Sunday, March 31, 2013

Characteristics of artist Jogen Chowdhury’s practice

Jogen Chowdhury’s career graph has been quite impressive. His early works contain figuration that extends to his later works as well. The artist has once commented that, in these works, the space projected a simple iconic presence. He had elaborated: “A spatial sequence was worked out but the space was not complex. The background seemed to vanish."His formative years in Kolkata were full of political movements, which had a definite influence on his works. Socio-political occurrences like the famine, the Partition, and the food movement all had a role to play.

As a result, a quality of darkness may be noticed to in his work. Yet as well as an indicator of sadness, this darkness can be considered to evoke an aura of mystery. The effect is enhanced in some of his recent works, which increasingly crop the central image. Earlier the figures were noticeable for their natural bearings, which came through expressionistic stylization and the weight of reality was greater. "There is an effect of distancing today. The idea is to hide some parts. The moment I show the entire figure, the interest in the details would be lost," he has explained.

Acknowledged as the unbroken line’s master, he has been influenced by the linear Kalighat tradition. His lines though are emotive, expressing the inner character of a person. He does so by opting to distort the form sans breaking the line. His protagonists are often caricatures; their faces are imaginary but the psyche real.

The artist was in spotlight after an ink and pastel work of his, entitled 'Day Dreaming', fetched a record £3,73,250 (Rs 2.9 crores) at the Sotheby's sale of Indian art held in London. It bettered his previous record of Rs 1.55 crore in 2009. The essence and the spirit of his works spanning over more than four decades have also been captured in a book ‘Enigmatic Visions’ by Glenbarra Art Museum, Japan. In fact, Jogen Chowdhury happens to be the first artist from India whose works have been compiled into a book form by the famed museum.

No comments:

Post a Comment