Night Bloom II is a ceramic sculpture by the Indian sculptor Mrinalini Mukherjee.

Mukherjee is best known for her work in hemp fibre, but began experimenting with large-scale work in clay during her residency at the European Ceramic Work Centre in ’s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands, from 1999 to 2000. Night Bloom II dates from this period.

Mukherjee was born in Bombay (now Mumbai), the daughter of eminent artist Binode Behari Mukherjee and painter Leela Mukherjee. She studied painting and mural design at Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda under the influential muralist and teacher KG Subramanyan. She came to prominence in the 1970s for her wrapped woven forms in dyed natural fabrics, materials which she chose for their associations with traditional crafts rather than with high art.

Night Bloom II is a partially glazed earthenware sculpture with an anthropomorphic outline suggesting a cross-legged seated figure. The lower half of the sculpture is covered in a lustrous red and blue glaze with the upper half in unglazed greyish brown.

Mukherjee died in 2015 and this important large-scale piece now joins the British Museum’s Asia Department. Although this department holds arguably the most comprehensive collection of sculpture from the Indian subcontinent in the world, there is almost nothing to represent contemporary examples from the region. Night Bloom II now fulfils that role in the recently redisplayed South Asia and China collection in Room 33 of the museum.

Provenance

Produced by artist when in residence at the European Ceramic Work Centre, The Netherlands; Sold to Rita Dulci Rahman; Sold to Amrita Jhaveri Ltd, London.


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