in group exhibitions at Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi (2021, 2016–19); Sunaparanta Center for the Arts, Goa (2021); the Serendipity Arts Festival, Goa (2016); Mumbai Art Room, Mumbai (2015); Alliance Française, New Delhi (2015); Nature Morte, Gurgaon (2014); Gallerie 88, Kolkata (2014); Art City Project at StudioX, Mumbai (2012); and Ashwita Gallery, Chennai (2011), among others. Saha was the artist-in-residence at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Nebraska, USA, in 2022. She also received the Amol Vadehra Art Grant by the Foundation of Indian Contemporary Art (FICA) in 2019 and the Inlaks Fine Arts Award in 2015. She has completed residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, USA (2019); OMI International Arts Center, New York (2018); Taj Residency and SKE Project, Bangalore (2015); and Kalakriti, Hyderabad (2015). In 2021, the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi, commissioned a painting by the artist for its permanent collection. Her work is also included in the Francis J. Greenburger Collection, New York, USA and the Motiwani Jadeja Foundation Collection, California, USA, in addition to important private collections around the world. The artist lives and works in Baroda, India.