September 14, 2019 - Kolkata Centre for Creativity - Jogen Chowdhury: Reverie and Reality
September 14, 2019

Kolkata Centre for Creativity

Jogen Chowdhury, Representative from hell. Oil on canvas, 29.7 x 39.4 inches. Calcutta, 1965.

Jogen Chowdhury
Reverie and Reality
Paintings 1955–2015
September 20–December 7, 2019

Kolkata Centre for Creativity
777, Eastern Metropolitan Bypass
Kolkata 700107
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Curated by Ranjit Hoskote

Reverie and Reality celebrates more than six decades of work by Jogen Chowdhury, one of India’s most distinguished artists. The exhibition is curated by poet and cultural theorist Ranjit Hoskote. At the core of Chowdhury’s art is the human subject, shaped by desire, loss, compassion, and layered memory. Chowdhury belongs, historically, to the second generation of postcolonial Indian artists, which also includes Vivan Sundaram, Gulammohammed Sheikh, Bhupen Khakhar, Gieve Patel, Nilima Sheikh, and Sudhir Patwardhan. They emphasised the regional and developed a narrative-allegorical figurative idiom.

Born in Faridpur (now in Bangladesh) in 1939, Chowdhury moved to Kolkata with his family, as a refugee, after the 1947 Partition. He was educated at the Government College of Arts and Crafts, Calcutta, and the Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris. He worked briefly at the Weavers’ Service Centre in Chennai before moving to New Delhi in 1972, as curator of the Presidential Estate, Rashtrapati Bhavan. He participated in two landmark exhibitions, Pictorial Space (1977) and Place for People (1981). His work has since been shown both nationally and internationally. He lives and works in Santiniketan, Kolkata, and New Delhi, and is active as an artist as well as a cultural organizer, writer and institution-builder.

About Jogen Chowdhury
Jogen Chowdhury (b. 1939) is a distinguished painter and is regarded as one of the most important and seminal figures in the history of postcolonial Indian art. Having come to public attention during the early 1970s, Chowdhury continues to lead the way through his practice, mentorship, writing and institution-building projects in the 21st century. Born in Faridpur, undivided India (now in Bangladesh), 1939, he graduated from the Government College of Art and Craft, Kolkata, in 1960. He received a scholarship from the French Government and went on to study at the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris, in 1965He was Professor at the Department of Painting and Principal of Kala Bhavana, Visva Bharati, and is now Emeritus Professor, Visva Bharati, Santiniketan.

It was after returning from France in the late 1960s that Chowdhury developed his individual style. Chowdhury’s forte is painting in ink, watercolour and pastel. He explores the soft curves and angularities of contorted bodies using ink combined with pastels, often using a distinctive crosshatching technique.

Chowdhury was a member of the jury for the Indian Section of Triennale India (1997), member of the Advisory Committee, National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi (1998-2000), and jury member for the Singapore Biennale (2003). He has received numerous honours and awards, among them the Prix le France de la Jeune Peinture, Paris (1966), and awards at the 2nd Biennale of Havana, Cuba (1986) and the International Print Biennale, Bhopal (1995). He has been honoured with the prestigious Kalidas Samman by the Government of Madhya Pradesh, (2001), an honorary D. Litt by Rabindra Bharati University (2010), the Banga Bibhushan award by the Government of West Bengal (2012), and the Zainul Samman (2016) by Dhaka University, Bangladesh.

Jogen Chowdhury lives and works out of Santiniketan, Kolkata, and New Delhi.

About Emami Art
A destination for Modern & cutting- edge Contemporary Art, Emami Art is a one-of-a-kind art space built in keeping with international standards. Positioned as a key destination for artists, visitors, and art collectors, the gallery aligns with the Emami Group’s mission to support artists & artisans and contribute to society’s wellbeing. A regular programme of curated exhibitions, includes the works of new talents and eminent masters of regional, national and international repute, that aligns with the promoters’ ideology that while the popular contributes to the academic, the academic uplifts the popular. Spearheaded by Richa Agarwal, Emami Art’s new 10,000 sq.ft. art space is located in the Kolkata Centre for Creativity (KCC), a state-of-the-art multi-disciplinary interactive art centre, off Eastern Metropolitan Bypass, Kolkata, India.

Kolkata Centre for Creativity
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Reverie and Reality
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