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"Constructing Innocence in Bronze / Recent Sculptures of Subrata Biswas"
2008-08-06 until 2008-08-16
Aakriti Art Gallery
Kolkata, WB, IN India

The young sculptor Subrata Biswas, most popularly known as Pakhi, after completing his post graduation from Rabindra Bharati University in 1997 has entered the field of creativity and through sincere and imaginative works during the last one decade has proved his originality. He has an enlightened vision of life and creates a counterpoint against the complex structure of the contemporary world. He constructs innocence and divinity, which are the essential quality of childhood. He can constantly explore the eternal child in him and transform the dream into pleasing fantasy. His bronzes are the expressions of that enlightened dream. To form that dream he assimilates some of the essential qualities of painting within the three-dimensional volumes. This assimilation makes his forms unique. To explore this quality he delves deeper into our traditional sculpture, both classical and folk. Exploration of tradition and myth to add new value to the contemporary settings made his works really outstanding. Aakriti Art Gallery in Kolkutta promotes their artists with a Gallery Portfolio at absolutearts.com.

Exploring indigenous tradition and flowing life was the essential quality of our first modernist in sculpture, the celebrated artist of twentieth century, Ramkinkar Baij. He also internalized the quintessential elements of Western modern idioms, but could merge it evenly with his own formal structure derived from the indigenous root. A part of our modern sculpture after Ramkinkar suffered from lack of this proper assimilation. European modern idioms were taken as ideal. Indigenous traditional forms were added to it. But the combination could not be integrated into a unique and original expression. Lack of deeper commitment, both socio-temporal and aesthetic, mostly used to stand as obstacle. The works of Somnath Hore and Meera Mukherjee showed, in two separate ways, how this commitment leads to supreme aesthetic resurrection. Somnath Hore's commitment was primarily social and political; Meera Mukherjee's commitment was, in addition to her faith in socio-temporal reality, mostly philosophical and to some extent musical. The sculptors coming to limelight from 1960s to 1980s tried to extend the paradigm originated by the sculptors of 1940s. To some of them synthesis of tradition with Western modern was more uniform that could indicate some sort of original indigenous identity in their works. The paradigm of this formal structure was totally transformed during 1990s owing to the impact of economic globalisation and post-modern philosophical and aesthetic attitudes. The young sculptors of 1990s and the first decade of twenty-first century could come out of the boundaries of the Western modern idioms and could interpret tradition very much refreshingly in their own way.

The sculptures of Subrata Biswas, both bronze, have developed out of this new sensibility and new approach to life and reality. This new approach gave rise to two distinct norms of expressions. One is rebellious, gives emphasis to turmoil and angst of life generated out of complex social setting. The other is benign, grows out of the dream for a divine and innocent life and way of living. The works of Subrata comes to the second genre. He has great appreciation and adoration for the works of Meera Mukherjee. So far as the joy of life and painterly quality in sculpture is concerned his works owe some indirect link with those of Meera Mukherjee. But Subrata is not that much primitivistic. His rhythmic lyricism is derived more from lyrical classicism and our folk tradition.

Sculpture is basically an art form of three dimensional volume, structural elements and tactile quality. Post-modern sculpture occasionally deviates from this general norm. Apart from that this characteristic is universally true. Subrata following Meera Mukherjee and some of our folk trends creates a very subtle and sublime interplay between volume and tactility, between three-dimensional positive volume and linear pictorial quality. Through this pictorial linear representation he delineates the ubiquitous nature around us in its universal glory. This landscape is mostly drawn on the outer surface of a voluminous dome. The interaction between volume and tactility, between sculptural and painterly quality ensues. On the top of this dome he places the figure, the protagonist of his work. It is often a child, often a mythical goddess. The child plays with the birds, plays with the dream of the sky. The innocence plays with the innocence. The child is innocence personified. The ! birds are his tunes. The image of Devi is placed on the lion. The beast is made docile, an emblem of peace. Devi is accompanied by children who sit beside her. The mythical power merges with divine innocence. In this show there are some works, which speak against violence and other social evils, like pollution etc. There also his language is simple, sober and soothing. With this sobriety he connects himself with the living tradition and exploring the tradition builds up his own language that somehow enriches contemporary sculptural forms.

Mrinal Ghosh
03 July 2008.

View this exhibition Aakriti Art Gallery's Portfolio at absolutearts.com


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