Renowned artist Gogi Saroj Pal, who, along with her husband Ved Nayar, provided an open basement studio in Delhi’s East of Kailash for young artists, passed away on January 27 at the age of 79.
Pal’s studio served as a welcoming space for young artists who often faced challenges in affording a studio of their own. Artist Kanchan Chander, fondly remembers Pal, or “Gogi amma,” as someone who encouraged young artists and offered honest opinions.
Gogi Saroj Pal worked across various mediums, consistently challenging gender biases and stereotypes in her artwork. Her paintings aimed to depict unequal realities while empowering women. Influenced by myths and fables, her art featured strong female protagonists like ‘Kinnari’, the mythical bird-woman, and ‘Kamdhenu’, the wish-fulfilling cow.
Pal shared her own struggles in pursuing a career in art, recounting that when she informed her father of her decision to pursue art, he responded that she was responsible for her decision and had to prove it right.
Gogi Saroj Pal’s impact on Indian art was celebrated by the National Gallery of Modern Art, describing her as one of the pioneering feminist voices who went beyond conventional picture-making, exploring societal realities of womanhood.
With over 30 solo exhibitions, Pal addressed various themes, including “Young Monks,” inspired by the lives of monks, and “Aag ka Dariya,” highlighting the issue of female foeticide. In response to the 2012 Delhi gang-rape case, she created a series dedicated to Nirbhaya, depicting an angry woman with sickles.
Her legacy endures as a radiant milestone in Indian art, leaving behind a body of work that resonates with strength, beauty, and a commitment to breaking societal norms.
Repurposed article originally published in the Indian Express