Mumbai, Gallery Chemould, Native Women of South India - Manners and Customs, 2004
Kolkata, Seagull Arts and Media Centre, Native Women of South India - Manners and Customs, 2004
Delhi, Nature Morte, Native Women of South India - Manners and Customs, 19 Feb - 12 March 2005
New York, Bose Pacia Gallery, Native Women of South India - Manners and Customs, 10 November - 23 December 2006
Helsinki, Helsinki City Art Museum, India Express - Sacred and Popular, 2 March - 23 July 2006
Berlin, DaimlerChrysler Contemporary, Private/Corporate IV: Works from the Lekha and Anupam Poddar, New Delhi, and DaimlerChrysler Collections, 19 January - 20 May 2007
Tokyo, Mori Art Museum, Chalo! India: A New Era in Indian Art, 22 November 2008 - 15 March 2009
Klosterneuburg, Essl Museum, Chalo! India: A New Era in Indian Art, 2 September - 1 November 2009
Sambrani, C., Edge of Desire: Recent Art in India, Asia Society & Art Gallery of Western Australia, London, 2005, p. 22 and p. 71 illus.
India Express: Sacred and Popular, Helsinki City Art Museum, Helsinki, 2006, pp. 62 - 63
Dalmia, Y. and Hashmi, S., Memory, Metaphor, Mutations: Contemporary Art of India and Pakistan, Oxford, 2007, p. 170 illus.
Private/Corporate IV: Works from the Lekha and Anupam Poddar, New Delhi, and DaimlerChrysler Collections: A Dialogue, DaimlerChrysler Contemporary, Berlin, 2007, p. 51 illus.
Reilly, M. and Nochlin, L., eds., Global Feminisms: New Directions in Contemporary Art, Brooklyn Museum, New York, 2007, p. 78 and pp. 84 - 85 illus.
Oberhollenzer, G. and Szoke, A., eds., Chalo India: A New Era of Indian Art, Essl Museum, London, 2009, pp. 145 - 147, illustrated on cover
The stylisation of these works recall certain Indian clichés; studio photos where families would traditionally go to have their portraits taken, cinematic imagery and the kitsch depictions of Hindu goddesses. Known to be a country with a large variety of sub-cultures, Pushpamala endeavours to examine this diverse range of women from varying social classes using South Indian art history, mythology and popular culture as her sources.
Yogini is based on a 16th century Deccani manuscript, made famous by its placement on the cover of Stuart Cary Welch’s seminal book titled India: Art and Culture 1300-1900. The miniature illustrates a female ascetic. Lady in Moonlight which depicts an Indian woman in a romantic setting and Lakshmi, which is a traditional depiction of the Hindu Goddess, are re-interpretations of two famed paintings by the Indian master Raja Ravi Varma (1848 - 1906). Often turned into oleographs and mass produced for a wide audience, these works infiltrated the daily lives of the people and is firmly rooted in traditional culture. Furthermore, the backdrops of these staged photographs were painted by billboard painters, who were instrumental in bringing such images of women to the masses of people in India. Often overtly contrived and sarcastic, these images are examining and playing with the notion of femininity and the feminine ideal.
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