05 June 2020Read More
Osmosis | Curated by Shaleen Wadhwana
06 June 2019Read More
Where the water takes us
01 December 2017Read More
Reliquaries -The Remembered Self
12 March 2015Read More
Chloé Lunar New Year 2019
05 February 2019
A collaboration with Chloe on a limited edition capsule collection to celebrate the Lunar New Year of the Pig.
Project Collaborator: ChloéRead More
The Dot that went for a walk
01 January 2019
Rani Lakshmi Bai, 2018 | 64 x 50 cms | Gouache and Ink on Paper
Commission for the children’s book “The Dot that went for a walk”. Aimed at introducing girls to a multitude of extraordinary women from India. This book features 51 Indian women role models, 51 unique artworks by 51 women artists and 51 stories.
Project Collaborator: Shrishti Gallery and Caterpillar WingsRead More
Textile and accessory print collaboration for Chloé High Summer ’18
01 November 2020
A collaboration with Chloe on a series of original prints for their High Summer ’18 collection.
Project Collaborator: ChloéRead More
Textile and accessory print collaboration for Chloé Spring/Summer ’18
01 March 2018
A collaboration with Chloe on a series of original prints for their SS18 collection
Project Collaborator: ChloéRead More
01 June 2016
The Woods, In Bloom, Still Waters, 2016 | 50 x 50 cms each| Gouache and Ink on Paper
Triptych from my time spent documenting the flora and fauna of the village of Garana at the Symposium for Visual Arts at the Arthouse Wolfsberg/Garana, Romania
Project Collaborator: Arthouse Wolfsberg/GaranaRead More
01 January 2012
Return of the Wolf, Family, Home, 2012 | 50 x 50 cms each| Gouache and Ink on Paper
Triptych from my time spent documenting the people and the culture of the village of Garana at the Symposium for Visual Arts at the Arthouse Wolfsberg/Garana, Romania
Project Collaborator: Arthouse Wolfsberg/GaranaRead More
Arts Illustrated | Rithika Merchant
From June 6 to August 10, 2019, TARQin Mumbai presented the exhibition 'Osmosis a group show of artists Rithika Merchant _Samanta Batra Mehta and Savia Mahajan, ' curated by Shaleen Wadhwana. The exhibi-tion worked with the ideas and knowledge of the symbiotic universal truths of life, namely, death, distance and belonging.
Arts Illustrated20 Aug 2019
Navigating Rithika Merchant’s Fantastical Worlds Steeped In Modern Myth
People tend to associate femininity with things which are beautiful but passive, vulnerable, and weak. I strive to break the stereotype of how women are often portrayed in art – either as muses or for their aesthetic qualities. I would like my work to open up a discussion about how women are viewed within society and the role that they are often forced to play. ” – Rithika Merchant
To ponder over Rithika Merchant’s richly detailed paintings is to go down a rabbit hole. Hybrid creatures—half-human, half-animal—totemic iconography and botanical imagery populate the strange and fantastical worlds that she dreams up. Working out of her studio in Barcelona, she employs the gauche and ink technique on stained paper to achieve desaturated or muted colours that lend each of her creations an ethereal, almost otherworldly quality.
Merchant, whose work has been showcased at galleries in Paris, Madrid, New York and Lisbon, is in the process of working on a series for a solo show at Galerie LJ in Paris. Notably, she’s one of the rare visual artists who has enjoyed free reign working with a luxury fashion brand. We had the chance to catch up with this fascinating artist, whose works are on show at TARQ in Mumbai at an ongoing group exhibition titled Osmosis. Excerpts from the interview…
Design Pataki08 Jul 2019
The Circle of Life and Death
A new exhibition sees three female artists explore these concepts in their individual ways
Life and death are one thread, the same line viewed from different sides. These famous words by Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu in a way encapsulate what’s in store for viewers when they visit Osmosis, an art exhibition which is currently underway at Tarq, an art gallery located in Colaba, Mumbai. Curated by Shaleen Wadhwana, it features the works of artists Rithika Merchant, Samanta Batra Mehta and Savia Mahajan. Each of them uses different mediums such as drawings, paintings in watercolour and ink, assemblage and collages, ceramic sculptures, found objects and digital prints to explore the universal truths of life as well as death while deciphering the meaning of distance and belonging.
DNA17 Jun 2019
The Art Life Continuum
A new exhibition tears down the walls between life and death the body and the mythic, memory and imagination As the site of birth, the wellspring of existence itself, a woman’s body is the knower and keeper of the secret of life.Therefore, when stories about creation, transformation, and transcendence are told in her voice, they sound most lucid,seem most vivid. Little wonder then, that art educator, Shaleen Wadhwana, has chosen three women artists to represent the “symbiotic universal truths of life, namely death, distance and belonging” for her curatorial debut, Osmosis. The group exhibition — comprising works of artists Rithika Merchant, Samanta Batra Mehta and Savia Mahajan at TARQ art gallery in Colaba — explores these constant yet mysterious ideas.
Mumbai Mirror10 Jun 2019
Reflections on Osmotic Ideas
A group show, explores the ideas of life, death, and belonging says Zahra Amiruddin
Educator and curator, Shaleen Wadhwana, brings together histories, myths, and stories, embedded in intrinsic drawings and found materials in a group show, Osmosis. With artworks by artists Rithika Merchant, Samanta Batra Mehta, and Savia Mahajan, Wadhwana builds a contemplative space that answers symbiotic universal truths, and explores notions of home. The show was prompted by a question asked by one of Wadhwana’s students at the MIT Institute of Design in Pune, in 2018. While traversing through the historical evidence of social differences from the Harappan civilisation until present time, she was asked, “What is the History of Death?”
The three artists have resided in different continents, namely Europe, Asia, and North America, yet it’s the city of Mumbai that ties their pasts together. This is evident in Merchant’s work that repeats the presence of the crow — an ode to ‘Bombay’, the city of birds. Her whimsical paintings that rely on mysticism, are scattered by these black birds, and beaked heads on feathered female humanoids. This is reflective in her work ‘Trial by Fire’, inspired by the agnipariksha of Sita, and witch burning practices dating back to medieval times. Some of Merchant’s works are an exploration of feminine power, and identity, she draws this feathered female burning, surrounded by an apparent agitation of the crows. “They are possibly wondering about the fear that defiant, strong women cause and their successive punishment for not following societal norms,” elucidates Wadhwana.
The Hindu07 Jun 2019
Verve Weekend Guide
Exploring themes of life, death, distance and belonging, Osmosis features works by three artists — Rithika Merchant, Samanta Batra Mehta, and Savia Mahajan, and is curated by Shaleen Wadhwana. Drawing on these universal turths of life, all the artists’ works form a ‘conjoined’ language when put together, owing to common myths, histories and stories that they focus on. As Wadhwana says, “They lend the viewer an insight into their ideas of how they feel at ‘home’ and their phoenix-like acceptance: that new life arises on the ashes of its predecessor.” Osmosis is on display at Tarq (F35/36, Dhanraj Mahal, Apollo Bunder, Colaba), Mumbai from June 7 to August 10.
Verve06 Jun 2019
Why you must catch Rithika Merchant’s ‘Where the Water Takes Us’
Travel through the world of epics and myths as the artist addresses questions of displacement and migration in her canvases…
Verve28 Dec 2018
What to expect at the 7th edition of Mumbai Gallery Weekend
The Mumbai Gallery Weekend, now in its 7th edition, will see the participation of 31 art spaces and more than 60 artists in areas that spills beyond Fort to include Lower Parel, Worli, Mazgaon, and Bandra. The programme is an attempt to map the contemporary art movement, one that defines the present as well as the future.
Architectural Digest02 Feb 2018
Visual Melt Online, Interview with Rithika Merchant
In her book 'The Chalice and the Blade', Riane Eisler, by reviewing social history from the Palaeolithic, through the patriarchail take-over, to the present and future of society, discusses the transition from the feminine partnership chalice to the male dominator blade, and through these symbols, explores the psychological structures inherent within them. She states that "The way we interpret ancient symbols and myths still plays an important part in how we shape both our present and our future. At the same time that some of our religious and political leaders would have us believe a nuclear Armageddon may actually be the will of God, we are seeing a vast reaffirmation of the desire for life, not death, in an accelerated, and indeed unprecedented, movement to restore ancient myths and symbols to their original gylanic meaning
Melt13 Dec 2017
From acrylic and gouache paintings: Here are things you need to see in Mumbai
From acrylic and gouache paintings to travel and architecture photography, we round up few of the must-see art shows in the city
Mumbai Mirror04 Dec 2017
The Memory Crucible
Tarq gallery, Mumbai presents a two person show titled, ‘Reliquaries – The Remembered Self’ of works by artists Rithika Merchant and Suruchi Choksi. One could view this show as a photo album of a distant past which evades definitions and a present which we witness as constantly turning into a past.
Artehelka09 Apr 2015
Remember the Time
In a reproduced photograph by Suruchi Choksi, a ghost of a figure is seen leaning against a lamp post. A possible famous landmark forms the background, but it is too blurry to recognise.
The Indian Express25 Mar 2015
Arteviste: A Review of Rithika Merchant: Mirror of the Mind at Galerie LJ, Paris
For a first solo show, it’s hard to beat exhibiting in the heart of Paris. A stone’s throw from Le Centre Pompidou sits the avant-garde Galerie LJ, known amongst Parisians for its investment in chic emerging artists. Rithika Merchant is no exception. Having exploded onto the international scene in 2018, thanks to her collaboration with the French fashion house Chloé, Merchant’s work has become the object of consistent media attention. Most notably, earning the young artist Vogue’s title of Young Achiever of the Year in 2018.
While Merchant currently lives and works in the vibrant city of Barcelona, she was born in Mumbai, India and was subsequently educated at Parsons in New York City; as well as The Hellenic International Studies In The Arts on the island of Paros, Greece. Given her many colourful homes, Merchant posses a unique cosmopolitan worldview that is detectable in her now recognisable oeuvre. A delectable mixture of Eastern and Western motifs that intermingle with the themes of spirituality, mortality and heritage; Merchant’s best pieces are hybridised treasures that read as both familiar and foreign.
Arteviste16 Jan 2020
Sunday Mumbai Mirror. Young Artists to Watch Out For.
Rithika Merchant, 33, Mumbai and Barcelona Rithika Merchant’s works explore epics and myths. The artist is fascinated by the common thread that runs through different cultures and religions. She writes on her website: “Each piece is a totem that invites the viewer to stitch together their own narrative, drawing on collective memories and signifiers to generate meanings.”
Sunday Mumbai Mirror22 Mar 2020
Vogue- Ways of Seeing
"Paper cutting is a meditative practice, perfect for these troubled times." - Rithika Merchant
Vogue India08 Jun 2020
Harper’s Bazaar- The Artist’s Way
“It’s essential to host such shows now, as they put into sharp perspective the art and practices of the artists that we have been working with over the last several years,” says gallerist Hena Kapadia.
Harper's Bazaar29 Jun 2020
Verve- Behind the Brush
Rithika Merchant paints fantasies — her work is full of hybrid creatures, liquid landscapes and horoscopic skies. But, the Barcelona-based visual artist has her feet firmly on the ground and her eye sharply on the ball. Skye Arundhati Thomas explores both the right and left brain of the Mumbai-born artist whose life straddles two continents
Vogue India31 Jul 2018
India Art Fair Magazine 2020 – The Wonderful World of Rithika Merchant
"I have always been very interested in Indian myths and iconography, especially the way in which different mythological fragments are woven together to form a complete image or narrative." - Rithika Merchant
India Art Fair Magazine 202021 Jan 2020
Clove- Rithika Merchant: Mirror of the Mind
Indian artist Rithika Merchant moved to Lisbon in her 20s for an artist residency. She has now been based in Barcelona for 10 years, still dividing her time between there and her native Mumbai, where she is represented by Hena Kapadia’s TARQ gallery.
The painter has a distinctive style. Her works are colourful, intricately detailed and heavily two-dimensional - all of which are characteristics of Mughal painting that have long fascinated the artist. For her latest solo exhibition, at Galerie LJ in Paris, Merchant also looked to Indian tribal painting of the Gondi, Meera and Kalighat traditions for inspiration.
Clove Magazine10 Jan 2020
Artisera- 19 Artworks We Loved at the 2020 India Art Fair
Rithika Merchant’s paper and collage artworks, part of her ‘Aerial Women’ series, caught our eye with their non-saturated colour tones and intriguing concepts. Inspired by the idea of women being powerful and free, the artist depicted women as being bird-like, linking back to ancient depictions of winged females. The two smaller works in the centre represent the varied landscapes that women have to constantly traverse or fly over, in a world defined by the restrictive gravity of men’s wishes and desires.
Artisera03 Feb 2020
First Post – How the pandemic has urged three Indian artists to reexamine personal, collective identities through their art
"My work in the recent years has been exploring how objects can be markers of identity, and how these objects and markers, often in contemporary context, get completely reworked," says the artist, as she goes on to display an artwork depicting the popular nimboo-mirchi totem from the subcontinent that is believed to ward off evil energies. "I try to work with symbols that will be recognisable to a lot of people...In my research I learned that this (nimboo-mirchi) was used by travellers way back when people used to walk through the jungles. Lemon mixed with water is just very hydrating. It's lemonade, it's delicious. But chillies were like the key thing," she explains. Apparently, people took a bite of the chilly when bitten by a snake to test whether it was venomous. In the event that they could feel their tongue burn, they'd be assured that the snake was not poisonous, as its bite had not tampered with their sensory nerves.
First Post09 Sep 2020