Mumbai/IBNS: Known as Kashi, Benares and Varanasi, this city on the Ganges is a timeless attraction. Now enjoy the city and its aura through the works of artist Mamta Malhotra in an exhibition titled “Kashi Yatra”, which will be held from November 15 to 21 at the Jehangir Art Gallery in Mumbai.
Author Mark Twain once said, “Benaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and seems twice as old as all of them put together.
On the one hand, it is considered the spiritual heart of India, with preceptors making this city their home or place of work on several occasions, including Ved Vyas, Buddha, Ramanand, Tulsidas, Kabir, Ravi Das, Guru Tegh Bahadur, Guru Govind Singh and Guru. Nanak, to name a few.
On the other hand, it is the city that is the seat of Indian culture and performing arts.
Throughout the ages, the city has been interpreted in various ways, volumes have been written about it, it has been a source of various cultural expressions, from painting to cinema.
Malhotra’s works capture how Kashi maintains the subtle balance between her natural landscape, her physical being and her spiritual atmosphere.
As Professor Sanjeev Chandra of the University of Toronto puts it, “Every great city needs an artist to chronicle its wonders, to capture the spirit of a city, to reveal its hidden corners and familiar with its inhabitants. Mamta Malhotra is the best guide to Benaras one could wish for, as his paintings depict as never before the faces of the people in its streets, the soaring roofs of its ancient temples and the beauties of the Ganges ghats.
Born in Mumbai, Malhotra has lived and worked in Varanasi, Toronto and San Francisco. thus dividing her time between the cities of the old and the new world, she develops a unique perception of design.
“The juxtaposition and contrast of the urban fabric, a rich culture, a timeless way of life rooted in nature, inspired her to paint cityscapes that highlight the ephemeral beauty and fragility of Varanasi, while evoking the intense vitality of ‘an ancient and vibrant way of life’, explains the introductory note to his works.
According to Professor Chandra, “Each canvas is imbued with the vibrant colors and whirlwind of life that have drawn pilgrims to Benaras for millennia. The art of Mamta Malhotra gives us a glimpse into the soul of a city that has been sacred since mankind first walked on this earth.
About the artist
Born in Mumbai, Mamta Malhotra lived in Kashmir, Poona, Gangtok and Bhutan during her youth. Family summer vacations were always accompanied by oil paintings and easels and included painting the beautiful landscape with her father, an avid painter. She graduated with a degree in architecture from the Chandigarh College of Architecture, earning a silver medal. Then, in Delhi, she painted and learned sculpture with Rameshwar Broota, Shobha Broota and Pradip Saxena, at the Triveni Kala Sangam. She has lived and worked in Varanasi, Toronto and San Francisco; and has designed residences, art galleries, art residencies, boutiques, and numerous interior and landscape design projects.
Malhotra received a certificate of honor from the Royal Drawing Society of London. His works have been featured in a New York Times bestseller, the HarperCollins catalog and Architecture Week magazine. In India, her work has been featured in Inside Outside, Design Today, Society, Better Interiors, Femina, Spice Route, Navuthan, etc. She did a residency, painting at the Jingdezhen pottery workshop. His critically acclaimed works have been exhibited at the Visual Arts Gallery, a solo exhibition at the Habitat Center’s Open Palm Court Gallery, Triveni Kala Sangam Annual Exhibition, Art Laureate Gallery, Lado Sarai, Trump Tower , New Rochelle , USA, etc.