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Navjot Altaf

First at Khoj
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Navjot was born in 1949 in Meerut and moved to Mumbai in 1969. She studied at the Sir J. J. School of Art in Mumbai, and completed her diploma from there in 1972. An accomplished painter, sculptor, installation artist and filmmaker, Navjot has constantly pushed the boundaries of material and genre to express her social concerns. Both in their process of creation and in their subject, her sculptural work addresses issues of social injustice and religious violence in India through a unique feminine perspective.

Throughout her career, the artist has been fascinated by the concept of the underdog, particularly in the context of gender and sexuality. Navjot brings to her work, whether painting, photograph, sculpture or video, a sense of social commitment and a need to interrogate existing power structures and expose the injustice practiced against weaker sections of society. “My work has re-tracked the familiar terrain of questioning various frameworks of social injustice and violence, transmuting my concerns to the intimate, often hidden private lives of women. They are sculptures that speak, that address the burning questions of the inequalities that exist in society, especially with relation to the female of the species.”

Navjot has held a number of solo shows including ‘Touch’ at Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai, in 2008; ‘Bombay Shots’ at the Guild Gallery, Mumbai, in 2008; ‘Jagar’ at Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai, in 2006; `Water Weaving` at Talwar Gallery, New York, in 2006; ‘Junctions’ at the Guild Gallery, Mumbai, in 2006; ‘Mumbai Meri Jaan’ at Sakshi Art Gallery, Mumbai, in 2005; ‘In Response To…’ at Talwar Gallery, New York, in 2004; and ‘Displaced Self’ at Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai, in 2004. The recent group shows her work has been featured in include ‘Shifting Terrains, Altered Realities’ at the Shrine Gallery, New Delhi, in 2008; ‘India Art Now: Between Continuity and Transformation’, Milan, in 2007-08; ‘Tiger by the Tail! Women Artists of India Transforming Culture’ at Brandeis University, Massachusetts, in 2007; ‘Public Places, Private Spaces’ at the Newark Museum, New Jersey, in 2007; and ‘Bombay: Maximum City’ at Lille, France, in 2006. Navjot has also initiated several collaborative projects with tribal craftspeople and rural artists from the villages of Chattisgarh, which have culminated in exhibitions including ‘Interventions/Interrogations: Modes of Parallel Practice, Ways of World Making’ at Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai. The artist lives and works in Mumbai.