Pushpa Kumari

B. 1969,Ranti,Works in Ranti and Delhi

Pushpa Kumari is one of India’s foremost contemporary traditionalist artists, whose work incorporates the stylistic devises and signature elements of the Mithila tradition while addressing contemporary subjects such as gender, social injustice and environmentalism. Kumari’s artistic roots are deep within the Mithila folk art tradition, also known as Madhubani art, from the Mithila region of Bihar in northern India and Nepal.

Taught by her grandmother and acclaimed Mithila artist, Mahasundari Devi, Kumari gradually moved from traditional renditions of the deities and Kohbar Ghar (nuptial chambers) towards obscure folk tales and social and political commentaries. Created in a visual language that comes entirely from her imagination, Kumari’s paintings continue to draw on a strong theme of sexuality and the union between male and female. Kumari both strengthens and subverts the Mithila tradition, using it as a medium for her strong personal statements which can be both overt and subtle, lending a beguiling charm to her intricate black and white and colourful drawings.

Kumari has exhibited globally, including the 23rd Biennale of Sydney (2022); Bodh Gaya Biennale (2019); Kochi-Muzuris Biennale, Kerala (2017); and the Asia Pacific Triennial 8, QAGOMA, Brisbane (2015). Her work is held by the Mithila Museum, Tokamachi; National Museums Liverpool; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Mingei International Folk Art Museum, San Diego; Artcurial, Paris; and QAGOMA, Brisbane.