Jivya Soma MasheUntitled (The Rice Harvest)
Geru and acrylic on raw canvas
22 1/2 x 38 1/2 in. (57 x 98 cm.)
Until the 1960s the only artform that the Warlis practised were murals, which were painted exclusively by women on the inner walls of their thatched huts. The central figure within...
Until the 1960s the only artform that the Warlis practised were murals, which were painted exclusively by women on the inner walls of their thatched huts. The central figure within the mural was the figure of their marriage goddess. The monumental figure of the goddess was painted within a sacred enclosure, defined by an elaborate decorative border. Outside the border, scenes of everyday life and the forest were depicted on a much smaller scale. Unmarried women painted these scenes in groups, overseen by a senior female artist.
'Mashe entered this domain of women's art, at the early age of three or four, when he was abandoned by his father and stepmother. He remembers the pleasures of the wedding season when he would get plenty of festive food to eat, often in return for rendering assistance to women painters engaged in ritual wall painting for the occasion. Mashe helped the women by grinding raw rice to prepare the white pigment, bringing water for them, washing the grinding stone and holding the cup of rice paste for them. While doing so, it seemed he entered the enchanted world of Warli painting, got initiated into its vocabularly and mastered its technique. He could not have known then that in the future, with the introduction of paper in the area in the late 1960s and 1970s, that these elements would become central to his expanded and individualistic expression.' (Jyotindra Jain, The Contemporary in the 'Folk' and 'Tribal' Arts of India, 20th Century Indian Art, Modern, Post-Independence, Contemporary, London, 2022, p. 531.)
ProvenancePrivate Collection, USA
ExhibitionsBirth of the Painted World, Pennsylvania: Kauffman Gallery at Shippensburg University, 2006
Birth of the Painted World, Pennsylvania: Robeson Gallery at Pennsylvania State University, 2015