One of India’s leading contemporary artists, Ritu Gupta began as a self-taught artist and her journey into the world of art is visible in her passion to paint, decorate, explore and express. Though she has a Masters of Fine Arts from the prestigious D.G. College, Kanpur University, her path to creativity influenced by traditional art forms and culture in a style is largely her own. Her paintings are her medium to explore and understand Indian tradition. The intimate viewer can identify with the artist’s understanding of childhood, masculinity, femininity, union and desire.
With more than 40 successful shows of her work to her credit including the reputed Visual Art Gallery, Gallery Chemould and Lalit Kala Academy, the hugely talented Ritu creates gorgeous, traditional, devotional art with fine intricately detailed, multi-layered works filled with rich colours and dream-like background with her signature texture and imagery. Ritu’s first commercial outing as an artist began with her series Lord Ganesha, an auspicious start. The series was widely acclaimed and appreciated by the art world as the experiments that she has done with Ganesha series were really unique.
Her current exhibition, A Hue of Devotion is scheduled at the Visual Art Gallery, from 29 July to 3 August. Inspired by India and its inherently colourful ambience embedded in day-to-day life whether it is the culture or festivals, the exhibition has a distinctly colourful edge to it. Ritu’s journey of exploring the realms of inner peace through painting continues with this exhibition where she has captured the essence of India where every festival is devoted to a deity, in 50 stunning artworks which take a cue from these festivals. The content of this extraordinary exhibition began taking shape in artist Ritu Gupta’s mind and spilled onto her canvas as she was researching more about the subject.
Speaking about her works, Ritu says, “Painting and meditation to me are often synonymous to my existence. There is an immense inner peace and satisfaction when I paint and that ethereal calmness also reflects in my works that can be followed and understood by every fellow Indian.”
The artist doesn’t shy away from using a lot colours as to her India without colours is nothing. She is attracted by everything she has seen around her since childhood and the exhibition at Visual Art Gallery of India Habitat Centre is just an extension of the same. With these works one can see Ritu’s journey as an artist that keeps refining itself with every set of artwork she makes. All her paintings are identified by a trade mark which is registered as Shades of India.
In fact, Ritu’s last exhibition Empowering Love at the same venue was devoted to the romantic (divine) love of Radha and Krishna, which in no way is explicitly referred to in iconographic terms. The allegorical love of Radha found expression with this successful show of Ritu, where the reference was implicit and subtle. Her works of art interpreted Krishna’s youthful dalliances with the gopis as symbolic of the loving interplay between God and the human soul. Radha`s rapturous love for Krishna and their relationship is interpreted as the quest for union with the divine. The series had very close references to the late Guler and Kangra School of art but not so much in treatment of foliage, moonlight and the romantic mood. The traditional narrative was entirely her own interpretation.
Ritu’s other series was based on the sacred, Shree Yantras a concept of the Vedas, ancient scriptures of knowledge and wisdom of India. In her series Divine Goddess, she celebrated the feminine with the use of bright colours coupled with the wonderful freedom of brushstrokes and spontaneity in forms. Her works are truly magical, inspiring, spiritual and alluring and is like a visual treat with minute detailing of the clothes, jewelry, backgrounds and birds.