Arpana was born in 1954 in New Delhi. Born in New Delhi, Arpana Caur completed her post-graduation in literature from Delhi University before choosing art as her vocation. She studied painting at Central St. Martins College of Art, London. A self-taught artist, Caur’s work strongly draws from literature. The daughter of renowned Punjabi writer Ajit Caur, she was exposed to the literary world early with path-breaking female writers such as Amrita Pritam and Krishna Sobti, a regular presence at her home.
She enjoys employing swadeshi motifs across her works. She has used the Charkha as a vehicle to manifest the diversity of colours depicting caste, race, creed, classes that India houses. Her Charkha has become an embodiment of pan-Indian sensitivity and sensibilities.
An Indian contemporary painter and graphic artist, she began exhibiting her work in 1974, and has shown across Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Bangalore, Chennai, London, Glasgow, Berlin, Amsterdam, Singapore, Munich, New York, in Stockholm and Copenhagen National Museum, Osaka Print Triennele and Delhi Print Triennele. Her work is in Museums of Modern Art in Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Dusseldorf, Singapore, Bradford, Stockholm, Hiroshima, Peabody Essex Boston, MOCA L.A, Brooklyn, Bharat Bhawan Bhopal, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Swaraj Archive Noida & Victoria and Albert Museum London.
Caur received the Gold medal for painting at the VIth International Triennele 1986, AIFACS Award, and Lifetime Achievement Awards in Punjab and Bihar, Commissioned by Hiroshima Museum of Modern Art for its 50th anniversary in 1995. Since 1981, she has painted large non-commercial murals in public spaces across Delhi, Bangalore, Hamburg and Kathmandu. She has also created a 40-year Retrospective at the National Gallery of Modern Art, Bangalore 2016 with the Swaraj Archive. Caur was also presented the Lalit Kala Grant. As recent as 2021, Caur received a doctorate from Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar.
His exhibit with us is titled Charkha, an oil on canvas made in 2014.