Specialists Speak: Women Art Dealers on Feminist Artists

Article for invaluable.com to mark International Women’s Day, as part of a spotlight on female artists whose work addresses issues of feminism.
by Georgina Bexon
South Asian Modern + Contemporary Art
published 3 Jul, 2017
Mithu Sen, “In House Adoption 22,” 2011. Mixed media on Epson archival. Credit: Nature Morte.

Born in West Bengal and now living and working in New Delhi, for more than two decades Mithu Sen has been at the forefront of a generation of contemporary female artists questioning and negotiating feminist issues in South Asia. Sen’s work moves with ease, and spontaneously, between genres – drawing, painting, sculpture, collage, performance, installation, video, (not to mention that she is also a poet) and it is our loss that her name is not better known in the West. She enjoys wide visibility in India, and also has a growing international profile with solo exhibitions and residencies in London, Berlin, Vienna, New York, Los Angeles, Singapore and Tokyo.

Sen’s mode of challenging assumed female roles and subverting cliched gender positions never stands still: she constantly rethinks and remodels both her ideas and media. From an early show in Mumbai [called] ‘I Hate Pink,’ a statement on rigid societal conventions, to ‘Twilight Zone’ in New Delhi, a whole room used as a canvas, floor to ceiling, to narrate a real-life story of sexual violence, Sen never fails to impact the viewer, whether in reflection or revulsion or something in between.

In more recent output, Sen punctuates her work with a wry humor and observes, ‘I believe that the best way to be a feminist is to ignore the divisions and approach issues from a human perspective.’