Mekhala Bahl

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Mekhala Bahl

Mekhala Bahl’s artwork combines the creativity and imagination found instinctively in a child with the skill and technique of a professional artist. Working across multiple mediums including paint, ink, pencil work and quilting, Mekhala Bahl constructs colourful abstract mindscapes teeming with seemingly chaotic lines, circles, amorphous shapes and childlike drawings reminiscent of doodles. While the images scattered throughout her work (such as chairs, ice cream cones, letters) all connect back to Mekhala Bahl’s own environment and childhood experiences, the sheer abundance of these shapes allows the viewers to claim them and invest them with their own personal experiences. Established conventions are free to be challenged as Mekhala herself does when working with found printed-paper whose patterns she incorporates and subverts. Dominant in all her work is a sense of humour, energy and fun. As she marks, scratches, rubs, effaces, smudges and pours, her works become more of a reflective gesture than a communicative experience.

Mekhala Bahl was trained at the College of Art, Delhi and then at Rhode Island School of Design. Her practice involves primarily printmaking and painting, using material as diverse as silk, wood, plastic and paper. She has worked, and exhibited in many cities and different countries like Italy, France, Japan and America. Selected exhibitions include Indigo Blue Art, Singapore [2013], The Geometry of Error, Gallery Espace, Delhi [2009], Blur, Monte Castello Art Gallery, Italy.

She has participated in multiple workshops and residencies, serving as the Artist-in-Residence at the International School of Painting, Drawing and Sculpture at Umbria, Italy. She has also been part of the Indo-French Residency Programme. In 2013, Bahl was awarded the Student of the Year in Printmaking at the Rhode Island School of Design. She is also the recipient of the G.W. Hodge Ritchie Award for Excellence in Printmaking, USA in 2002

The artist lives and works in New Delhi.

 

MEKHALA BAHL

Born in 1980 Kanpur, India
Lives and works in New Delhi, India

EDUCATION

2003

Bachelor of Fine Arts, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island, USA

2001

College of Art, New Delhi, India, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Painting (transferred to Rhode Island School of Design)

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2009

The Geometry of Error, Gallery Espace, New Delhi

2007

Anecdote, Galerie Romain Rolland, Alliance Francaise, New Delhi

2006

Drawings and Prints, Triveni Gallery, New Delhi

2003

Lucent, Benson Hall Gallery, Rhode Island

2002

Vaaz, Benson Hall Gallery, Rhode Island

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2009

Re-visiting Materiality II, Gallery Espace, New Delhi

On Canvas, Gallery Art Motif, New Delhi

2008

Place, Anant Art Gallery, New Delhi

Keep Drawing, Gallery Espace, New Delhi

2007

Portfolio show at Southern Graphics Conference, Kansas City, Missouri

Art in Step, Gallerie Ganesha

High on Art, Visual Arts Gallery, New Delhi

2006

India on Canvas, Auction and Exhibition
Multiplicity and the Self, Visual Arts Gallery, New Delhi
Footprints – Women in Printmaking, Gallery Chemould, Mumbai; Colab Art and Architecture, Bangalore, and Welcom Art Gallery, Vadodra
17/03, ABS Lanxess Gallery, Vadodara

2005

Mercury Rising, Visual Arts Gallery, Delhi
Imaging Materiality, Visual Arts Gallery, New Delhi
Blur, Montecastello Art Gallery, Montecastello, Italy

2004

Navsar, India Habitat Center, New Delhi

2003

Arches Annual Print Exhibition, 808 Gallery, Boston University, Massachusetts

2002

Roma, Palazzo Cenci, Rome

2001

Print Matrix: Print Media Exhibition, Fine Arts Galleries, Fairfax, Virginia

1999

Scapes, Gauguin Gallery, Pont Aven, Brittany, France

RESIDENCIES AND WORKSHOPS

2007

Artist-in-Residence, Indo French Residency Programme

Painting and Mixed Media Residency, School of Visual Arts, New York

2006

Annual RPG art camp, Marve, Mumbai
Learning Center, Art Instructor, Kusumpur-pahari, New Delhi

2005

Artist-in-Residence at International School of Painting, Drawing and Sculpture, Montecastello, Umbria, Italy

AWARDS

2003

Student of the Year, Printmaking, Rhode Island School of Design

2002

G. W. Hodge Ritchie Award for Excellence in Printmaking, USA

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