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India Today - - CONTENTS - BY JAHNAVI CHAKRAVART­Y

A sculp­tor gives shape to not just ma­te­rial, but also to ideas that are imag­i­na­tive, bold and take one out of their com­fort zone. Mrinalini Mukher­jee was known for her fear­less in­ves­ti­ga­tion of ma­te­ri­als and her tech­ni­cal pro­fi­ciency when it came to us­ing or­ganic ma­te­rial and metal; this made her one of India’s most em­i­nent sculp­tors. A ret­ro­spec­tive at the Met Breuer, ti­tled Phe­nom­e­nal Na­ture: Mrinalini Mukher­jee, will ex­plore the artist’s ground-break­ing body of work till Septem­ber 29. A sculp­tor who worked in­tu­itively, Mukher­jee never re­sorted to a sketch or prepara­tory draw­ing and in­stead ex­plored the di­vide be­tween fig­u­ra­tion and ab­strac­tion. Na­ture was her pri­mary in­spi­ra­tion, and this was fur­ther in­formed by her en­thu­si­asm for In­dian historic sculp­ture, mod­ern design, and lo­cal crafts and tex­tile tra­di­tions. The ex­hi­bi­tion will seek to high­light the rad­i­cal in­ter­ven­tion Mukher­jee made by adapt­ing crafting tech­niques with a mod­ernist for­mal­ism. The ret­ro­spec­tive will also present the lat­ter half of Mukher­jee’s ca­reer in the mid-1990s, when she be­gan work­ing with ceramics, even­tu­ally tak­ing on bronze in 2003. Prob­ing the di­vide be­tween fig­u­ra­tion and ab­strac­tion, Mukher­jee would fashion un­usual, mys­te­ri­ous, sen­sual, and, at times, un­set­tlingly grotesque forms, commanding in their pres­ence and scale. For more in­for­ma­tion www.met­mu­seum.org

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