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Minal Damani (Profile)

Minal Damani (b. 1979, Mumbai, India)


About her work (Artist’s Statement):
“The idea of constantly making something out of something or something out of nothing is where I begin. For me everything begins with looking and waiting for the meaning to emerge, meanings that would talk about ‘something’ but not about anything particular. It’s like something prior to words, prior to meanings and connections. These are the ideas that were formed when, as an art student, I encountered this question of what to paint? I remember I wanted to give words to the experience of looking at the vast Arabian Sea or gazing out of the window at the empty sky. The mosaic flooring at my home had a healing property for me. I endlessly looked at it as one looks at the sky aimlessly. These were the experiences that I wanted to talk about.
A mark, a scar, a fallen hair, a thread and a stain or water, stars and the dust, repeating endlessly, layer after layer, line after line, like weaving the emptiness. Line by line I am attuned, attentive, random, uncontrolled, controlled, anxious, chaotic, again attentive…often there is no such linearity like moving from chaos to order or vice versa. In that sense there is never a completion to my works. There are always these cyclical moments where one relies on intuition and at times on reason to bring about a third space of in-between ness.
The gesture of drawing innumerable lines morphs the surface to a continuum, or a movement or flux where only thing to comprehend could be its vagueness and in-between ness. Repetition and mark making are the tools that anchor me to the time, as I start building the work through the process of ‘Filling’. Time stretches as one realises that filling itself is unending. The Abyss is always going to be present. This is the time-space that interests me; this is where one encounters the inherent void. I find this as the most personal encounter one could have with one’s work. This unending layering holds and orients me to the time, the space, the narrative that I don’t know yet…”

  • Master of Fine Arts (Painting); Sir J.J School of Art, Mumbai; 2002
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (Painting); Sir J.J School of Art, Mumbai; 2000
Solo Exhibitions
  • Drawing Lines; Vadehra Art gallery, New Delhi; 2008
  • Re-filled; Gallery Beyond, Mumbai; 2006
Selected Group Exhibitions
  • Between the Lines; Gallery 27, Kochi; 2020
  • Delhi Contemporary Art Week; Gallery Latitude 28, New Delhi; 2018
  • Again and Yet Again; Kochi Muziris Biennale 2016, Gallery OED; Kochi; 2017
  • Abstract Chronicles; Curated by Girish Shahane; Gallery OED, Kochi Muziris Biennale 2016 Collateral; 2016
  • Memoir; curated by Anupa Mehta; The Loft, Mumbai; 2015
  • Unmarked; BC Gallery, Kochi Muziris Biennale Collateral; 2014
  • Degenerate; Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi; 2013
  • Whole; Indigo Blue Art Gallery, Singapore; 2010
  • Evidentia; Gallery Sumukha, Bangalore; 2009
  • Trends and Trivia: an Indian story; Visual Arts Center, Hong Kong; 2008
  • Af-fair; Curated by Bose Krishnamachari; 1x1 Art Space, Dubai; 2008
  • International Incheon Women Artists’ Biennale, Seoul; 2007
  • Urban Similes–Transforming Cities; Project 88, Mumbai; 2007                                                                          
  • Indian Art: Here and Now: Contemporaries Voices from India, Part 3; Grosvenor-Vadehra Art Gallery, London; 2007
  • Paper Flute; Curated by Johnny ML; Gallery Espace, New Delhi; 2006
  • Present-Future; Curated by Dr. Saryu Doshi; National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai; 2005


Scholarships, Awards & Residencies

  • Scholarship; Human Resource Department, Government of India, New Delhi; 2001-2003
  • AIFACS Award (Maharashtra state); 2001
  • Mayo Memorial Award; Sir J.J. School of Art, 2000
  • S.B. Palshikar Award; Sir J.J. School of Art, 1999