MUKHERJEE (12th May, 1923 - 27th January, 1998):
CELEBRATING HER CENTENARY
Pensive Meera at the end of a day at Elachi', December
1990. Arun Ganguly.
88 is honoured to mark the beginning of Meera Mukherjee’s
centenary year, by announcing the forthcoming exhibition
“Meera Mukherjee: Photographs by Arun Ganguly”.
A selection of extraordinary photographs from the
archives of Arun Ganguly on Meera Mukherjee, the
exhibition is jointly curated by Adip Dutta and
Tapati Guha-Thakurta, and is now scheduled to open
at the gallery on Friday, 17th June, 2022.
the centre of these photographs is the theme of
work and labour - and the intricacies and enormity
of both in Meera Mukherjee's techniques of making
sculptures in the cire perdue (lost wax) metal-casting
technique. Her indebtedness to the method learnt
fin Bastar flowed over to the community she lived
and worked with in Elachi, on the outskirts of Kolkata,
where she seasonally carried out the collective
work of casting. Redefining what it meant to be
an artisan cum artist, she recognized the critical
role of collective work and bodily labour in the
particular form of art-making to which she dedicated
her life and being.
neighbors at first, Arun Ganguly first met Meera
Mukherjee in January 1978 at her Paddapukur home
in Bhowanipur when he came to make colour transparencies
of her work process for her upcoming lecture in
Baroda. Setting up a parallel process of black and
white photography for his own archives, he began
extensively photographing Meera Mukherjee at work
over several seasons of her sculpting, beginning
in 1978 and resuming in full flow in the 1990s.
His photographs poignantly carry over into the months
after her death in 1998, when he ended his series
by documenting the completion of her last unfinished
work, a monumental seated Buddha, by the community
she had trained and nurtured.
look forward to welcoming you at Galerie 88 for
the exhibition and other programmes for this centenary
year, leading to the publication of a long-planned
book on Meera Mukherjee, to be compiled and edited
by Tapati Guha-Thakurta.