Skip to main content
Auctions Descriptions
  • Text
Lot 57
Arpana Caur | Mahakaal, 2003

Date of Birth: 1954-Present

Medium: Oil on canvas

Size: 69 x 47.5 inches, 175 x 120.5 cms

Signed by: Signed and dated ‘Arpana Caur 2003’ on lower right. Artist signature and title on verso

Provenance: Collection of a reputed art gallery, New Delhi.

Estimate: ₹ 8,00,000 - ₹ 10,00,000


Arpana Caur (b. 1954)

Arpana Caur was born in 1954 at New Delhi, India. She spent her college years studying literature, a self-taught artist her works exhibit a feminist perspective with portraits of women, with the contemporary urban context. Though, there is no overt emphasis on sexuality, as generally understood typically of the female artist. Another area which she captured very critically was the political violence which has gone down in history, such as the Partition of India, 1984 massacre of the Sikhs, and Hiroshima.

Apparently her artworks were greatly influenced by the miniature & folk art forms. The use of watercolour, gauche, and sculpture – layered with motifs, stories, folklores, and myths were used as references, inspired by the Pahari miniatures. Caur is one of the very first contemporary artists to have collaborated with traditional folk artists. Her artistic perspective has been deeply influenced by Punjabi literature and writers such as Amrita Pritam, Shiv Batalvi, and Krishna Sobti were known to be regular visitors to her house. While the literature of Punjab contributed to the undertones of melancholy and pathos prevalent in her works, themes like Nature, Time, Spirituality, Life & Death played a vital role in the artist’s expressions on her canvases.

Interestingly she bagged the name ‘Kainchi’ because of the use of the ‘scissors’ as a motif in several of her works. With many awards to her contributions towards art, today her paintings support several projects for the underprivileged, including free vocational training in the Academy of Fine Arts and Literature of which she, with her mother, the renowned writer Ajeet Caur. The artist lives and works in New Delhi.