Madhuri Bhaduri- Journeying through Art

Born on the 8th of June 1958, Madhuri Bhaduri has spent more than four decades of her life in devotion to her passion for art and its many forms. Over the years she has had a following of art collectors and critiques who have appreciated her works in various shows held in India & abroad since as early as 1986. Madhuri grew up in a well-educated middle class and cultured family in Pune. She along with her two brothers spent a happy childhood under the watchful care of their mother Durga Phalnikar, an accomplished vocalist and father Shivram Phalnikar, a national level badminton player. Madhuri did her schooling from St. Joseph’s High School and graduation from Fergusson College both in her home town- Pune. A versatile and talented child, she was good at studies and drawing, besides excelling in Badminton. Following her formal education, she learnt French and dabbled in designing and later joined SNDT at Mumbai University for a Master’s degree in painting. Her evolution as a painter and professional artist, began in the 70s. She played with abstract impressionistic imagery for a decade and built an impressive body of work before her first solo exhibition in 1986 in Pune. In the 90s, she turned to painting landscapes and cityscapes besides continuing to engage with abstract compositions. Abstracted landscapes and seascapes emerged on her early canvases as also trees, foliage, fields & fauna and other elements of nature as works of simplicity and sentimentality. Each canvas was a straight-from-the-heart expression of a memory, of a place seen or a road traversed. The paintings were always about bringing home a vignette of natural beauty rather than attempting to prophesize or convey a social message.

In Madhuri’s earliest works -like those of the Impressionist masters she so admires- Madhuri sought to capture the mood of a moment and the transient effects of light and colour, unmixed primary colours and hundreds of minute strokes. A play of fresh colour infuses her works with effervescence. She is an optimistic person with a positive attitude so she invariably chooses cheerful colours. However as the colour sense of landscape artists may be the same, it is form and texture that creates her style. Her energy is her most precious trait and it is this energy that she transfers onto her work.

In 2000 Madhuri discovered abstraction is much deeper than a play of colour or lines and she returned to her first love of nature and created a large body of work. Abstracts are about the person you are. They help you to understand and work out the complexity o your own emotions. As she explored the expression, she came to love the process, an then there was no looking back. Travels to port towns across the world, from Maharashtra’s picturesque Konkan coast to seaside towns in Greece dotted with white washed homes and edged by the sparkling blue waters of the Mediterranean, brought her in touch with the beauty of the sea, its openness and vastness, the majesty of spectacular sunsets across sky and water, the timelessness of rocks weathered by the water yet strong and unmovable, and views of fishing boats at sea or tied at the shore. The multifaceted artist’s eye catching practice reveals an autobiographical streak and a mature and confident hand. In a non-representational idiom, her large repertoire draws on nature, her travels, life experiences and surroundings.

At the turn of the millennium 2001 onwards, Madhuri took to experimentation with assemblages, sculptures and murals using scrap metal, found objects, fibre glass and other waste material. Later, in 2016 she also did a short course from the Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London on Finance and Art Market. Since her maiden show in Pune i the 80s, her work has been featured in over 43 solo exhibitions and 100 plus group shows. Over the years, her journey into the art world was enriched by meeting with generous and gracious people from different walks of life; from casual and curious visitors in her exhibitions to luminaries from the industry, celebrated artists, gallery owners and art lovers from across the world who acquired her work.

Along the years that followed, Madhuri’s journey into the art world became more and more pronounced. Her experiments in art continued to stretch the boundaries. She felt a sort of breaking free of bondages around her and a sense of freedom to expand more freely, making her want a larger space to work. A studio space for an artist is a very private space wherein he lets loose of himself. The place also serves the purpose of discussion with friends, workshops and other relevant interactions while being amidst the works. The artist in her wanted to share with people and this large studio provided for the display of all the different mediums of her artistic creations. These studios have been her havens wherein she withdraws, meditates, churns, reflects, fantasises, dreams and creates – a place where her true expressions have found their way in the course of her life.