Over the weekend I decided to get lost at SF’s Asian Art Museum is exhibiting a collection of paintings by 17 artists whose work is within the Mithila painting tradition. Here’s an excerpt from the Museum’s website:
Mithila style painting, characterized by visually striking compositions, stylized images, delicately detailed surfaces and vibrant colors, was originally practiced exclusively by women on the walls of their homes. In the wake of a severe drought in the 1960s, this mural tradition was transferred to paper, a format that could be sold to bring much-needed income to rural villages.
Painting continues to be a catalyst of economic growth and social change in Mithila. For many women, artistic success has translated into financial independence and community respect. Dulari Devi, a woman from a lower caste community who had been a housemaid before earning her living as an artist, declares, “Ever since I started painting, I do it like worship . . . painting is my everything.”
What I am reading
I often turn to other artists stories and works for inspiration, support and, to keep going!
This morning I turned to Claudia Roth Pierpont’s “How New York’s Postwar Female Painters Battled For Recognition” in the New Yorker. A thoroughly enjoyable essay with insights into Lee Krasner, Helen Frankenthaler, Grace Hartigan, and Joan Mitchell as well as a book review of Mary Gabriel’s Ninth Street Women, which is now on my list of books to read!