Rekha Rodwittiya

Born in Bangalore in 1958, Rekha Rodwittiya completed her graduation from The Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S. University, Baroda in 1981. She then received the Inlaks scholarship for her M.A. in Painting from Royal College of Art, London in 1984. In 1988-89 she was invited as guest artist to the Konsthogskolan, Stockholm and was also invited to deliver series of lectures on Indian Art at the Ecole des Beaux Arts Grenoble and Castello de Rivoli, Torino in 1991. She did a short stint at the Fullam Institute on Film and Video, and was conferred the Staff Fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation Asian Cultural Council to work in the U.S. in 1990.

Rekha Rodwittiya's work describes complex issues of life and living, of alienation and belonging, of discrimination and acceptance, of accord and discord. It is of paramount importance to this sensitive artist to react pragmatically to socio-political attitudes that surround her. Her work reflects her sensitivity towards socio-political attitudes along with the reflections from her past.

Rodwittiya has always been concerned with the representation of the female figure in her quest to find the vocabulary to represent women without objectifying them, without allowing the viewer to play the role of voyeur. Rodwittiya represents large clothed Gauginesque women as the archetypal figure in their daily work rituals, dwarfing their tools and objects that surround them, in a celebration of the female protagonist.

Female figures in her work from the 1980s were often tortured and broken, strewn about in a hostile space, sometimes that of the convoluted, claustrophobic interior. Through the late 1980s and into the early 1990s, her paintings often had the appearance of a shadow play populated by their human and animal protagonists in compositions that aggressively pitched figures out of the picture plane, almost demanding participation from the audience. A narrative subtext with concealed references almost always underlies these works.

Recent years have seen Rodwittiya exploring archetypal figuration of the female form in a celebratory mode. The disappearance of the male figure from her work is not so much a measure of exclusion as it is a positive assertion monumentalized figure of the female protagonist. Very often, this monumental figure is presented within a domestic, intimate situation, surrounded by objects that the artist uses for their metaphoric potential. Bathed in radiant red, these recent works at other times present the protagonist as historical witness, as an entity that participates in, observes and thus comments on situations in the contemporary environment.

The paintings, in bright and bold colors, continue to have Rodwittiya's language in the form of feminine figures and decorative but, symbolic tapestry. Giving an insight into her usage of bright and bold colors, she states that the colors bring about an optical association that further forges you into an association with my work." Her basic philosophy is to visualize beauty even in the most trivial of things, and the same holds true for art; she believes you need to cultivate that fundamental appreciation within you.

Rekha Rodwittiya has represented India in several prestigious art shows internationally apart from a series of workshops and lectures on Indian art. She has held solo exhibitions at Cymroza Art Gallery, Mumbai, Art Heritage, New Delhi, Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Chennai, Seagull Foundation for Arts, Kolkata, the Gallery 678, New York. She has also participated in the 2nd Biennale, Havana and in "Six Young Contemporaries" in Geneva.

Among her other select exhibitions are 'Contemporary Indian Art from the Herwitz Collection', Grey Art Gallery, New York (1985), VI International Triennale, New Delhi (1986), 'Dialogues of Peace', 50th Anniversary of U.N. Worked on site on a painted room 'Songs from the Blood of the Weary' (1995), 'Evocations', solo exhibition at Ludovica Barberri Gallery, Venice (1998), and a Project in Brazil with Labrotoria, curated by Phillipe Mullion (1998). She was one of the participating artists at a major exhibition of Indian contemporary art in Oslo's Henie-Onstad Art Centre as part of the celebrations of 50 years of Indo-Norwegian bilateral relations.

Her works are in various private and public collections in India, U.K., U.S.A., Brazil, Italy, West Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and the Netherlands.

Rekha Rodwittiya currently lives and works in Baroda.

Artwork for Sale

Relocating the Holy Trinity
by Rekha Rodwittiya

Size:

66 X 41 inches

Untitled - late 1980's
by Rekha Rodwittiya

Size:

72 X 40 inches

Untitled, 1988/89
by Rekha Rodwittiya

Size:

61 X 57 inches