A selection of her works from ‘The Yellow Room’ series, created in the late 1960s, was the major attraction for the evening.
The Ambassador of France to India, His Excellency Alexandre Ziegler, has co-hosted a special reception at the Residence of France, with Sunaina Anand, Director - Art Alive Gallery, for eminent artist Maïté Delteil. A selection of her works from ‘The Yellow Room’ series, created in the late 1960s, was the major attraction for the evening. 25 to 30 works in small format, dating back to the artist's youth, had never been exhibited in India before hearing. Sunaina visited Maïté last year and hearing this she sprung up showing interest to hold such a unique exhibition here in Delhi. Along with the artworks, a 45-minute biographical film by Joy Banerjee, titled ‘Maïté Enchanted’, was all praised by the spectators.
Joy spoke candidly about the experience and his friendship with the couple. He said, “It was a splendid experience shooting ‘Maite Enchanted’. There is a very small community of Bengalis in Paris. I am really glad that I am blessed to be a friend of Sakti and Maite for so long. As a film maker or rather I would say a documentary maker, I'm really into Bengal and Bengalis. And as I knew them for a long time, I had a sudden idea of filming them. Previously I have made a documentary on Shakti Burman which is named ‘Ballad With Sakti’. This time, it was really interesting to make the films as they are very friendly people. Maite is a bit more shy than Sakti. But Maite has always spoken with her heart. My aim was not to describe their paintings in any academic style or whatever, but it was to show them as vibrant personas that they are”
Ahead of the event, highlighting Maïté Delteil's double roots in France and India, Ambassador Alexandre Ziegler said, “Tonight we are celebrating the work of an inspiring artist as well as the strong ties between India and France. Your story and your career, Maïté, perfectly illustrate how art can build bridges between our two countries. Through various programmes, like student exchanges or artist residencies, the Embassy of France in India is enhancing these dialogues for strengthening the bonds between India and France, which you and your husband, Sakti Burman, along with your peers, have built.”
Sunaina Anand, Director - Art Alive Gallery, spoke about her discovery of this body of works: “On my visit to Maïté's country house studio in Anthe, France, in June 2018, I saw Maïté's earlier works, which she kept in a closet. These small, intimate works reveal a deep influence of the European masters in her rendering of her own environment, the French countryside, where she spent a major part of her childhood. I was excited to see these amazing works and show this collection, which had never been showed before.”
Recalling this creative period, Maïté Delteil commented, “At the end of 1960s, I was mainly working in Japan. Looking into these paintings, I realise I was very much concerned with the search of vibrant colours simply applied, as Matisse was doing. I was also trying to depict intimate interiors to present models in gentle boudoirs, in a contemplative appearance, more than in a banal sentimental vision. At that time, I was impressed by artists like Berthe Morisot, Edward Vuillard or Pierre Bonnard.” This exhibition of paintings from the 1960s follows a show of Maïté Delteil's drawings from the 1970s, which was curated by Ranjit Hoskote in Mumbai in December 2018. Maïté Delteil was born in 1933 and brought up in the French countryside. She was educated at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris. She then received a fellowship from the Government of France to study in Spain and Greece. Delteil has worked under the painter Roger Chapelain-Midy and the engraver Robert Cami. In 1963, she married Indian painter Sakti Burman, who studied in Beaux-Arts as well, under a schorlarship. She now lives in Paris and New Delhi. Though a strong French artist, Maïté believes in horoscopes and is keen upon taking up tradition from both the countries. The full collection of “The Yellow Room” series is on view at Art Alive Gallery, from 15th March till 15th April, 2019.