Ila Pal's Books
Press Excerpts
(Click the images to enlarge)
“Ila Pal. A painter and a writer. In her work Ila expresses a quest, her concern for the character and abstraction of real forms. She speaks of the elemental world of nature and works to make it constantly move in cycles of energy. Ila’s dynamism as an individual flows into her work. She will not sit back but constantly set herself challenges, pulling her creative energies together to explore the world of painting at multiple levels.
Saturday Times, 1988
“ Ila’s way of looking does not care for the illusory effect of beautiful landscapes and those romantic promises held in infinite perspectives. She looks at a landscape head- on….” The Indian Post

“Ila’s oeuvre shows a distinct influence of the miniatures as she challenges the concept of horizon; the manner in which she layers the seen and the imagined rather than follow the principles of Western Realism. Despite the contrasting topographies of Kerala and Rajasthan her distinct approach not only unifies these markedly different works but draws attention to how the character; the fragrance and the flavour is fully realized in each; her rooted ness to India emerging integral to her artistic make-up”
The Indian Express

In contrast to this world are Ila’s ink and water colour landscapes of Kerala. She sees the split, layered ferment of the earth lying bare in the sun and captures its inherent diversity. Here areas are lifted out, placed against and within one another. She catches the fecund abundance of Kerala’s landscape, and works towards defining its fundamental sparseness. In this process she drops the externalizations of lushness and achieves a geometric shift from volume to line.
The Times of India
“Ila’s vision, her highly individualized perceptions have crystallized, passing their convictions to the maturing of her work. The depth of Ila’s work rests in her startling capacity to experience a sharp withdrawal from reality before letting her creative instincts pour on the canvas with total freedom.
Art India 2001
“Ila Pal sees her work as a journey, a constant shifting and moving – this time in Indian landscapes that draw her responses into frames of expression. We involve ourselves in this journey setting out from the superb minutiae of the black-and-whites of Kerala where the peace and calm invite us to enlarge the spaces presented, so that our response goes beyond the frames. Yet there is in some a foreboding, a lonely stillness, and an edge of emotion that give these sketches a particular quality. They enliven with every re-visit, stimulating our imagery. The power of art to provoke and sensitize us to new awakenings is borne out in these works of Ila Pal. She throws up some remarkable challenges, and takes our senses into the sweep of journey.”
Times of India
“Well Known Painter Ila Pal, never faint at heart, as eagle – eyed and tenacious as the best biographer of urban dementia, is at her existentialist and visual best, whether capturing the special, elusive, post – feminist quality of Bombay’s famous ghat women workers or the harsh but pathetically transient alertness of its ageing share – brokers, the hominids who haunt Dalal street.”
India Today

“Pal’s work in the series Mumbai reflects existence in an urban structure and precisely in ‘Bombai’ allusion. The allegories reflect popular conscience, socio political conditions as well as the allusions of political situations . It is in the Dalal Street. It is the ‘Dalal Street’ series that Pal comes through strongly.. It is the feel of the panoramic, the unusual compositions and the depiction of a theme, dense with human presence makes the work tremulous.”
The Indian Express

“Her nude paintings have a peculiar pristine quality. They best express her dream world which however, is controlled and disciplined by a well-evolved technical virtuosity. She is also a writer and a poet and combines well her brush and her pen”
The Hindustan Times, New Delhi,

“Artist-writer Ila Pal’s work is as daring and unconventional as she is…Ila Pal’s life as accomplished contemporary artist and writer is exciting, she is as adventurous as they came…
The switch from contemporary paintings, when her work was at the heights of its popularity, to writing is typical of Ila’s fearless attitude.”
Rashmi Udaysingh, Midday


“Blame it on Madonna”

‘’ How many more Kargils…?

The imperatives of Ila’s creativity demands vulnerability, willingness to be impacted; unafraid of the consequences. Coupled with this pluck is harsh self-questioning.
Saturday Times, 1991

“ Ila Pal records the immediate present…The posturing of individuals and the distinct India images are offered in her paintings in the style of brochures of merchandise She is giving a new meaning through the vividness of her paintings that double up as posters. Gods, leaders terrorists screen idols vie for a place to pose on the pulpit and conduct the smooth frauds on the polity. There is sensitivity here, a lament, a broken laughter that seeks the healing touch from a nation presently driven to conceive and deliver the monster in every

The wall-hangings of Ila Pal, a renowned artist from India have created musical cadences of free verse. Languorously spread on silken fabric they draw fresh attention towards the mystique of atmosphere, light, water and wind and open onto the state of bliss – an inner space where the mind is poised in a beatific darshan or vision. In a way, this work is a celebration of the myriad moods and hues of India.
S. Kumar Gallery Art Celebrations , NewYork

“The staining with fabric paint on soft silk carries its own technical challenges. Surmounting craft and spreading out desire and vision on this material, Pal achieves a deft poetry of singing landscapes; she is singularly moving to the idea of the threshold, of expectancy, of reaching towards equilibrium and of longing for that which is not present in our lives. Such paintings become shrines, sanctums, which the artist seeks, not towards the purpose of renunciation and giving up the world but to recover it and show the spectator the potential for freedom
Roshan Jagatrai
2002, Art Celebrations , New York


“When Ila Pal comes up with a body of work, it is reigned by a burning ethos of a singular statement. A Vision that is like a seizure, when the imagery conjured, flares up with the light of the mind.”
The Times Of India

“it is a very rare combination that an artist can paint and write. She has made it work, being able to achieve success in both the mediums of painting and writing”
Her peer well known artist Nalini Malani, MidDay

“Ila Pal is an artist who works independently, with no group affiliations, formal or informal. She follows her own line of development, avoiding the bandwagons and the cults. Her subjects and techniques have never been the outcome of consuling the possibilities of sales or success. Every exhibition and every painting in it is the pure product of the artist’s creative urge.”
Nissim Ezekiel, Times of India

© 2009 Ila Pal