Bengal’s history in artistic frames

The show aims to trace the trajectory of Bengal Art from its complex historical context to its present-day manifestations through the works of more than 15 celebrated artists from Bengal

Recounting Bengal's history

Painting: Partition 1947

A group exhibition, titled ‘Art of Bengal Today’ looks at the changing socio-political realities of the Bengal province. The exhibition also records the artists’ collective as well as individual responses to other artists. 

Curated by Tina Chandroji, this exhibition features artworks that reflect the struggles and brokenness the artists experienced in post-partition Bengal. Some other artworks portray the alienation of a fragmented life brought about by the death resulting from the Naxalbari uprising. Yet others shine with a glimmer of hope. 

In the words of art critic and writer Siddharth Sivakumar, “Brokenness and fragmented reality of the prolonged collective past, of the state and the individual, with all the shrapnel of terror and torment, also find ironic beauty like the bits and pieces of glass within a kaleidoscope, making an image and an experience that is more than the sum of its parts.” 

The exhibition brings forth the work of artists like Jogen Chowdhary and Ganesh Haloi whose roots lay in East Bengal and whose art was born out of the sense of loss, and an effort to find themselves in the midst of the violence, bloodshed, and mass migration because of the partition. Others like Ganesh Pyne were affected by the experience of pre-Partition riots in Calcutta. 

Viewers can expect to experience a varied range of art by eminent artists belonging to and having been influenced by the epochal moments in the socio-political timeline of Bengal — from figurative narrative-driven practices to abstract landscapes that capture the historic ruptures and subjective responses of the artists.

There are sculptures and paintings made with pen, ink, acrylic colours and textured materials among others. The fragmented life of decay, despair and death triggered an unredeemable alienation that permeates the artworks of Sunil De, Samindranath Majumdar, Sanat Kar, Pankaj Panwar, Shibaprasad Kar Chowdhury, Debashish Bhattacharya, Tarun Dey, Samir Aich, Goutam Chowdhury, Tapas Konar, Tarun Dey, Amitava Dhar and Ashok Bhowmick. 

Where: Treasure Art Gallery

When: Till 30 September, 11 am to 7 pm

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Senior Sub Editor | + posts

Jayali Wavhal writes stories about gender, lifestyle, environment and civic issues.