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31 Days of December 1998

31 Days of December 1998
signed and dated 'ARPITA SINGH 98' (lower left); bearing label 'Arpita Singh 31 Days of December 1998 oil on canvas 47.5 x 23.5 inches' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
47.5 x 23.5 in. (120.7 x 59.7 cms)
Painted in 1998
Christie's New York, 17 October 2001, lot 281
Saffronart, 6 December 2006, lot 20

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Lot Essay

One of the recurring images in Arpita Singh's works is a central figure surrounded by smaller vignettes and objects. Made of fragments put together according to her own personal system, Singh incorporates familiar, everyday images such as flowers, birds, chairs, traffic, airplanes, numbers and even guns, into her work. Having spent four years working in the Weavers Service Centre, Calcutta and Delhi, her paintings draw partly on the stylistic devices of Kantha embroidery. Consuming the entire canvas, sacrificing baseline and perspective for figural relationships and pattern, these works very much quote this textile tradition. I feel so many of us ordinary people who have not actually done anything still live under a feeling of constant threat...a fear, of some unknown kind. These pictures are documents of my mind, my thoughts. It hangs over people like a cloud. (In conversation with Srimati Lal, Arpita Singh, exhibition catalogue, New Delhi, 1992)

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