Ladoo Baï

Born in 1965 - India


Ladoo Baï was born in the 1950s in Jhabua District, Madhya Pradesh, in Central India. Like Jangarh Singh Shyam, she was discovered by Jagdish Swaminathan during his travels searching for artists in the tribal areas of Madhya Pradesh. Her paintings cel- ebrate the flora and fauna in a mêlée of brightly colored motifs, each a manifestation of primal energy.

The human beings in her works appear entranced as they participate in the cosmic dance. The figures on the canvas are like the characters in an opera, or reciting an ode to nature. Anthropomorphism turns man into an animal and animals into plants. The impression given by the pictorial orchestration is one of plenitude, the power of regeneration.

“Ladoo Baï revels in a dynamic asymmetry between details that are refined to completion, and details deliberately left brushy and unfinished,” wrote Ranjit Hoskote in Now that the Trees Have Spoken (Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai, 2009).

Many of her works are based on the theme of the dance: that of the deer and antelopes, that of goddesses, trees and herons, and of serpents, hunters, turtles, and horsemen. Some of the forms she uses are reminiscent of the late Stone Age. Similar silhouettes can be seen, for example, in Bhimbetka caves in Central India. Their persistence in the work of Ladoo Baï is derived as much from a genealogical continuity attributed to ritual imagery as it is from her perception of the relationship between man and nature.

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"Now that the Trees Have Spoken", Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai (India)

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