IAAC Exhibition of Contemporary Indian Art of the Diaspora 2011   

Delna Dastur
Delna Dastur

Delna Dastur

Over the years as I developed as an artist, I came to the realization that the process of making a piece of art intrigues me as much as its subject matter. I am never satisfied with using one medium exclusively and always attempt to combine several.

I embraced charcoal as my primary medium for several years, using a variety of improvised tools such as ear syringes, brushes, charcoal powder, and many different types of erasers to manipulate it. I occasionally added ink and pastel to further increase the complexity of the drawings.

Wooden panels became the supports for my paintings for a while and currently I am combining acrylics with charcoal and pastel on large canvases, transforming their smooth surfaces into fields of texture by applying any number of pastes, gels and clear gessoes raked through with hardware implements to create peaks and dips.

Random strong lines drawn emphatically at the start of a piece guide the direction it will take, and I permit myself to follow their lead, readily yielding any preconceived notion I may have had. I allow the subject matter to navigate itself, to rise from the medley of emerging shapes. As the images reveal themselves I layer them one upon the other, paying great attention to minute detail and the creation of transparencies.  I want there to be a sense of elusiveness, of the possibility of different ways of interpretation.  Intuition is my favorite tool and I embrace it mightily.

Subconsciously I am drawn to the brilliance of the colours I was surrounded by during my childhood in India.  As a result my body of work on the one hand consists of black and white drawings and on the other canvases saturated with colour.

I endeavour to transport the viewer beyond the obvious lure of colour and subject matter, however, and want him to consider the complexities of the work and to feel the intensity of my commitment.


2000 -  Advanced  Abstract Art, The Art League, Alexandria, Virginia
 1977 -  M.F.A. - Oil Painting, The American University, Washington D.C.
 1971 -  B.A. -  Art History, Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts
 1967 – B.A. -   English/French, The University of Bombay, India

2009 – Juror, Capitol Hill Art League
2008 -  Lecture on ‘Appreciating Abstract Art’ at the Prince of Wales Museum,
            and at Gallery Beyond, Mumbai, India
 2006 -  Present, Faculty,Smithsonian Associates, Washington DC
 2002 -  Present, Faculty,The Art League, Alexandria, Virginia
 2006 -  Faculty, Vanderzee School of Art, Alexandria, Virginia
 2006 -  Juror, Capitol Hill Art League

 2010 – Katzen Art Center, Washington DC
 2010 -  Solo show, Gallery Art Motif, New Delhi, India
 2009  - India Art Summit, New Delhi
 2009 -  Capital One, The Corporate Art Program, McLean, Virginia
 2009 -  Auction for Nanubhai Organization, Nonprofit Organization, New York City
 2008 – Gallery Art Motif, New Delhi, India
 2008 – Saffron Art Website,
 2008 – Erasing Borders, Indo American Arts Council, New York
 2008 -  Gallery Beyond, Mumbai, India
 2007 – Katzen Art Center, Washington DC
 2006 - Cymroza Art Gallery, Mumbai, India,
 2006 - The Ninth Street Gallery, Washington DC
 2006 -  Art Musings, Mumbai, India
 2005 - The Market Street Bar and Grill, Reston, Virginia
 2005 - The Grinning Byrd Gallery, Cleveland, Ohio
 2005 – The Pierce School, Washington DC
 2004 – Indo-American Arts Council, New York, New York
 2003 – Prince Street Gallery, New York, New York
 2003 – Heritage India Gallery/Lounge, Washington D.C.
 2002 – Carspecken-Scott Gallery, Wilmington, Delaware
 2002 – The Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, Wilmington, Delaware
 2001 – Greater Reston Art Center, Reston, Virginia
 2000 – The Principle Gallery, Alexandria, Virginia
 2000 – The Shoreby Club, Cleveland, Ohio
1993-2000 – The Art League, Alexandria, Virginia
1993-2000 – The Capitol Hill Art League, Washington D.C


2011 – Twelve Gates Gallery, Philadelphia

Full student scholarship to Wellesley College
Full student scholarship to the American University
Several professional awards

2010 - SPAN, article, March/April issue
2010 – Time Out Delhi, Critic’s Choice and review, March issue
2010 – First City, review, February issue
2010 -  Indian Express, review, February
2010 -  SPAN calendar, Published by the U.S. Embassy in India
2010 -  Gallery Art Motif Calendar, New Delhi, India
2009 -  The Mint, New Delhi
2009 -  Gallery Art Motif Calendar
2009  -  The Hindu, New Delhi
2009  -  The EXPRESSNewsline
2008 – Afternoon Paper, Mumbai, India
2008 – Art League Calendar
2007 – Art League Calendar
2006 - Cymroza Art Gallery, Mumbai, India, Catalog – A Work of Art, A work on Paper
2000 – Elan Magazine, Cover and lead article
2000 - The International Indian
The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The McLean Gazette

Hilton Hotel Worldwide Headquarters, Virginia
Astra Zeneca, Wilmington, Delaware
PRTM, Washington DC
Private collections in the United States, London, Hong Kong and India

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