Anjolie Ela Menon`s biography released as she turns 70

New Delhi, July 16 (IANS) A day before her 70th birthday, a pictorial biography of leading Indian contemporary artist Anjolie Ela Menon covering 55 years of her career was released by filmmaker Shyam Benegal in the presence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s wife Gursharan Kaur.

The launch here was accompanied by the inauguration of a month-long retrospective exhibition of Menon`s art featuring 70 large-format oil paintings from her entire oeuvre of works, documenting her aesthetic evolution.

The illustrated book, "Anjolie Ela Menon: Through the Patina", has been published by the Vadehra Art Gallery and authored by art critic and writer "Isana Murty", well-known defence analyst C. Uday Bhaskar, who writes under a pen name.

At a time, when modernist abstraction is preferred by artists both in India and the West, Anjolie Ela Menon`s works have been rigorously figurative, sensuous, romantic and individualistic, the book said.

Releasing the book, filmmaker Shyam Benegal said, he had first seen Anjolie Ela Menon`s work "50 years ago in an exhibition on Gordon Road in Mumbai". They struck him. "She later gifted a painting of Christ`s head to me," Benegal said.

Gursharan Kaur, who is an art connoisseur, said she was "very fond of Anjolie Ela Menon`s works".

"I like everything about her art. I can`t single out any particular aspect," she said, when asked what was it about Menon`s works that moved her.

Menon was born in West Bengal to Amar Dev, a descendant of Raja Nabakrishna Dev of the Sova Bazar royalty, July 17, 1940.