A series of works by Sujata Bajaj

The Lord of Beginnings, Ganapati is himself ananta, beyond time, and artist Sujata Bajaj’s fascination with him is – like the deity – abiding. She has painted, etched and sculpted him for decades, yielding an artistic abundance that is happily contradistinct with her early life, primed for Gandhian austerity. This series offers a selection from her works on Ganapati, which, though profuse, are a genre apart from what she is commonly known for.

sujata bajaj

Sujata Bajaj was born in India, learnt the alphabet in Jaipur, drew her lines in Pune and found her grammar in Paris. Her artistic world is locatable, but not limited between India, Paris, Dubai and Norway.

Daughter of Radhakrishnaji & Anasuyadevi Bajaj, Wardha, India

Born and schooled in Jaipur, India

Higher education from Pune, India

First Class, First in B.A. and M.A. (Art and Painting), S.N.D.T. College, Pune

Ph.D. in Fine Arts, S.N.D.T. University. Thesis on Indian Tribal Art

1988-89 French Government Scholarship

Studied at École Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Paris

Worked in Studio Claude Viseux, Paris

Married to Rune Jul Larsen. Daughter: Helena Bajaj Larsen

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sujata bajaj

Deeply embedded in Indian culture and present in many ways in myriad households, Ganapati has been the subject for artists and craftsmen since times immemorial. But hardly any artists have embraced the figure the way Sujata has done. The inexhaustible character of the form explains why it has taken the artist more than 30 years for this project to mature. For any artistic project, an incubation of this length is something quite out of the ordinary.

It all started in the most unusual of fashions when, confined to a bed for a long period due to an injured foot, Sujata started to make drawings. She did this obsessively, as if guided by a power beyond her own, each new drawing building on the previous with some variation but always pointing at the form of Ganapati. At later stages, new techniques and materials were called upon giving the project a depth and variety rarely seen in Indian art. It was also intensely personal, something the artist did not feel like sharing with the world – till now. Perhaps it is Ganapati himself who is now guiding and giving shape to her unique vision. Having pursued an active and focused career as an abstract colourist in India and internationally, this extremely personal exhibition – a departure in Sujata’s career – marks a seminal moment.

Her Achievements

  • 1979 Chancellor's Award, S.N.D.T. University, Mumbai.
  • 1982 Outstanding Young Person of Pune.
  • 1983 Outstanding Young Person of Maharashtra.
  • 1984, 1979 State Art Award, Maharashtra.
  • 1985 Painting selected for inclusion in the National Collection.
  • 1986 Selected for International Youth in Achievement, Cambridge.
  • 1986 Best painting award, Nasik Kala Niketan.
  • 1991 Bombay Art Society Award.
  • 2003 Raza Award.

The beginning of the journey

Speaking on her inspiration, this is what Sujata Bajaj has to say of her muse: "To me, Ganapati is endless. I feel a sense of complete freedom and liberty in abstracting his image. No other form lends itself as vividly to the abstract as Ganapati. When I paint him or sculpt him, I am certainly not painting or sculpting a god. I am, in fact, through the process, experiencing my own artistic freedom, and the immense joy intrinsic to that freedom."

Consisting of a wide body of work spread over three decades, Sujata has used the occasion to create an extensive body of fiberglass sculptures which cross-pollinate her earlier drawings, etchings and collages. Coming together, they present a formidable – and personal – collection of work that we are privileged to view.

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ganapati exhibitions


Preview and book launch:

25th February, 2016 atVisual Arts Gallery,India Habitat Centre, New Delhi
Exhibition continues from
26th to 29th February, 2016.

2nd to 31st March, 2016:
Exhibition shifts to Art Alive Gallery, S-221, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi


Preview and book launch:

8th March, 2016 atJehangir Art Gallery.Exhibition continues from
8th to 14th March, 2016.

15th March to 15th April, 2016:
Exhibition shifts to Gallery Art & Soul Madhuli Building, Worli, Mumbai.

book launch

15.5 x 11.5 inches

300 pages, hardcover with case

Price : 12,000 INR + shipping

Price : € 200 + shipping

View Launch Photographs

An illustrated coffee table book published by Art Alive Gallery, New Delhi; Gallery Art & Soul, Mumbai, Galerie Patrice Trigano; Paris, India Media Group; Paris. Designed by Vinay Jain. Researched and edited by Bhavana Pankaj.

Lead essay by Jean-Claude Carrière, a French writer and cineaste who has recently been awarded an Oscar for his lifetime achievement and who has followed Sujata’s career for more than 25 years.The book also contains an in-depth interview of the artist by the well-known New Delhi based art critic, Kishore Singh. The book has a large number of interesting 'snippets' on Ganapati as a foil to the art works.

The book shows works from the project as it unfolds over an impressively long 30 years. which includes mixed media, painted fiberglass sculptures, drawings and etching-collages, testifying to the artist’s versatility in handling a variety of techniques and materials.

"Her motivation is elsewhere, in a personal quest for which she has chosen Ganpati to be her guide, as a travelling companion, this figure she has known since childhood – not as a model to be imitated, or represented,. And that quest, which progresses from painting to painting with the sudden appearance of some texts, is, above all, the search for herself. Without suspecting it, perhaps, she unveils, in each form, in each assembly of colours, in each 'impression' we receive, something of the chaotic, ineffable ensemble that makes her who she is – and us who we are."

Jean-Claude Carrière