new-delhi

Rummana Hussain, Crushed blue piece, 1992, indigo pigment, earth pigment, and charcoal on crushed paper, 19 × 29 3/4".

Rummana Hussain

Talwar Gallery | New Delhi

Rummana Hussain, Crushed blue piece, 1992, indigo pigment, earth pigment, and charcoal on crushed paper, 19 × 29 3/4".

In 1995, Rummana Hussain walked through the precincts of the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Mumbai, her mouth wide open in a soundless scream. In a performance titled Living on the Margins, her first ever, she cushioned a halved papaya in her hands, revealing black seeds nestling against its creamy orange flesh. The hollow of the tropical fruit appeared to echo her gaping mouth while simultaneously evoking female genitalia. For bystanders who might, in retrospect, have wondered about the origins of this fruity symbolism, Hussain’s recent show “Breaking Skin” was strewn with plenty of clues. It brought together a body of work executed between 1992 and 1994, just preceding her powerful performance in Mumbai. Clearly the ideas for her feminist imagery were incubating during this period, as evident in her paintings Fatal Echo (Labia Majora) and Fatal Echo (Latent Seed),

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