Bikash Bhattacharjee (b.1940)

Bhattacharjee graduated from Indian College of Art and Draftsmanship at Kolkota.He also taught there, and later at the Government College of Arts and Crafts. Hedrew inspiration for his work from his early dreary days, where vivid images ofhis struggling – the crumbling walls of buildings and the multitudes of people livingthere – wove a certain magic in his mind.His drawings reveal his predilection for forms: forms that consist in terms of tonerather than line. Bhattacharjee carefully expresses the textural effects of crayons,pastels and pencil using the combination of highlights and depths of passages builtof varying intensities of line. Improbable characters dominate his oils. His work isa powerful combination of realism and fantasy, where reality sets the ball rollingand fantasy helps the canvas assume a new reality.His subject is always clear, recognizable, detailed and invested with a sense of thedramatic. Female beauty is a major preoccupation with him. His women are astrange mixture of spirituality and sensuality. Where women in his canvas are anabstraction, men appear to live in their own world. But he also creates a variedcast of characters in his canvases – old men and women, children, domestic help,all in a dramatic and authentic milieu. The artist explores the possibilities of oil as amedium with a rare mastery over the capturing of the quality of light, an effect thatlends his work a superb realism as well as an enigmatic quality. His love of cinemaand use of art techniques of post Renaissance European oil painting could beresponsible for creating this illusion of reality. Bhattacharjee is also known for his early Kolkata cityscapes. He works with many mediums – oil on canvas, tempera,oil on board, pastels on board, watercolor, crayon and pencil.

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