For Asian Art in London 2018, Grosvenor Gallery is proud to be exhibiting Contemporary Miniatures by Delhi-based artist Olivia Fraser. Fraser, who was born in London in 1965 and raised in the Highlands of Scotland, has lived and worked in India since 1989. Deeply interested in the techniques and vocabulary of traditional Indian miniatures, she combines mineral and plant pigments and handmade paper with forms and ideas inspired by modern Western art. Olivia Fraser: Miniatures, runs at London's Grosvenor Gallery from 1-10 November 2018. Admission is free and all works in the exhibition are for available for sale.
Following in the footsteps of her kinsman, James Baillie Fraser who painted India, its monuments and landscape in the early 1800s, Olivia Fraser set out to continue where he left off, painting the architecture and people of Delhi. James Baillie Fraser also commissioned local artists to paint what has become the 'Fraser Album' - the greatest masterpiece of Company School Painting portraying the different types of people and their jobs, crafts or castes against stark white backgrounds. This hybrid form of painting where Indian artists created works with mixed techniques and ideas from the East and West greatly influenced Olivia Fraser's early work during the 1990s.
In 2005 she turned to a traditional Indian miniature painting technique and studied under Jaipuri and Delhi masters. She now uses this in her work with its gem-like stone colours, its unique miniature brush work, and its elaborate decorative and burnished surfaces. Having been influenced by Nathdwara pichwai painting and early C19th Jodpuri painting, Fraser is reaching back to an archetypal iconography strongly rooted in India's artistic and cultural heritage, breaching borders and relevant to her twin life between East and West.
Her latest body of works is deeply rooted in her interest in yoga and the ways in which yogic meditation involves visualizations of the garden, particularly the sahasrara or thousand-petaled lotus, which serves as a visual aid in reaching enlightenment. "The garden, an enclosed and cultivated area of landscape that's formalized and acted upon, is fundamental to my work," she says. "I take the vocabulary of landscape-trees, flowers, rivers, mountains and sky-and I deconstruct and reduce them to their essence."
Fraser's paintings are shown in galleries around the world and are included in collections in India, UK, France, Belgium (Museum of Sacred Art), UAE, Singapore, Australia, China (China Arts Museum) and the USA. Her works were shown at the Venice Biennale in 2015.
Fraser currently divides her time between New Delhi and London.