Vasudha Thozhur (b. 1956)
A painter known for her work in watercolour and oil, Vasudha Thozhur is a Professor at Shiv Nadar University’s Department of Art and Performing Arts.
Born in Mysore, Thozhur studied Painting at the College of Arts and Crafts, Chennai and then at the School of Art and Design in Croydon, UK. She lived and worked in Madras between 1981 and 1997, and in Vadodara between 1997 and 2013. Since 2013, she has been associated with Shiv Nadar University, Noida.
Thozhur’s work is characterised by detailed drawings painted with a bold colour palette. Her paintings are concerned with narratives from history as well as those from daily life, exploring the conflicts and anxieties of contemporary society. In a set of paintings known as Secret Life (1997–2001), she built a narrative through compositions depicting rooms in a household, each exploring the idea and image of the home.
In the aftermath of the Gujarat Riots in 2002, Thozhur worked with Himmat, an activist organisation in Ahmedabad between 2002 and 2007. They organised Himmat Workshops with support from the India Foundation for the Arts, teaching female survivors of the riots skills such as painting, photography, embroidery, silkscreen printing, appliqué and batik. Their work was brought out together in a group exhibition, Beyond Pain: An Afterlife presented in Mumbai (2013) and Delhi (2015).
In addition to painting, Thozhur has worked on video, digital prints, and text. In her book Vasudha Thozhur: Diaries, Projects, Pedagogy 1998–2018 (2022) published by Tulika Books, she compiled a series of texts written throughout her career, including diary entries and catalogue essays.
Thozhur was awarded the Central Lalit Kala Akademi Research Grant (1988), the Ministry of Culture Fellowship for Artists (1989), the French Government Scholarship (1996), the Charles Wallace Grant (1996), and a Special Projects grant by India Foundation for the Arts during (2008-09).
At the time of writing, the artist lives and works in Noida, Uttar Pradesh.
Holmberg, Ryan. “Vasudha Thozhur and Himmat.” Art in America. November 3, 2013. https://www.artnews.com/art-in-america/aia-reviews/vasudha-thozhur-and-himmat-61587/
“Vasudha Thozhur.” Department of Art & Performing Arts, Shiv Nadar University. Accessed March 28, 2022. https://art.snu.edu.in/people/faculty/vasudha-thozhur
“Vasudha Thozhur.” Jehangir Nicholson Art Foundation. Accessed March 28, 2022. https://jnaf.org/artist/vasudha-thozhur/
Thozhur, Vasudha. “Paintings from 1997-2001.” Critical Collective. Accessed March 28, 2022. https://criticalcollective.in/ArtistInner2.aspx?Aid=54&Eid=63
“Vasudha Thozhur.” Saffronart. Accessed March 28, 2022. https://www.saffronart.com/artists/vasudha-thozhur
“Vasudha Thozhur.” Sakshi Art Gallery. Accessed March 28, 2022. https://www.sakshigallery.com/ArtistDetails?section=artists&artistid=343