Born in 1937 in what is now Bangladesh, Arpita Singh received her diploma in Fine Arts at the Delhi Polytechnic before taking up the job of a designer at the Weaver's Service Centres in Kolkata and New Delhi. Each of Arpita Singh’s drawings, watercolours on paper, and oils on canvas has a story to tell. To simply say that this renowned artist’s work is narrative would be a gross understatement. Afflicted by the problems that are faced each and every day by women in her country and the world in general, Singh paints the range of emotions that she exchanges with these subjects – from sorrow to joy and from suffering to hope – providing a view of the ongoing communication she maintains with them.
The artist’s colours are vibrant, her palette usually dominated by pinks and blues, and her paintings burst at the seams with teeming life forms and objects or motifs like guns, cars, planes, animals, trees and flowers. Described as a figurative artist and a modernist, Arpita Singh still makes it a point to stay tuned in to traditional Indian art forms and aesthetics, like miniaturist painting and different forms of folk art, employing them in her work regularly. The way in which she uses perspective and the narrative in her work is steeped in the miniaturist traditions and a direct reflection of her background.
Singh has won several awards throughout her career, including at the 1981-1982 All-India Drawing Exhibition in Chandigarh, the 1987 Algeria Biennale, and the 1991 Parishad Samman from the Sahitya Kala Parishad, New Delhi. The artist has also showed her works in more than twenty solo exhibitions including several in Chandigarh, Bhopal, Mumbai and New Delhi. Her prominent solo shows are ‘Picture Postcard 2003 – 2006’ at Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi, in 2006; ‘Memory Jars’ at Bose Pacia Modern, New York, in 2003; and ‘Drawing 94’at Gallery Espace, New Delhi, in 1994.