Review by Amrita Varma
November 15, 2013


Mrinalini Mukherjee
October 29 - November 30, 2013
Nature Morte, New Delhi

The works of Mrinalini Mukherjee makes one wonder on the dexterity with which she works with metal. Yet again, Mrinalini has been able to bring out the textures and feel, this time, of the palm tree. Titled, Palm-Scapes, the exhibition at Nature Morte, New Delhi is interesting in lending a feel of the palm trees and its environs in reflective mode.

The show has ten works displayed across various spaces bringing a feel of the palm tree and the landscape surrounding it. Each work is brilliant in its technical ability to transfuse a solid metal like bronze into one that flows sometimes leaf-like and sometimes branch-like in its experience of the palm.

There is a certain natural earthiness to the material brought about by the way it has been used in various forms. This is however very different from her previous exhibition in 2010 at Gallery Espace, where the metal had sharpness and displayed delicate and angular abstract forms .The feel here is more solid, more organic and has a certain driven force to it.

One finds innumerous crevices of branches, shoots with thorn like extensions, leaves long and spread out working their way through the branches. In its form and multiplicity it is nature like, wild and yet with a symmetrical feel within. The attention to detail is astounding and oneÕs eye seems to move with the poetry of the vegetation in play before you.

Of particular prominence are three sculptures one scorpion like extending its fang out in a menacing way, at the entrance another maize like in the inner room with the end shoot sprouting little bead like fruit and third, the large laid out work at the lower level with a large shoot and branches enfolding reaching out, restricted to its limit yet almost growing wild into eternity. The feel is incredible. There is the physical form and then there is the manifestation of the inherent wildness of nature and its power even in this mute quality.

All in all, the present exhibition is a beautifully observed, detailed exploration of the natural vegetative form and speaks of the forces of nature as much as it does the excellent technical and creative abilities of the artist in creating these marvels in bronze.