Property from an Important Indian Collection

Arpita Singh

Fruit Orchard

Auction Closed

October 26, 03:08 PM GMT


120,000 - 140,000 GBP

Lot Details


Property from an Important Indian Collection

Arpita Singh

b. 1937

Fruit Orchard

Oil on canvas

Signed and dated 'ARPITA SINGH / 2017' lower right

152.7 x 91.7 cm. (60 ⅛ x 36 ⅛ in.)

Painted in 2017

Please note this work is signed and dated 'ARPITA SINGH / 2017' lower right
Acquired directly from the artist

Arpita Singh is one of India’s most established mid-generation post-Independence artists following the Modernist Progressives. Upon first impression Arpita’s work may seem whimsical, however, her canvases are embedded with deep meanings. Her signature vibrant colours of bright blues, lush green and pops of red and pink, map out her birds-eye composition in Fruit Orchard. The artist combines textures and words in a lyrical yet profound way.  

The promise, ‘I WILL TELL YOU SOMETHING EVERYDAY’ hangs alongside labels, pathways, bodies of water and a grid that tightly restrains the scene set within. Known for its picture perfect vistas of rivers and streams crisscrossing lush valleys laden with fruit orchards, Kashmir has witnessed unceasing strife for the past few decades. Arpita deftly weaves elements of that narrative within this seemingly idyllic scene. A black-clad figure lies spread-eagled on a blossoming candy floss pink flowerbed in the center of the composition, a reminder of the stark contrast between the beauty of the land and the reality of lives caught in the conflict. Elsewhere within the blooming orchard, signs warning of ‘broken steps,’ lost trails,’ and ‘rotting bridges’ serve as subtle reminders of dissolved prospects and promises. Yet, through it all, the Jhelum, the lifeblood of the people of Kashmir, flows its course and the cycle of life carries on.

The patchwork-like patterning and border are influenced by the artist's knowledge and interest in textiles:

“I don’t like handling completely flat surfaces, so I prefer textural work. It also helps make the forms more visible. While working at Weavers’ Service, I was exposed to designing in different parts of India. I realised the relationship between landscape, design and colour. For instance, in Rajasthan, bright colours work best against the yellow desert. In Kashmiri designs, the white line in the middle represents the rivers that flow through the state.”

('My Subconscious Is Always at Work', The Indian Express, 11 April 2021,

Through her art, Arpita creates contoured maps that narrate personal experiences combined with social commentary, drawing inspiration from her surroundings and everyday objects. Her paintings, replete with these symbols, motifs and references, are a testament to her unparalleled ability to narrate layered stories that are universal in their appeal.