Preview of artist Maïté Delteil’s “The Yellow Room” collection

H.E. Mr Alexandre Ziegler, Ambassador of France to India and Sunaina Anand, Director - Art Alive Gallery co-host preview of artist Maïté Delteil’s “The Yellow Room” collection.

New Delhi, 12 March 2019

The Ambassador of France to India, H.E. Mr Alexandre Ziegler, today 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 works from ‘The Yellow Room’ series, created by the artist in the late 1960s, was exhibited. The 25-30 works in small format, dating back to the artist’s youth, had never been exhibited in India before. A 45-minute biographical film by Joy Banerjee, titled ‘Maïté Enchanted’, was also screened.

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.

The full collection of “The Yellow Room” series will be on view at Art Alive Gallery, S 221, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi, from 15th March to 15th April, 2019.

About the artist:

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.

Address of H.E. Alexandre Ziegler, Ambassador of France to India

Dear Maïté,

Dear Sakti,

Distinguished guests,

A very warm welcome to all of you. It gives me great pleasure to host this reception tonight in honour of the talented French artist, Maïté Delteil. I am indeed delighted to present here at the Residence de France a selection of her paintings belonging to “The Yellow Room”, a colourful series created during the sixties. This exhibition is an exclusive sneak preview of the complete series, which will be on display at Art Alive Gallery.

Tonight I have the opportunity to celebrate the work of an inspiring artist, as well as the strong ties between India and France. Your story and your career, Maïté, beautifully illustrate how art can build bridges between our two countries.

Maïté’s first brush with India, as many of you may know, was in Paris, through to another talented artist, who later became her husband, Mr. Sakti Burman, and whom the Embassy has had the honour to celebrate on previous occasions. Sharing the same passion for aesthetics and a common sensitivity, both of them studied at Beaux-Arts de Paris, where training and courses played a key role in building their artistic practice.

Following this, Maïté travelled to India and found in this vast country a land passionate about arts and culture, which enabled her to pursue painting and widen her palette of expression. India became an endless source of inspiration. The rich variety of Nature and the variety of India’s colours deeply influenced her art. The documentary directed by Joy Banerjee, which will be screened shortly, will give us a glimpse of this journey.

These travels between the two countries fostered and shaped the evolution of Maïté’s work. Her journeys between France and India illustrate how artistic exchanges are meaningful and rewarding for both one’s professional and personal lives, and thus should be encouraged. That’s why the Embassy of France in India is enhancing these dialogues through various programmes like students’ exchanges and artist residencies. At the moment, there are numerous artists, curators, students and young professionals in France undertaking various projects – a number that is steadily increasing each year. This will certainly strengthen the bonds between India and France that Maïté and Sakti, along with their peers, have built.

This brings me to the collection of paintings that we shall all have the chance to appreciate tonight.

We are all familiar with Maïté’s work: replete with lush greenery, flowers in full bloom and birds that congregate about trees. Her tableaus are songs of praise, celebrating life and Nature with an almost fantasy-like touch.

First exhibited in India, Maïté’s early pieces are peaceful, intimate and strong portraits of women. When I discovered this series of paintings from “The Yellow Room”, I was struck by their vibrant spirit and impressed by the freedom, optimism and spontaneity that emanate from them. Alone in contemplation or at their daily activities, these feminine forms evoke a sense of women’s emancipation in the sixties, which Maïté, you, too, experienced. The strength of the colours and the treatment of light also reflect Maïté’s inspiration from great European masters like Edouard Vuillard, Pierre Bonnard and Henri Matisse. It is a true joy to see how her artworks illuminate the Residence!

So my warmest thanks go to the artist for this, and to the organisers of this preview. I thank the Director of Art Alive Gallery, Sunaina Anand, and her team for making the artist’s universe accessible to us. I am now looking forward to exploring the complete series of “The Yellow Room” which will be on display at Art Alive Gallery from Thursday.

In the meantime, please enjoy this preview! Belle soirée à tous!

Last modified on 28/03/2019

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