the-south-asian.com April 2003
Page 2 of 2
ANJOLIE’S NEW COLLECTION OF GLASS ART
Despite being a wife and a mother Anjolie has crossed her paths and fulfilled her professional and personal obligations. She reveals, " I have to be driven to do something. I must admit, that I have been really driven to paint, in fact it is the only thing that I am driven to do."
Driven, she certainly has been. After a brief spell at the J.J. School of Art in Mumbai, she did a degree in English literature. She held her first solo exhibition when she was just 18. " Work metamorphoses slowly. There are no quantum jumps as such. No sudden successes just small milestones at a time," says Anjolie whose works were exhibited at the fifty years celebration of Indian art at the National Gallery of Modern Art [NGMA].
Anjolie has always believed in keeping in focus. " I remember that first exhibition very fondly. But I also realise that when one is young, one is very arrogant. I had put up all of my 53 paintings in that exhibition. Today I wouldn't dream of putting up more than 20 pieces, and I'd be very selective." Despite that, her exhibition was immensely popular.
Born in 1940, Anjolie won a French Government scholarship in 1961 to study at the Ecole Nationale Superieur Des Beaux Arts in Paris. Before returning home, she travelled extensively in Europe and West Asia, studying Romanesque and Byzantine art. Due to her husband's career in the navy, she has also travelled extensively with him.
In the course of her career she has held over 40 solo shows, culminating in a retrospective exhibition, in 1988. She has also participated in several international group shows too. A well-known muralist, she has represented India at the Biennials of Algiers and San Paolo.
The intense artist reveals that when she is preparing for an exhibition, she can paint for up to 15 hours a day. A punishing schedule for even a person half her age. But for her, it is a part of her creative life. She has been invited by the British Council, the US State Department and the French Ministry of Culture to confer with leading artists in those countries. She is also a trustee of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts.
"All I can say is that an artist needs to have a vision. My vision is still evolving for the last 48 years since I started to paint. Other than that things have happened as happy accidents with me," says Anjolie. She narrates one such incident that resulted in her now famous Painted Objects Exhibition. Once an idea struck her but she had no canvas to paint on so she grabbed a wooden chair and did a sketch of actor Rajnikanth. The Chennai-based Apparao Galleries was so impressed by it that it commissioned more such works. The result was an exhibition of 45 exquisite objects.
Experimentation is a byword with Anjolie. Sometime back she mounted an exhibition titled Mutations in Mumbai and New York, which was a computerised representation of her work in the fifties, sixties and seventies decades.
" No artist should be fatalistic enough to get attached to his or her work. At least I like to move on and expand my horizons. I draw inspiration from a great artist like Picasso who did memorable work in diverse fields of art. I always ask young artists to evolve their own creativity, not to be in a hurry of achieving success and be persistent."
She feels the younger artists are in a great hurry. They don't wait to define a medium of their own or find a style for themselves. " Youngsters who have just come out of college are already asking for and charging exorbitant sums for their work. I don't think any of us ever thought of money until it really started to happen to us despite ourselves."
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