Arpita Singh (born Arpita Dutta, 1937) is an Indian artist. She was born in 1937 at Baranagar in Kolkata, West Bengal, India). Known to be a figurative artist and a modernist, her canvases have both a story line and a carnival of images arranged in a curiously subversive manner. Her artistic approach can be described as an expedition without destination. Her work reflects her background. She brings her inner vision of emotions to the art inspired by her own background and what she sees around the society that mainly affects women. Her works also include traditional Indian art forms and aesthetics, like miniaturist painting and different forms of folk art, employing them in her work regularly.
Arpita left Kolkata with her mother and brother in 1946, a year before India got its independence from the British rule. In 1962, she married fellow artist Paramjit Singh and they had a daughter, artist Anjum Singh. Currently she lives in Nizamuddin East, New Delhi.
Arpita attended the Delhi Polytechnic in New Delhi from 1954–59 and graduated with a Diploma in Fine Arts.
After her graduation, Arpita Singh worked at the Weavers Service Centre, Ministry of Textiles, Government of India in New Delhi and experienced the textiles industry closely. Her stint as a textile designer reflects in her work. The Talwar Gallery showcased her works in their first ever exhibition, ‘Tying Down’, dedicated to Arpita Singh in 2017.
She took on a job with the Cottage Industries Restoration Program, a body of the Government of India. While she worked in the program, she met traditional artists and weavers of India. This is said to have impacted her artwork too.
Arpita Singh has significant contributions through a different social and political awareness. She was a founder member of the artists’ group ‘The Unknown’, along with other alumni of the Department of Fine Arts of Delhi Polytechnic in the 1960s. The first group show of ‘The Unknown’ was held at IENS Building (now INS Building) at Rafi Marg, New Delhi in 1962.
Arpita Singh’s first exhibition was held at Kunika Chemould Gallery, organised by Roshan Alkazi, New Delhi in 1972.
Post 1972, Arpita Singh extensively showed her work at Royal Academy of Arts at London (1982), the Centre Georges Pompiduo, Paris (1986), show in Geneva (1987) and at the Art Gallery of New South Wales Sydney (1993). She has also participated in the 3rd and 4th Trienniale of New Delhi & at the Havana Biennial in 1987 and the Indo-Greek Cultural Exhibition, in Greece, 1984.
More recently, her works have been exhibited at ‘Modern and Contemporary Indian Art’ at Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi, 2006; ‘Progressive to Altermodern: 62 Years of Indian Modern Art’ at Grosvenor Gallery, London, 2009; ‘Kalpana: Figurative Art in India’ presented by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) at Aicon Gallery, London, 2009; ‘The Root of Everything’ at Gallery Mementos, Bangalore, 2009.
Her recent and select solo exhibitions include Work on Paper at Vadehra Art Gallery, 2016.
Arpita Singh has exhibited all over the world, at both individual and group exhibits. She has also won a number of awards for her work. Those include:
2018: Arpita Singh: Tying down time, Talwar Gallery