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Anjum Singh

Indian Contemporary Artist
Born 1967, New Delhi 
Lives and works in New Delhi

Daughter of artists Arpita Singh and Paramjit Singh, Anjum Singh inherited painting from her parents and pursues it like a vocation. She uses mundane objects and symbols to demonstrate her concerns about commercialization and environment deterioration. Her fascination for bright colours is evident in her paintings. Working in layers, she gives a lot of attention to the surface, texture and the application of paint in her work.



Painting and Printmaking, The Corcoran School of Art, Washington DC


Masters of Fine Art (Painting), College of Art, New Delhi


Bachelor of Fine Art (Painting), Kala Bhawan, Santiniketan, West Bengal, India

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Singh inherited painting from both her parents

Daughter of artists Arpita Singh and Paramjit Singh, Anjum Singh pursues her art like a vocation. When she started out as a student at Santiniketan, she was heavily influenced by Amrita Sher-Gill, hence was drawn to a lot of figurative forms. She later studied painting and print making at Concoran School of Art in the US, and that's where she began experimenting with her works and mediums. Her style has been influenced by that of her mother. The sheer feel for colour and texture has led her to explore forms that exist for the sake of existence, she says.

Anjum Singh, Their Kind of Night, 2002, oil on canvas, 72 x 72”

Her works revolve around explorations of commercialization and urban living

Singh's oeuvre draws from the rituals of daily life, from the visible commercialization partaken by consumers to the forsaken and hidden thresholds of urban living. In the era of high industrialization, she confines herself to using the ordinary, mundane objects of everyday life as a metaphor in her works. Using objects, words, textures and colours she investigates the transformative power of our surroundings, explores urban permeability as well as human vulnerability.

Anjum's paintings and installations constantly explore the binary concept of purity and pollution - the inside and the outside - through the symbolic forms and images of manholes, water bottles, and pipe lines culled from the life of metropolis such as Delhi.

Anjum Singh, Kiss me quick, 2012, bronze and aluminium, 15.5 x 15.5 x 15.5”

She begins her work by thinking in colour and then evolving from there

Anjum Singh's paintings demonstrate her fascination for colours such as bright reds, oranges, yellows and pinks that often dominate her canvasses, with an occasional stroke of gold or brown.  She first decides on the palette of colours she will use for a particular painting, and then proceeds further, limiting herself to pure colours finding the addition of black and white contaminating.

She works with a lot of layers using brush and knife to bring out the desired texture. She puts great emphasis on the surface, the texture and the application of paint in her work. She believes it’s important to know your limitations. Her problem is with colour, and is most comfortable using red; she would use it if something is not working.

Anjum Singh, Red Light, 2004, oil on canvas, 40 x 40”

She uses mundane objects to construct her artworks

Anjum began experimenting with different mediums while she studied art in America. Her concerns about consumerism, environment deterioration and so on, are imparted by using mundane objects and symbols from metropolitan India – old bottles, ice-cream sticks, metal strips, throwaway plastic, and the like to build her works of art. For example, in Cola Bloom, discarded cola bottles which are painted bright pink and bunched together in a circle as a metaphor for a blossoming flower, and a work titled Bumper to Bumper, very much reminds us of a traffic jam.

Anjum Singh, Cola Bloom, 2005, acrylic on fiberglass, 17 x 52 x 52”