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Jogen Chowdhury
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About Jogen Chowdhury

Jogen Chowdhury is known for his ability to successfully marry traditional imagery with the zeitgeist of contemporary painting, in a skillful blend of an urbane self-awareness and a highly localized Bengali influence. His early works show an attention to figuration that carries through in his current pieces. In an interview, Chowdhury commented that, in his early works, "the space projected a simple iconic presence. A spatial sequence was worked out but the space was not complex. The background seemed to vanish." Anshuman Dasgupta describes these works as more iconic and more dramatized; per contra, Chowdhury describes his later works as "now more personalized and subtle". During his college days, Chowdhury took part in leftist literary circles, the members of which dismissed Rabindranath Tagore as a bourgeoisie and became interested in the works of Russian authors. But by and large, Chowdhury kept himself apart from cultural movements: though friends with members of the Hungry Generation, his imagery was drawn from his cultural background more than his intellectual milieu. "My background is relevant," he remarks in an interview, explaining that his life in Calcutta was "quite disturbed with political movements This has a definite influence on my worked like the Ganesha period. The Bengali business class worshipping the icon, and their corruption, how they degenerate just like the flesh." The famine, the Partition, and the food movement all cast a pall over his formative years, and a quality of darkness may be seen to inhere in Chowdhury's work. Yet as well as an indicator of sadness, this darkness can be understood to evoke an aura of mystery. It is an effect enhanced in Chowdhury's more recent works, which, increasingly, crop the central image. Chowdhury explains that "The purpose is to hide some parts. The moment I show the entire figure, the interest in the details would be lost Earlier on the figures were observed in their natural bearings which came through expressionistic stylization and the weight of reality was greater There is an effect of distancing today." Speaking on contemporary art, Chowdhury maintains the necessity of a uniquely Indian approach to art, as opposed to the blind aping of the Western trends of installations et al. "To be global you do not have to do something that is imitative of America, Australia or England. It has to have an authenticity, which is not what blind imitation allows for." Born: 16 February 1939. Faridpur, Bengal. Education: 1955-60 CGAC. 1965-7. French Government Scholarship to L'Ecole Nationale Superior des Beax-Arts, Paris. 

Rabin Mandal
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About Rabin Mandal

"For me, art is an expression of my inner most self. This is the only medium I know. With my brush, oils, pencil and charcoal, I portray emotions. And before I know it, I am transported into another world. I gradually find my canvas coming alive." 

Rabin Mondal was born in 1932, in Kolkata, in a poor government official`s family. He graduated with Diploma in Fine Arts from the Vidyasagar Art School.His works exploit the grotesque to express inner turmoil and human struggles. His feeling towards his environment has been rather queer. Perhaps the milieu in which he spent his formative years has something to do with it. Mondal grew up in a populous industrial town of Howrah, near Kolkata. "I know the big city across the Ganga intimately," he says. "In the dark alleys of the city, nightmarish poverty stared one in the face. I saw the poorest of the poor and the affluent live within a stone throw away form each other. It was tragic to watch some lying untreated, while those who could afford it continued to spend money on even a dead man." 

The industrial belt of Howrah, with its inherent tendency towards violence, anguish and suffering influenced him deeply, and found its way into his works. So did ugly street battles fought by political parties. Mondal discovered that his artistic temperament was out of keeping with the hostile environment and situation. 

Besides a debilitating knee injury in his childhood created a sense of isolation in the artist, which also finds expression in his canvas. He says what saved him from sheer madness was his talent in art. In 1949, he joined the Vidyasagar College of Art in Kolkata. At that time, a festival of French artists was being held in the city. It exposed him to the works of French modernist artists. Prior to this, he had no exposure to the international art world. He was only familiar with different schools of Indian art, particularly the Bengal school. 

As a young painter, Mondal was attracted by Jamini Roy`s folk style and Rabindranath Tagore`s disquieting paintings and drawings. But the show by French artists was virtually a turning point in his artistic career. "This was like opening a window to an astounding, astonishing, unsuspected world," he says. This encounter with avant-garde Western art helped him to later incorporate elements from it in his own work.

His works were first displayed in 1955, as part of a group exhibition along with other leading artists of Bengal school. He held his first solo exhibition in 1961 at the Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata. Mondal`s works are mainly figurative. He paints in bold strokes and creates tableaux, whose themes are universal. The faces of his figures stare at you out of the canvas, strange and pensive, but also strong and defiant. Not yet beaten, surviving by sheer force of spirit. He mostly uses dense pigments in blacks and reds, with only occasional moss green and turquoise colors seeping through. 

For someone who hates all forms of pretentiousness, he has done a series of painting on queens and empresses. "Though they belong to the past, queens live in virtual isolation, and I feel sorry for them," he says. "It is this isolation that makes the queen, for me, a fascinating subject." One of the criticisms leveled against him is that his works are not pleasing to the eye. To which he replies, "Painting is for communication and not for decoration." 

Samir Dutta, art critic of the Kolkata based Statesman newspaper, who has also made a TV documentary on him, says, "Mondal has evolved a signature of his own. His style over decades of defiant, bold experiments takes in imagery of primeval humans asserting themselves against great odds in a dense palette of both pure and mixed colors. Here you have formidable drama, a throbbing theatre of primitive that has its basis in remorseless jungle of today`s urban existence."

Mondal has also been quite active with the avant-garde artist`s organizations in the city. He was a Lalit Kala Akademi member from 1979-1982 that has also published a book of his drawings. It has taken Rabin Mondal decades to emerge as one of India`s leading modern painters. Almost 70 years old now, he is based in Howrah, Kolkata, from where he began his artistic career.

 

Ramananda Bandopadhyay
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About Ramananda Bandopadhyay

Lyrical and romantic, his work is typical of the Bengal school and reminiscent of Nandalal Bose who was his mentor.
 
"I represent the village in the city"
 
Ramananda Bandyopadhyay is a worthy representative of the Bengal School of Art. He is inspired by the simplicity and uncomplicated lives of the rustics. An admirer of Nandalal Bose he draws unabashedly from the master's work and has modelled his art on the same lines. Lyrical and romantic, Bandyopadhyay's canvases have a radiant innocence that is strongly reminiscent of an earlier era when life had a dignity and graciousness. A very distinct characteristic of Bandyopadhyay's work is the recurrent use of a palette that comprises principally of reds, browns, greens and white. In a career spanning almost four decades, he has consistently employed the same colors. " I owe the three to four colors used in my paintings, exclusively to my mother's addiction to pan (betel leaf). The green of the betel leaf, the lime's white, the catechu's brown and the red of the juice of chewed pan that turned my mother's lips into a pair of pure gems,"says Bandyopadhyay as he explains his predilection for these hues. 
 
Mythology is a favourite subject of this artist. Drawing on the ancient and rich cultural heritage of his native state as well as the country, Bandyopadhyay paints the numerous gods and goddesses that people Hinduism and the fascinating tales that abound in the literature of India. This strong bias towards religious subjects is in part attributable to his upbringing. His parents were ardent followers of the religious tenets of the Ramakrishna Mission and the artist himself spent most of his working life as a Director of the Art Museum and Gallery at the Ramakrishna Mission in Kolkata. 
 
Not that Bandyopadhyay lives completely in the past and is unobservant of modern day life. In fact, all his canvases are firmly rooted in contemporary style and technique. Many of his paintings depict the humdrum existence of the middle-class in any large city going about their day-to-day activities. He transforms even these mundane subjects into paintings invested with a rare grace and beauty. A blend of tradition and the present-day world gives Bandyopadhyay's canvases the best of both worlds.
Subrata Gangopadhyay
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About Subrata Gangopadhyay

Subrata Gangopadhyay is widely known as one of India's leading painters in the modern realistic tradition. 
His artistic vision is informed by a vivid array of swirling colors and a sense of rhythmic movement (external and internal). 
These characteristics are abundant in a series that he has done on Indian dances. 
His potraits of lady have been projected with master skill in varied mystic expression & forms and come alive in all of their colorful glory.
Shuvaprasanna
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About Shuvaprasanna

Born in Kolkata in 1947, Shuvaprasanna completed his graduation from the Indian College of Art (R B University, Kolkata) in 1969. He was an active member of the "Calcutta Painters" group.

The city of Kolkata has always figured prominently in his work. His themes come from his personal interactions with its urban milieu - its sickness and sordidness, its violence and vulnerability and all that compounds its existential agony. In the 1960s and 1970s his work was influenced by the turbulence and political violence of Kolkata.

Shuvaprasanna has depicted varying moods of the city and its people, its places, and all its facets that make the city distinctive. As he states, 'There isn’t another city like Kolkata anywhere in the world. In the heart of it, I find innumerable themes, subjects.' He doesn't merely portray reality as 'matter of fact' and his presentation of reality often has dream-like elements in it. In terms of technique, Shuvaprasanna boasts a precise, finely executed style that yields an unmistakable visual intensity. He works comfortably in an assortment of media, including oil on canvas, charcoal, and mixed media.

Explaining his thought-process and philosophy as a painter, he notes: 'What every creator wishes to achieve is a universal appeal. There should be no language problem while judging the merits of a painting. One should go beyond themes, beyond words. There can be no clear cut definition for feelings, nor should you wish to seek any logical explanation.' 

Shuvaprasanna's series of paintings, Icons and Illusions, marked a creative breakthrough for the artist in a number of ways. Whereas he had been known in the past as an urban artist with subject matter that reflected the byways, alleyways, birds, and people of his native Kolkata, in Icons and Illusions, he relished more in divinities and flowers. The iconic figures of Krishna, Radha, and Ganesha that found lyrical expression in the Icons series are modern representations and sophisticated idealizations of the same images in the popular media. 

His work has been exhibited extensively in India and internationally in Bangladesh, Singapore, France, Switzerland, and Germany.

Amit Bhar
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About Amit Bhar

Amit was born in Hooghly chinsurah(west Bengal) in 1973. Even as a child his first love was art. It was the primary objective of his life. His notebooks at school were invariably filled with sketches and paintings. The scintillating, pristine, rustic beauty of rural Bengal inspired him to take the brush at a very tender age.

The clear blue skies, fallen autumn leaves, grazing cattle and the daily life of the village, nestled on the banks of the river Hoogly inspired him.
 
At the age of sixteen while at the Calcutta Govt. Art College, Amit was blessed with the guidance of Shri Paresh Das, a noted artist and gold medallist. Subsequently he gained further insights into art under the famous Subal Jana and Niloy Ghosh, who together enriched his style. He was also inspired by Bikash Bhattacharya and Suhas Roy during his initial period.
 
Amit speaks of his style as “…a new semi realistic technique of texturing with the realistic play of light and shade”.
 
His latest series on Buddha was inspired from the images of Ajanta paintings and Gandhara sculptures. Amit carefully blends the two forms of ancient Indian art and individualizes his innovative style. The Rajasthan series appearing like the photographic collages captures the glimpses of the puppets and the musicians. It gradually unfolds in the minds the images of the colourful folklore of Rajasthan against the sandy milieu.
 
Amit can capture every subject on his canvas. In a nut shell, his paintings lets the viewer to re-examine the threshold between illusion and reality, between waking and dreaming.
 
 
Some of his accomplishments:
 
Solo Shows : 
  • Hotel Chancery, Bangalore - 2002
  • Mahua Art Gallery, Bangalore - 2004
  • Habi Art Gallery, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, September - 2005
  • Mahua Art Gallery, Dollars Colony, Bangalore - July 2005
  • Mahua Art Gallery, Leela Palace, Bangalore - September 2006
  • Mahua Art Gallery, Leela Palace, Bangalore - August 2007
  • Mahua Art Gallery, Leela Palace, Bangalore - September 2008
  • Mahua Art Gallery, Sadashivnagar, Bangalore – August 2009
  • Mahua Art Gallery, Leela Palace, Bangalore - September 2010
  
Group Shows : 
  • Academy of Fine Arts, Calcutta
  • All India Fine Arts Thtya Kendra, Calcutta
  • Mahua Art Gallery, Leela Palace, Bangalore - 2005
  • Mahua Art Gallery, Leela Palace, Bangalore - April 2006
  • Arpana Art Gallery, New Delhi - November 2006
  • Kamalnayan Bajaj Art Gallery, Mumbai - March 2007
  • The Gallery Cork, London - July 2007
  • AIFACS Gallery, New Delhi –October 2007
  • Hotel Radisson, New Delhi – November 2007
  • Mahua art Gallery, Bangalore – August2008
  • Genesis art Gallery, Calcutta – January 2008
  • The Stainless Gallery, New Delhi – September 2008
  • Mahua art Gallery, Bangalore – April2009
  • Contemporary Art Fair India (Travancore Palace) New Delhi-2009
  • Mahua art Gallery, Bangalore –December 2009
  • Kamalnayan Bajaj Art Gallery, Mumbai – November 2010

Collection :

Personal and corporate collections in India,USA, Switzerland, Singapore, Spain, Bangkok, Italy, London,Dubai,Amsterdam, Canada and many private collections.
 
Sukumar Roy
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About Sukumar Roy

Akhil Chandra Das
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About Akhil Chandra Das

A postgraduate in sculpture from M.S. University of Baroda, he has received junior Scholarship 1999-2000, Lalit Kala Research Grant, 1995 and National Scholarship 1995-1997, and 2000. He was also one of the artist in Gen Next I and Gen Next II in Aakriti Art Gallery in 2006 & 2007. His first solo show was at Jehangir Art Gallery, in 2002 apart from participation in several group shows like Harmony Show, National Exhibition and 'Time & Material' organized by  Aakriti Art Gallery & Art Konsult at Stainless Gallery, New Delhi among others. His works are in several private collections in Bombay, Baroda, Assam, Delhi, Bangalore, Pondichery, USA, Japan and Australia.

PRAMATHES CHANDRA
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About PRAMATHES CHANDRA

Born in Kolkata, 2nd October, 1971.
 
Studied : Govt. College of Art & Craft, Kolkata
Kala Bhavana, Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan
Scholarship : National Scholarship (1996-98)
 
Solo Exhibition : Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata (1998)
Art World, Chennai (2005)                                
Major Participations : (Total more than Seventy five)
* 42nd and 45th Lalit Kala National Exhibition (2000 & 2002)
* Biswa Banga Sammelan (2000)
* Annual Exhibition of Birla Academy of Art & Culture,Kolkata(1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010)
* Rabindra Bhavan, Lalit Kala, New Delhi (1999, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007,2013)
* Guild Art Gallery, Mumbai (1998)
* ‘in-art’ Gallery, Germany (2007)
* ‘Distance Window’, Dhaka, Bangladesh (2009)
* Art Mosaic, Singapore (2005)
* ‘Figure in Nature’ (2006) and ‘Agony and Astasy’ (2007) group show organized by Birla Academy of Art & Culture
* ‘Legend of India’,I.C.C.R. Kolkata (2008)
* Kolkata Town Hall (2009) 
* Jehangir Art gallery,Mumbai(2005,2011)
* Nehru Centre, Mumbai (2006,2008)
* Emami Chisel Art Pvt. Ltd. Kolkata.(2011,2013)
* I.C.C.R.Kolkata (2012)
* Gallery La mere, Kolkata(2002,2013)  
 
Present Position : Assistant Professor in Painting, Govt. College of Art & Craft, Calcutta since 2000.                                          
Rakhee Roy
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About Rakhee Roy

Amlan Dutta
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About Amlan Dutta

Pallavi Majumder
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About Pallavi Majumder

Soumitra Chatterjee
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About Soumitra Chatterjee

Chittaprasad Bhattacharya
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About Chittaprasad Bhattacharya

Chittaprosad's Bhattacharya's works reflect his reformist concerns. They are a depiction of the images that were his preoccupation --- poor peasants and labourers. His hard-hitting caricatures and sketches of the poor dying in the Bengal famine (1943) worked like modern day reportage, and shook the middle class and the British officials out of their apathy.

His reformist concerns showed in his life too, when he refused to use his Brahminical surname 'Bhattacharyya'. Today, collectors and lovers of art treasure Chittaprosad's woodcuts, linocuts and posters immensely.

Yet, this artist was once refused admission in the Government School of Art, Kolkata and the Kala Bhawan, Santiniketan. A self-taught artist, he experimented constantly with the art of picture making. A master of many forms, he quickly adapted to the need of the times and switched to simpler lines and fewer exaggerations of forms.

A contemporary of ZainulAbedin (1917-1976, Bangladesh) and Govardhan Ash, who were known for their brutally honest depiction of human suffering, Chittoprasad was a Communist Party of India activist. Amongst his noted works are the posters and paintings of the Naval Mutiny in Bombay (1946). He even joined the World Peace Movement.

Bhattacharya first exhibited in Prague's National Gallery and was heralded bet the international artist community as a master. Confession, a documentary on his life by Pavel Hobl (Czech) won a special prize from the World Peace Council.

Bhattacharya passed away in 1978.

HAREN DAS
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About HAREN DAS

Born in 1921 in Dinajpur - a small town in undivided Bengal, now in Bangladesh, Haren Das took a diploma in Fine Art from the Government College of Arts and Crafts, Kolkata. He specialized in graphic arts, besides studying mural painting.

Immediately after graduating in 1938, he joined as a lecturer in his alma mater. He also enrolled for a two-year teacher-training course, where he opted to study graphic art, woodcuts, lithography and etchings. Das is considered to be one of the finest graphic artists India has ever produced, especially of woodcuts.

Das introduced line engraving and etching into the art curriculum of the Government College of Arts and Crafts, thus laying the foundation for print making and graphic art education in India. He once told an art writer, "Just as a poet or musician expresses his emotions and his interpretations of life through words and sounds, an artist visualizes the phenomenal world around him in the receptacle of his mind and expresses it in color and form. But an artist who is obsessed with woodcuts sees life through a special point of view and must work with light and shade, composing them into a picture and adapting his medium to the presentation."

Most of his works, especially his woodcuts and engravings, captured rural, pastoral Bengal. Despite using restrain and economy, Das has managed to offer a glimpse of a Bengal that no longer exists. Most of his work is a nostalgic reflection into a childhood and a youth spent at Dinajpur. In his works, the artist depicts man as part of nature, an individual who lives in harmony with the elements surrounding him. His works talk of cobbled streets, buffaloes, the village well, women with pots on their heads...

A winner of the several national awards, Das held several one-man shows and group shows across India. His works are in the collections of the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, the Calcutta Art Gallery and many other state galleries. In 1950, he published a book of engravings titled `Bengal Village in Wood`.

Haren Das died in Kolkata in 1968.

Somnath Hore
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About Somnath Hore

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