SAN FRANCISCO, CA.– The Frey Norris Gallery will present the American debut solo exhibition for Indian artist Shalinee Kumari. Shalinee Kumari hails from a remote village in one of India’s poorest and most rural states, the Mithila region of Bihar. For centuries the women of Mithila have traditionally adorned their homes with wall paintings, in preparation for engagements, weddings, and births. Kumari continues and expands upon this tradition by depicting current world events as she learns of them through her primary connection to the outside world—the BBC piped into her local café. She focuses on three primary global subjects: capitalism, terrorism and environmentalism—all through her vibrantly colored paintings on paper.
The eldest of four daughters, at twenty three years of age, Kumari was to be promised into marriage but denied her family’s wishes to pursue a career in art. To date, she has received grants from the East West Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and others to pursue her career enabling her to attend a local art school, to exhibit and lecture in Delhi, and ultimately, to leave India for the first time to attend her first solo exhibition at Frey Norris Gallery in San Francisco.
Kumari may be the first artist of this Mithila region to tackle contemporary subjects. The Berkeley Art Museum, the San Francisco Asian Arts Museum and the Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles are all advocates, collectors and exhibitors of the work itself.
A 20-page catalogue is available with an essay by David Szanton, the former Director of International and Area Studies at UC Berkeley, a social anthropologist with a long interest in art history and the relationship between art and social change.