Bikash Bhattacharya (1940 - 2006)
Pastel and Oil on Board
22 x 17 in.
Bikash Bhattacharjee’s work is widely recognized for the improbable and psychologically haunting cast of characters that proliferate throughout his canvases and drawings. In 'Morning After', we see Bhattacharjee’s characteristic use of post-Renaissance European oil painting techniques combined with an ethereal and ambiguous setting and backdrop. The work is a powerful combination of realism and fantasy, presenting the viewer with a deeply contemplative and enigmatic subject that goes beyond realist portraiture and into the realms of psychic surrealism, reminiscent of the work of Francis Bacon and others expressing the disquiet of post Expressionist Modernism. Bhattacharjee created a wide variety of characters from all walks of life in his work but his preoccupation was always with the precarious depiction and complexities of female beauty.
Born in Kolkata, and one of the key figures of India’s second generation of Modernist painters, Bhattacharjee took his initial inspiration from artists like Velasquez and Titian yet came to develop his own highly symbolic unsettling visual language. His work is unique in that, as the critic Manasij Majumder wrote, he “eschewed any ideological loyalty to an imagined Indian identity in art” setting him apart from many of his contemporaries.
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