Jayasri Burman Wiki, Age, Husband, Family, Biography & More

Jayasri Burman is a contemporary Indian artist known for her unique watercolour paintings and bronze sculptures. She takes inspiration from Indian mythologies and Bangali traditions for her work. In her paintings, Indian deities, worshipping of the goddesses, and ‘mother’ holds a prominent position which evidently reflects Indianness in her work. She portrays Indian women as a divine beings. Through her artworks, she gives a message of nurturing ‘mother’ and ‘Mother Earth.’

Wiki/Biography

Jayasri was born in 1960 (age 62; as of 2022) in Kolkata. Being born into a family of artists, she was introduced to the works of Rabindranath Tagore by her father in her childhood. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from the Kala Bhawana Institue of Fine Arts in Shantiniketan. Later, she did her M.A. in painting at the Government College of Art and Crafts in Calcutta. In 1984, she went to Paris where she learnt print-making under the guidance of Monsieur Ceizerzi, and amidst it, she also did a graphic art workshop with Paul Lingren.

Physical Appearance

Height (approx.): 5′ 6″
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black

Family

Husband & Children

She married twice. According to Jayasri Burman, her first marriage lasted for 17 years. Later, she got married to Paresh Maity, who is also a renowned artist. The couple has a son named Rid Burman, who is a photographer. In an interview, Burman recalled the hardships that she faced after marriage and losing her baby.
Jayasri Burman with her husband (right) and son

Artwork

The artworks of Jayasri Burman are mainly a fusion of myths and reality that she draws from various sources such as works of Rabindranath Tagore, drama, and Hindu Texts like Ramayana and Mahabharta. Her work bears a dream-like and lyrical quality that reflects in its representation. Although her artwork is inspired by the Indian folk element, she retains refreshing candour and reflective honesty in her artwork. Without losing the natural allure, the intricate patterns of her canvas incorporate the folk art techniques like Kalighat and Patachitra paintings. She mainly works in watercolours and frequently uses red, blue, and radiant saffron colours for her paintings. She believes that colours and lines have their autonomous symbolic meanings.

Series

River of Faith

Jayasri Burman is highly influenced by the river Ganga. She used to visit the banks of the river Ganga with her father for Luxmi Puja. In an interview, she talked about how she used to observe and enjoys the visuals. She said,
I wanted to locate the source of all this power,” she added, “As a child, these things greatly impact you. Ganga became an indelible part of how I saw the world.”
Her solo show ‘River of Faith’ in Bikaner House is a tribute to the river Ganga which includes more than 100 paintings and bronze sculptures that concentrates on the maternal facet of Ganga. In an interview with the ‘Open’ magazine, while talking about the COVID-19 pandemic and the idea of her Ganga series, she said,
These were people who died of Covid-19 but since there was no space for cremation, their bodies were thrown into the river. Personally speaking, it was very heartbreaking for me to see Maa Ganga being turned into an open burial ground.”
Some of the artwork related to this series is.
Painting ‘Ambika’ by Jayasri Burman
The bronze statue, ‘Jahnvi I’ by Jayasri Burman
The fibreglass statue, ‘Jahnvi III’ by Jayasri Burman
The painting, ‘Jahnvi III’ by Jayasri Burman
Painting ‘Adhisree’ by Jayasri Burman

Born of Fire

The art series “Born of Fire” includes the paintings of Draupadi, a prominent character in the epic Mahabharata, who from the fire. Burman is fascinated by the bravery, sacrifice, and courage of Draupadi and created an art series as a tribute to her. Remarking the art series, Burman said,
Draupadi is the truest champion of justice and fair play, she stands for women rights and humanity.” She added, “Draupadi is our symbol of hope and fortitude and (I believe) she must remain in the midst of our lives as an icon woman we can all draw inspiration from. She belongs to us!”
The series is divided into two parts, one includes colourful paintings and another sketch. Some paintings in this series include.

Painting ‘Draupadi and the five Pandavas by Jayasri Burman
Painting ‘Draupadi and the Game of Dice’ by Jayasri Burman
Painting ‘Born of Fire’ by Jayasri Burman
Painting ‘Ratna Kuntala’ by Jayasri Burman

Primordial Power

The installation by Jayasri Burman is based on the popular practice in India of dedicating votive churnis to their gods or goddesses. It is often seen in Indian temples and mosques that people tie votive churnis and offer garlands on trees and stones in order to get their wishes fulfilled. Burman believes that every votive piece reflects the story of the person’s faith by whom it is offered. The use of votive churnis in her installation depicts this innate belief of the people. In addition, she has extravagantly used the faces of tigers in her artwork, which is a divine vehicle in Hinduism and reflects the intangible power that destroys evil and builds vigour of hope. While talking about this artwork, Burman stated,
The tiger finds its roots in my birthplace, Bengal, which prides in harbouring the Royal Bengal Tiger. It will bot be wrong to mention that they are reminiscent off the panel where they are “prancing, proud and unafraid” in Adrienne Rich’s Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers’, Basking in their feminine fires.”
Jayasri Burman posing with her installation, ‘Primordial Power’

Themes

Burman uses bold themes in her artwork. Her art embodies the essence of feminism. Through her paintings and sculptures, she tries to reflect her desire of seeing women in an empowered status, without calling herself a feminist. Except for a few divine figures such as lord Krishna and Buddha occasionally, she never incorporates male gods in her paintings, rather, her artwork embodies the Indian deities accompanied by floral patterns (especially lotus), cows, deer, fish, elephants and other moral symbols. Talking about her theme in the book “
Jayasri’s themes deal with the feminine, with the empowerment of women through the traditional language of the sacred in Hinduism, her inspiration is the variety of incarnations of Shakti or female energy, the great Goddess, who is considered the mother of the universe. With her muted but engaged feminism, Jayasri Burman refashions the universe of Hindu mythology, which acquires in her paintings an entirely contemporary meaning and nuance. This is the best sense tradition, reinterpreted, reinvented, revised and re-imagined for India of today.”
Her use of hybrid figures in harmony with wildlife reflects her intimacy and love for nature. She intricate flora and fauna as an extended part of human bodies. In an interview, she revealed the reason behind incorporating ducks in her paintings. She said that when was in Shantiniketan, she used to travel to interior villages to sketch. She used to observe the Santa women there who used to live with lots of children and ducks. Burman love and enjoy watching that scene and tries to engulf that in her artwork.

Selected Solo Exhibition

  •  Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai (1992)
  • Gallerie Ganesha, New Delhi (2000)
  • Gallery Sumukha, Bangalore (2002)
  • Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai by Gallerie Ganesha, New Delhi Gallerie Ganesha, New Delhi (2004)
  • “Fairytales and Laments: The Mythology of Jayasri Burman” at Arts India, Palo Alto, USA (2005)
  • “Sacred Feminine” at Art Musings in Mumbai (2006)
  • “Fables and Folklore” at Art Musings at Jehangir Art Gallery in Mumbai, “The Mythical Universe” at Art Alive Gallery in New Delhi and at Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi (2010)
  • “Lila,” Art Musings at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai, and “Gazing into Myth,” Gallery Sumukha, Hong Kong (2014)
  • “Antaryatra,” Gallery Sanskriti at the Birla Academy of Art & Culture, Kolkata (2015)
  • “Born of Fire: A Tale of our Times” at Aicon Gallery in New York, USA (2018)

Selected Group Exhibitions

1984

  • Three Person Exhibition, Paris

1989

  • Young Faces in Contemporary Indian Art, Birla Academy of Art and Culture,
    Kolkata

1990

  • Kolkata through the Eyes of Painters, Birla Academy of Art and Culture,
    Kolkata

1991

  • A Tribute to Vincent Van Gogh, Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi

1996

  • Urban Signals, Shifting Images-­‐II, Birla Academy of Art and Culture,
    Mumbai

1997

  • Panchadashi, Gallery La Mere, Kolkata

1999

  • Emerging Trends, Centre of International Modern Art (CIMA), Kolkata

2001

  • Indian Contemporary, Hong Kong
  • Indian Contemporary Fine Art, Los Angeles, USA

2002

  • The Family‐3, With Sakti Burman, Maya Burman, Jayasri Burman, Apparao Gallery, Chennai

2001-02

  • Bollywood Show, Selfridges, London
  • Group Show of Bengal Art, Centre of International Modern Art (CIMA), Kolkata

2003

  • Workshop in Egypt with Indian Contemporary Artists by BAYAR ABS

2004

  • Brahma to Bapu, Annual Show, Centre for International Modern Art (CIMA), Kolkata
  • Shadanga, Gallerie Ganesha, New Delhi
  • Visual Art Gallery, London
  • Gallery 27, Cork Street, London

2005

  • Tate Britain and Chelsea College of Arts, London

2006

2007

  • An Indian Summer, Art Alive Gallery at Gallery 28, Cork Street, London
  • Power of Peace, India Art Tokyo – Imprints

2008

  • The Journey, Tao Art Gallery, Mumbai
  • X at the rate of Jehangir, Art Musings at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai

2009

  • Think Small, Art Alive Gallery, New Delhi
  • Beyond the Form, Bajaj Capital Art House; Visual Art Gallery, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi
  • Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai

2010

  • Evolve, Tao Art Gallery, Mumbai
  • Summer Show 2010, Centre of International Modern Art (CIMA), Kolkata
  • Size Matters or Does it?, Latitude 28, New Delhi
  • Annual Exhibition, Chawla Art Gallery, New Delhi

2011

  • Sensitization, Tao Art Gallery, Mumbai
  • Aureus, Gallerie Nvya, New Delhi

2012

  • Synergy, Small is Beautiful, Tao Art Gallery, Mumbai
  • Art Toronto: Focus Asia, Gallery Sumukha at Toronto, Canada
  • An Alternative Perspective, Centre of International Modern Art (CIMA), Kolkata
  • The Living Walls: Where Gallery walls become Artist’s Canvas, Art Alive Gallery, New Delhi
  • Women: Sacred and the Temporal, Shrishti Art Gallery, Hyderabad

2013

  • Equilibrium, Beyond the Canvas, Small is Beautiful, Tao Art Gallery, Mumbai
  • When High and Low Meet, Art Alive Gallery, curated by Rupika Chawla,
    New Delhi
  • Art Stage Singapore, Sumukha Art Gallery, Singapore

2013-14

  • Kalasutra I & II, Sanchit Art Gallery, Singapore

2014

  • St Moritz Art Masters 2014, Switzerland, Art Alive Gallery, New Delhi
  • Infinite, Tao Art Gallery, Mumbai

2015

  • The Ecstasy of Art, Tao’s 15th Anniversary Show

2016

  • Art Now 2016, Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai organized by Art Alive Gallery

2017

  • Art Now 2017, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi organized by Art Alive Gallery

2018

  • Viswaroopa – The Form of Universe, Birla Academy of Art & Culture, Kolkata

2011-2018

  • Indian Art Fair, New Delhi

Awards, Honours, Achievements

  • In 1979, Jayasri Burman was awarded by the College of Visual Arts in Tempera for Outstanding
    Merit in the Annual Exhibition
  • In 1984, she won the National Academy Award for her painting Jeley (The Fisherman)
  • In 1985, she received the ‘Padmashree Award’ from the Government of India at 25.
  • She received the Certificate of Merit, from the All India Youth Art Exhibition in 1987.
  • In 2007, a commemorative stamp with her works on Women’s Day was released by the Government of India
  • In 2008, she received the ‘Indian Federation Chamber of Commerce Award’
  • In 2016, she was awarded by the Government of West Bengal for making the best Durga Puja Idol created for Behala Nutun Dal
  • In 2017, she was feted with the ‘ICON of Indian Art Award by Verve Magazine
  • In 2018, she received the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Award at the 20th Beti FLO GR8 Awards
  • In 2021, The Telegraph awarded her the She Award. After receiving the award, she said,
    Works of artistes like Meera Mukherjee, Arpita Singh and Amrita Sher-Gil inspire me. I was brought up looking at their paintings and this award is really a big inspiration for me. I want to thank IIHM and The Telegraph for the She Award. Also, I am very grateful and thankful to the jury who has given me this award and honoured me for my journey as an artiste.

Facts/Trivia

  • Being belong from an extended family of prominent artists, Jayasri Burman helped form an exhibition entitled “The Family” in 2005 in which her husband Paresh Maity, her uncle, Sakti Burman, and her cousin, Maya Burman also participated.
  • In an interview, she revealed that the older generation among audiences abroad bought her work because they are attracted by the Indianness in her paintings and feel emotionally connected to them.
  • She has been to various places such as Varanasi, Bihar, Orrisa and Madhya Pradesh to get inspiration for her art.
  • Her favourite painters include Leonardo Da Vinci, Picasso and Van Gogh, Botticelli, Chagall, Jogen Chowdhury.
  • While praising the art of Jayasri Burman, the famous Indian poet and painter Pritish Nandy said,
    The significant factor about Jayasri’s art is that it is not just about our past, our tradition, our mythologies, it is also about today. It is this enchanting integration of cultures, language, idiom and narratives that makes her such a remarkable chronicler of our times.”

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