Born on the 8th of June 1958, Madhuri Bhaduri has been a successful artist for the past four decades, exhibiting her works since 1986 in all major cities in India and Abroad. She did her M.A in Arts and Painting from S.N.D.T women’s University, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.
Madhuri’s art works have gradually veered from the figurative to the abstractionist mode as her inner being matured so did the way she expressed her thought process and feeling on canvas. Each new series exploring the various planes of emotional experiences in a dialogue of brush and paint that is warm, vivid, sensual and completely resounding with the message of her inner spirit where there is spontaneity, hope, joy and fulfilment. In 2002 this multi dimensional artist took to sculpting and creating “assemblages” using metal scraps, in an endeavour to understand and realize more completely what form and shape are all about, savouring the possibilities of the expression as sculpture.
Madhuri Bhaduri’s art works have featured in thirty six solo shows and more than 70 group shows in India and abroad. She has received several prestigious awards during her art journey including the latest being felicitated by the Women’s Economic Forum (WEF 2016) as an Iconic Leader in the field of Art, Design and Entrepreneurship and the Dr. Sarojini Naidu National award for women in June 2016. She recently received the achiever’s Award in the field of Art by Savvy Magna Publications. The Artist actively participates in many National workshops and is constantly re-inventing herself by opening herself to different vistas. The latest being her summer study course in Finance and Art at the Sotheby’s Institute of Art. Her paintings are in the collections of many institutions and private collectors such as Jamshed Bhaba, Aditya Birla, Sadruddin Daya, Dilip Piramal, Tata Group of Companies , The Leela Hotel, Kirloskar Group, Bajaj Auto, Bharat Forge & Kalyani Industries and Kirloskar Cummins to just name a few.
Tell us about yourself, your background and what you do currently
I am Madhuri Bhaduri , a well-known Indian contemporary artist. I am based in Pune. My works are best described as a cocktail of colours, impressions and abstract art. My distinct style has evolved over a long and substantial artistic career spanning four decades, that kick started with my first solo exhibition in 1986. My exhibitions have travelled across all the major cities in India and abroad in US, UK, Singapore and Dubai. The experiences of having travelled and lived in many places has helped me to cultivate a unique and expressive language of symbolism that sets my paintings apart from my contemporaries.
Like many I did not start out as an artist. Being trained in Badminton since my childhood, along with my father I too cherished a love for the sport and even went so far as to win three national level titles. Apace with Badminton, I pursued a degree in Economics, studied French and took a course in Hotel Management. But it was much later after I completed my Masters of Art in Painting from SNDT, Mumbai, that I took up painting as a career. I was exceptionally good in drawing and painting as a child, and eventually my love for art overpowered my other passion for sports.
Now, after almost forty years as a practicing artist I have slowly carved out my own path and created a style of painting that is uniquely my own. I have experimented with a few mediums like water colour, charcoal and acrylic finally settling on oil painting as my most preferred medium.
In the formative stages of my artistic journey, I dabbled in figurative art and developed a stylized interpretation of the genre, before I let go of it entirely. I went on to paint landscapes and cityscapes that had an impressionistic feel to them. These works are visually engaging due to their bold colour palette and imaginative compositions. Over the years, I have gone beyond the constraints of genre to inculcate a style of painting that seems to transcend definition. In the absence of narrative, a calm serenity radiates from my works allowing the viewers to let their minds travel across unending colourful skies, the rippling surface of a pond, catch the shimmering rays of sunlight filtering through trees or simply walk down an empty street.
Tell us about any current projects or initiatives you wish to promote
In 2002, I had this very inviting thirty-foot-tall wall which was meant for a sculpture at my newly bought studio. A fellow artist late Vijay Shinde offered to execute a scrap metal sculpture for it. While assisting in the making of this immense art work on this wall, I got interested in this medium and continued to use it for my creative expression in figuration. In years to come I toyed with scrap metal expressions in sculptures of clowns, portraits, forms of Ganesha, mother and child being some of the subjects. I used different unusually challenging elements like fiber, clay, glass, wood, cement, plaster of paris, used paint tubes and a lot of discarded material from my personal collection of jewellery, perfume bottles, beads, etc. The feeling of giving life to or reincarnating old, unused, dead, lifeless objects and creating new life in an art form which will live forever, is an overwhelming one. This process also lead me to experiment using them in some of the sculptures, tables, chairs, lights, installations, murals which was an exciting activity. To be able to create art in the world around you allows an artist to feel comfortable in his environment. Lately, I am working on fiber glass sculptures and can’t wait to have them all displayed soon for my upcoming show!
What has been your biggest challenge in achieving your success?
Shekhar, my husband tragically passed away in 2007, leaving a void in my life. “Through all the ups and downs, I realized I just needed to take life as it came. Art gave me moments of introspection so necessary to understand life. It was-and remains- a steady companion in life’s journey. It buffers my journey and keeps me centred. Some days are fulfilling and others are not, yet good days emerge from the struggle of bad days. Life is simple when you are young, and becomes complex as you grow up. Earlier, my work depended on the outside environment. But later, my work started drawing from my inner self. My abstracts emerge from the deep recesses of myself trying to negotiate and understand those complexities”. I am and always have been a very emotionally charged person and art became the best way of expressing it.
My works were simple and inspired by direct visions of nature. Further in my life, I realized that my emotional struggles were very deep and complex due to my husband’s suffering from an auto immune disease. The need to support my family and bring up a small child singularly through my chosen profession in the field of art, was challenging but it also made me realize that suffering brings out the best in an artist, as it pushes you to go beyond your limits. Art, which was my profession became a great source of emotional satisfaction and solace. These emotional states enabled me to push my capacities of artistic expression, as it was the only form of relief I had.
What has been your greatest achievement personally?
Living life entirely on my own, emotionally and financially…with keeping your reputation intact and having your ethics and middle class values that we have all been brought up with and the strong sense of spiritual beliefs steered my way through all the obstacles..to create a career in art where I had no mentor to guide and support or a family member who had any inclination in the field of Art…it was purely my passion that drove me to where I am today. Working hard in the correct direction in a focused way which came from my earlier days of being a sports person.
If you weren’t doing what you do now, what would you be doing?
Anything related to do with the aesthetics of designing, styling and creating…the design element of fashion, architect, interiors have always been my area of interest..
Who has been your biggest inspiration?
In life, my mother who was the strongest lady, taught me how to be grounded and yet be focussed towards my achievements and always put the right sense of values and ethics in our bringing up.
My inspiration when I started my first experiments in art were the Impressionist painters, such as Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Klee. I have always been extremely absorbed and influenced by the way these masters handled nature. The range of colours, shades and its effects with different light in the changing moods of landscape were extremely fascinating and drew me closer to my studies in nature. What initially started as floral expressions, fields and fauna, trees and foliage, mountains and valleys, gardens, tree tops became the subjects of my work. As I evolved as an artist, my subject remained the same, the choice of my colour palette remained the same but what changed was the way in which matured in the handling of the same subjects in multitudinous ways.
What does the future hold for you?
I personally feel there is a lot for me to experiment with, as I have this constant urge for creativity and as long as the spirit doesn’t die and I keep up with my motivated soul, I hope to reinvent my mind in the most promising way to keep up with my own expectations.