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Born: 16 February 1939. Faridpur, Bengal. Education: 1955-60 CGAC. 1965-7. French Government Scholarship to L'Ecole Nationale Superior des Beax-Arts, Paris.

Jogen Chowdhury is known for his ability to successfully marry traditional imagery with the zeitgeist of contemporary painting, in a skillful blend of an urbane self-awareness and a highly localized Bengali influence. His early works show an attention to figuration that carries through in his current pieces

The famine, the Partition, and the food movement all cast a pall over his formative years, and a quality of darkness may be seen to inhere in Chowdhury's work. Yet as well as an indicator of sadness, this darkness can be understood to evoke an aura of mystery. It is an effect enhanced in Chowdhury's more recent works, which, increasingly, crop the central image. Chowdhury explains that "The purpose is to hide some parts. The moment I show the entire figure, the interest in the details would be lost Earlier on the figures were observed in their natural bearings which came through expressionistic stylization and the weight of reality was greater There is an effect of distancing today."

Speaking on contemporary art, Chowdhury maintains the necessity of a uniquely Indian approach to art, as opposed to the blind aping of the Western trends of installations et al. "To be global you do not have to do something that is imitative of America, Australia or England. It has to have an authenticity, which is not what blind imitation allows for."

 


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Chowdhury, Jogen
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