Dhruva Mistry

Born in Kanjari, Gujarat in 1957, Dhruva Mistry RA studied at the Faculty of Fine Arts, The M S University of Baroda, (1974 to 1981) before gaining a British Council Scholarship to the Royal College of Art, London where he continued his studies until 1983.

 

Mistry has exhibitied extensively in solo and group shows in the Uk, India and abroad since 1976. His first was mounted at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai (1982). In the year between 1984 and '85, Mistry was an artist in residence at Kettle's Yard Gallery with a Fellowship at Churchill College, Cambridge.

His works have been included in several prestigious collections including those at the Lalit Kala Akademi, the Tate Gallery, the Arts Council, the British Council, the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff, and the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan.

 

His public-art installations include a sculptural pieces installed at Goodwood, Sussex, the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, and the Hakone Open Air Museum, Japan. Mistry has also been commissioned to produce sculptures for the Victoria Square in Birmingham, U.K and Tamano City, Japan. In 1994, he was selected by the Fukuoka Art Museum, Japan, to mount his works at the show, Asian Artists Today - Fukuoka Annual VII. In 1991, Mistry was given the honour of being elected into the Royal Academy of Arts and in 1993, was invited to be a Fellow with the Royal Society of British Sculptors, London. On returning to Baroda, in 1997, he was appointed as Professor, Head of Sculpture and Dean of Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S.University, Baroda, a position in which he remained until 2002. And in 2001, he was awarded the prestigious, Honorary CBE. Mistry currently lives and works in Baroda.

 

Dhruva Mistry's work ranges from huge public installations to maquettes and wall reliefs. His works not only encompass influences from the Egyptian and the Cycladic art, the European traditions of figurative sculpture but also from Hinduism and Buddhism. His works, apart from being conceptual, also engage with the process of art-making, while alluding to the intellectual debate between the artist and viewer, whether implied or expressed, that a work of art premises and/or gives rise to.

 

The works featured here derive from Mistry's exploration with digitally-controlled laser-cutting techniques, a methodology he has been experimenting with since 2001. The sculptures are defined in terms of planes, forms and cut-outs, a contemporary re-working of the language of Cubism. Mistry plays on the viewer's perceptions as we are invited to explore the sculpture by looking at them, into them, round them, and through them, their shape changing at every angle.

 

Large scale versions of his works, Reclining Figure and Seated Figure, are now on display at the Delhi University campus. Commissioned by the Delhi Development Authority, the two pieces are rendered in bright, colours and textured with a polyester-resin finish.