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Mrinalini Mukherjee

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Mrinalini Mukherjee (1949-2015), the daughter of two eminently creative artists Benode Behari Mukherjee and Leela Mukherjee, was born in Bombay, India and grew up in the two garden-rich centres of education: Santiniketan and Dehradun.
Once she finished her schooling, her parents thought it best that she pursued her studies in art at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Baroda, which had been set up by artists and educationists like KG Subramanyan and Sankho Chaudhuri, once students of her father.

While studying painting, she discovered the crafting and sculptural potentials of natural fibre and set out in Delhi, as a young professional capable of carrying out large scale relief sculptures in fibre which were astonishing in their unique inventiveness.

Since then, the challenge in her relationship with her material, started a relentless pursuit: after natural fibre, her materials of choice were ceramics and bronze..The oeuvre of Mrinalini Mukherjee has received recognition and acclaim internationally after her death in 2015, when the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, hosted a major retrospective of her work in 2019. Most recently Mrinalini Mukherjee's fibre works were curated as part of 'The Milk of Dreams' at  La Biennale di Venezia, 2022.

Mrinalini's work is contemporaneous with the new international trends in fibre sculpture, including within that term hangings, objects, free-standing sculptures and whole environments using any kind of fibres and a minimum of knotting and plaiting to bind together forms. Working here in virtual isolation, Mrinalini devised her own indigenous approach to material, process and sculpted forms, and the brace ingenuity of her imagination opens new possibilities in Indian art. 

Geeta Kapur, short text for Pundole Gallery exhibition in 1977