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Manisha Parekh

Indian Contemporary Artist
Born 1964, Gujarat, India
Lives and works in New Delhi

Born to the prolific artist couple of Manu and Madhavi Parekh, Manisha stumbled upon her muse and calling in life right at home. Her versatile repertoire reflects neo-modernism, comprising of minimalistic ink and gouache creations, multi-layered designs on board, especially deploying hand-made paper, as well as her diligently executed installations, encapsulating fluidity and harmony.



Master of Arts (Painting), Royal College of Art, London


Masters of Arts (Painting), Faculty of Fine Arts, Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, India


Bachelor of Fine Arts (Painting), Faculty of Fine Arts, Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, India

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Parekh's choice of materials are consciously made

I relish working with the purity of a material, narrowing down the boundaries in order to explore in greater depth. Qualities of fiber, surface, opacity, translucency, etc become revealed over time and with regular handling." That clearly explains her preference of ink and paper over canvas or paint or cord and rope over bronze and stone. Her compositions skilfully blend many disciplines like painting, drawing, relief and sculpture and her minimalistic and abstract style lend her a distinct uniqueness as a post-modern artist.

Manisha Parekh, Sea Anemone, Sponge, 2009, mixed media sculpture, 28 x 25 x 25", 28 x 22 x 22"

Fluidity of form is Parekh's specialty

Harmony and rhythm are the key twin elements of Manisha Parekh's creations and she employs a certain fluidity of form which is uniformly present in all her works. Be it in any medium, board or canvas, ink or gouache paintings or site-specific installations, the seamless and holistic flow of form and figure acquire a lyrical rhythm and music in each and every creation bearing her signature. According to the artist, the handling of figures in her creations is done in such a way as to relax both muscular and pictorial tension.

Manisha Parekh, Wings-2, 2006, handmade paper on board, 24 x 36".

A pronounced preoccupation with structure

Manisha has a penchant for clear, scientific structure. Her propensity towards structure is so pronounced that she allows the densities, opacities and transparencies of ink and paper to carve their own path on coming in contact with myriad surfaces, thereby giving way to fascinating and interesting pieces, characterized with a languid smoothness.

Deploying minimalistic hues in her artworks, she prefers her lines, forms and basic organic material to do all the talking. Her vision encapsulates feelings, observations and experiences, as is evident from the names of her exhibitions, such as dreams, wings, memory membrane, longing-desire, longing-wish, and so on.

Manisha Parekh, Dream, 2006, gouache on paper, 7.0 x 10.5".

Recent developments in technique

In her attempt to capture fleeting thoughts, moments, dreams, her brush-strokes have evolved to being more relaxed and flourished as witnessed in her recent graphite drawings. Moreover, she also pays an ode to crafts, textiles and traditions of her motherland through her myriad works. "The translucent layers have an associative quality. Like we have hidden memories, hidden impressions too can be built over," says Parekh, whilst deftly enjoying the vivid life that each of her preferred material take when she lets them run in sync with her creative and aesthetic vision.

Manisha Parekh, Pomegranate Bloom, 2009, handmade paper on board and silk. From the Cornerstone Gallery "Works on Paper" show in 2011.

Small units, repetition of elements represent different stages of thought

Some of her creations are often made of small units. In her own words, the repetition of a simple element represents 'thought carefully documented in different stages-with different nuances explored-pondering over an idea in many different ways , in an effort to capture the feeling'. In other words, they depict the lapse of time akin a film in its consecutive frames. Analyzing her work, British artist- lecturer Lin Holland has noted: "A tremendous amount of work is done below the surface (unseen). Time is an essential ingredient in order to reap the full rewards of her labors. She witnesses her artworks emerge in both subjective and objective frames of mind. As a prominent female artist of the postmodern era, Manisha Parekh is intent on her art practice being enriched by human relationships, daily rituals, and enjoyment of the essential routines of living. It's important to her that the work does not exist in isolation from these elements, in fact they often fuel her creative practice, and the artist pursues quite a close interface between the two (aspects)."

Manisha Parekh, Waiting, 2006, layers of handmade paper and cord on board, 48.0 x 48.0 in