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Anjolie Ela Menon View Artworks of Anjolie Ela Menon Back to Artist

Anjolie Ela Menon was born in 1940 in Burnpur, West Bengal. Menon took up art while still in school and by the time she was fifteen, had already sold a couple of paintings. She joined the J.J. School of Art in Bombay for getting a formal art education but she found the academic atmosphere there stifling and she left her studies unfinished. In 1959, she departed India to study art in Europe on a scholarship from the French government. She also conducted a study tour of France, U.K., and USA .

While at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux Art in Paris, she began to experiment with a muted palette of translucent colours, which she created by the repeated application of oil paint in thin glazes. Painting on hardboard, Menon enhanced the finely textured surface of her paintings by burnishing the finished work with a soft dry brush, creating a glow reminiscent of medieval icons. Menon utilized the characteristics of early Christian art – including the frontal perspective, the averted head, and the slight body elongation – but took the female nude as a frequent subject. The result is a dynamic relationship of the erotic and the melancholic.

Anjolie Ela Menon has been exhibiting her works since 1959. She has had shows in Delhi, Mumbai, New York, Hong Kong, etc. Her works have also been exhibited in Paris Biennale Sao Paulo Biennale and various other important exhibitions globally. She had the exhibition ‘Menongitis-Three Generations of Art’ exhibition with her son and granddaughters, Dhoomimal Gallery in 2007. Anjolie Ela Menon has participated in exhibitions like  ‘Masterclass’, Dhoomimal Art Gallery, 2011; ‘Iconic Impressions’, Aicon Gallery, New York, 2012; ‘Art for Humanity’, Coomaraswamy Hall, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj VastuSangrahalaya, Mumbai, 2012. Her works are in the collection of NGMA, New Delhi and other important collections in India and abroad.

Menons works are figurative works with immense depth. The more you look at them the more these works communicate with you. The eyes, hands and other body parts seem so real you could feel them. Her early works were influence by Van Gough, Modiglani, Amrita Sher Gill and other such expressionist artist. These were mostly portraits dominated by use of colours. Lately however Menons works seem to be getting subtle yet stronger in terms of use of colours and lines.

Anjole Ela Menon was awarded the Padma Shri by the Indian government in 2000.


  Bachelors in Literature, Delhi University, Delhi

  1959-61 Atelier Fresque, Ecole Nationale des Beaux Art, Paris



  2017 'Anjolie Ela Menon: A Retrospective', New York: Aicon Gallery

  2013 'Recent Paintings', Grosvenor Vadehra, London

  2013 Institute of Contemporary Indian Art (ICIA), Mumbai

  2010 'Through the Patina', organized by Vadhera Art Gallery at Visual Arts Gallery, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi

  2007 ‘Menongitis-Three Generations Of Art’, Dhoomimal Gallery, New Delhi

  2006 ‘Celebration’, Gallery ArtsIndia West, Palo Alto

  2005 ArtsIndia West, Palo Alto

  2004 Gallery ArtsIndia, New York

  2003 Vadehra Art Gallery at Shridharani Gallery, Delhi

  2002 ‘Four Decades’, Vadehra Art Gallery at National Art of Modern Art(NGMA), Mumbai, Karnataka Chitrakala Parishad, Bangalore

  2000 ‘Gods and others’, Apparao Galleries at Admit One Gallery, New York

  1996 Vadhera Art Gallery, Hong Kong

  1996 Mutations, organized by The Gallery, Madras, at Wallace Galleries, New York

  1988 ‘Retrospective 1958-88’, organized by The Times of India, Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai

  1976 Gallery Chemould, Mumbai

  1963 Alliance Francaise, Mumbai



  2014 'Immutable Gaze Part I: Masterpieces of Modern and Pre-Modern Indian Art', Aicon Gallery, New York

  2013 'Remaking the Modern: An Indian Modern & Contemporary Art Exhibition', Alon Zakaim Fine Art, Dover Street

  2013 'Glimpses of I am the Tiger', Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), New Delhi

  2013 'Ideas of the Sublime', presented by Vadehra Art Gallery at Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi

  2013 'QUARTO '13', Art Musings, Mumbai

  2013 'The Drawing Wall', Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi

  2013 'Color My World', presented by Mahua Art Gallery at Leela Galleria and Windsor Manor, Bangalore

 2013 'Edge of Reason- and beyond, into pure creativity', presented by Indian Art Circle at Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi

 2012 'Talking Heads', Art Alive Gallery, New Delhi

  2012 'Iconic Processions', Aicon Gallery, New York

  2012 'Gallery Collection', Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi

  2012 'Women: Sacred and the Temporal', Shrishti Art Gallery, Hyderabad

  2012 'Contemporary: A Selection of Modern and Contemporary Art', prsented by Sakshi Gallery at The Park, Chennai

  2011 'The Lost Sparrow', presented by Gallery Threshold at Visual Art Gallery, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi

  2011 'Masterclass', Dhoomimal Art Gallery, New Delhi

  2010 'Figure/Landscape - Part One', Aicon Gallery, New York

  2009-10 'Unclaimed Spaces', Gallery Threshold, New Delhi

  2009,10 'Master Class', The Arts Trust, Mumbai

  2009 'Indian Art After Independence: Selected Works from the Collections of Virginia & Ravi Akhoury and Shelley & Donald Rubin', Emile Lowe Gallery, Hempstead

  2009 'In Search of the Vernacular', Aicon Gallery, New York

  2009 'Kalpana: Figurative Art in India', presented by The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) at Aicon Gallery, London; The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR)

  2008 'X at the rate of Jehangir', presented by Art Musings at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai

  2008 'Mapping Memories – 2, Painted Travelogues of Bali and Burma, Gallery Threshold, New Delhi

  2007 ‘Sitaaray - A Galaxy of Artists’, Indian Habitat Centre, Delhi

  2005 ‘Drishti’, Bodhi Art Gallery, New York

  2004 ‘Confluence 2004’, Gallery ArtsIndia, New York

  2004 ‘Jiva- Life, Contemporary Indian Painting’, Bodhi Art Gallery, New York 2001 Saffronart and Apparao Galleries, Los Angeles 2001 Saffronart, Hong Kong

  2001 ‘Kitsch KitschHota Hai’, organized by Gallery Espace, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi

  2001 ‘The Sacred Prism III’, organized by Apparao Gallery, London, New York, San Francisco

  1993 ‘Reflections and Images’, Vadehra Art gallery at Jehangir Art gallery, Mumbai

  1986 ‘Indian Women Artists’, National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai

  1980 Exhibition at Washington D.C and New York


2015 'Abby Grey and Indian Modernism: Selections from the NYU Art Collection', Grey Art Gallery, New York University, New York

2013 'Palette Summer 2013', Palette Art Gallery, New Delhi

2012 'Art for Humanity', Coomaraswamy Hall, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj VastuSangrahalaya, Mumbai

2011 'Of Gods and Goddesses, Cinema, Cricket: The New Cultural Icons of India', Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai

 2011 'Resonance', Art Musings, Mumbai

  2010 'Art Celebrates 2010: Sports and the City', represented by Art Alive Gallery at Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi to coincide with the hosting of the Commonwealth Games

  2010 'Art Dubai 2010', presented by Aicon Gallery, New York

  2010 'Manifestations IV', Delhi Art Gallery, New Delhi

  2010 'ARCO 2010 Madrid', presented by Aicon Gallery, London

  1980 Paris Biennale, Paris, France

  1968,71,75 1st,2nd,3rd International Triennale, Lalit Kala Akademi, Delhi


Honours and Awards


  2000 Awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India

  1959-61 Received French Government Scholarship for Higher Studies in Paris

  1980-81 Invited to study by The Government of France, UK and USA

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