This collaboration between Manjit Bawa and Parvaneh Etemadi is a conglomeration of two distinct styles united by a shared advocation of a distilled and minimal style. Parvaneh Etemadi is one of the most renowned female Iranian artists. Etemadi studied painting at the College of Fine Arts of Tehran University, where she became associated with a group of progressive, innovative painters of Talar Ghandriz.
In her early years she started off as an abstract painter, emphasizing free and fluid forms. However, Etemadi rose to prominence in the 1970s with her instantly recognizable minimal structures comprised of hazy textures of oil color on cement, depicting quotidian objects and forms such as flowers, fruit, flower pots, chairs and household utensils, executed with a muted palette and economy of line.
The present collaboration testifies to Etemadi's capacity with color and texture, as foregrounded in the designs of the traditional Punjabi shawl or scarf known as phulkari. Etemadi selects a recognizable garment that is quintessential to Indian and Pakistani daily life, used in ceremonial rituals such as weddings and births, transcending class and circumstance. This is combined with the instantly recognizable tropes of Bawa's visual language of elegant contouring and delicate gradations of tone attesting to the joined impact of the tradition of Indian Miniatures and the silk screen process which Bawa studied at the London School of Printing, 1967-71. There is a playful interaction between the two artists' use of drapery, as the humble vestments of Bawa's iconic white winged figure seem to unravel into Etemadi's opulent and exquisitely rendered phulkari. This composition is injected with a vivid dynamism as two artists' worlds collide in a celebration of contrasting styles. The result is a window onto a new reality, where dissonant ephemeral co-exist in a creative harmony.