The Perfect Mix

The ever-evolving Brinda Miller, who loves creating textures, pushes the boundaries of traditional two-dimensional painting with her abstracts that embrace layering, cutting, sticking, and scraping, says Rashme Sehgal

The city of Mumbai is everywhere in artist Brinda Miller’s work – the abstractions of the city criss-crossed by geometry of lines and feisty colours. A sharp undercurrent of forms that are buttressed under layers of visual imagery and design that only this unique architectural landscape can throw up. The visual contrast between Miller’s bright, earthy canvasses and the moving chimera of the waters of the Arabian Sea is amazing. This is because the Tao Gallery, where Miller’s work was exhibited in January, enjoys the background of the Haji Ali mosque standing out like a pearl amidst these grey waters. And against this backdrop, these bright and angular paintings begin to look even more distinctive.

How did Miller go about conceptualization this body of work? The exhibition – her 16th solo show – featured 18 big canvases and 50 small works awash with a blaze of vibrant colours. “I am one of those artists who only work under pressure,” she says. “The dates for this show were announced for November 2017, but I managed to delay it a bit and had the show in January 2018.” Miller, who was the festival director of Kala Ghoda, says she gave up the post last February. “It involved too much work all the time,” she says, adding, “I also felt it needed a younger person. I started working on the show immediately afterwards. But I must tell you that I’m one of those persons who work on many paintings at the same time and I don’t have anything ready till the very end. It is very stressful really, but it is a wonderful feeling to know how it comes together at the end. I would say 90 per cent of the paintings get ready altogether, and the last ten per cent of each takes up the rest of the time,” she says in her typical easygoing and communicative style.

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“Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know” John Keats

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Woman washing clothes, 1852

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