Monday 31 July 2023


Bengal Beyond Boundaries will open tomorrow to the public at a select preview of elite collectors and gallerists and art aficionados in the capital city of Delhi at Delhi’s upscale premium exhibition centre Bikaner House.Conceptualised by India’s veteran figurative master and Guru Jogen Chowdhury the show has been curated by art historian and author Uma Nair who has followed the Bengal artists in reviews for the past 33 years.

Arpita Singh  Untitled  Oil On Board  36 X 36  1994

Aakriti Art Gallery’s debut in New Delhi will be a historical showcase with Bengal’s best names as well as some unknown masters and younger contemporaries.While CCA and LTC Bikaner House’s two large spaces will have paintings prints and sculptures it is the narrative of history that is important for Vikram Bachhawat the Director who has been in the business of publishing and selling masterpieces and younger emerging names for more than 20 years.

The show has been situated in the experiences of Early Bengal starting with an anonymous painting going into the Circle of Tagores and then coming to old masters of Bengal “ This show will be an eye opener,” says Bachhawat, “ people do not realise  that Bengal has a very strong foundation of compositional brilliance and brilliant watercolourists in the nation.The Early Masters reflect this amply,I hope this show will educate art lovers about its range and depth.”A number of distinguished collectors have loaned works for the show and famous collectors are flying down to witness this spectacle at Bikaner House.

For Uma Nair who has curated select retrospectives of Gopal Ghose, Jamini Roy and Prodosh Das Gupta as well as authored catalogues of Jogen Chowdhury (2007) and Shyamal Dutta Ray (2005) and Paresh Maity,and many other artists from Bengal ,this show is a testimony to the cultural sensibilities of Bengal.

“Only when you look at the brilliance of 4 woman artists Arpita Singh,Anjolie Ela Menon,Jayashree Chakrabarty and Jayasri Burman do you realise that the gravity of experience and memory and autobiographical narratives are of prime importance in the lives of these famous four.The show has a slew of younger contemporaries the most brilliant being Chhatrapati Dutta the Principal of Govt College of Art Kolkata who is surreal master cum realist who talks in metaphors.The show also has a panoramic work by the master Paresh Maity who has created a anecdotal record of Rabindranath Tagore and Santiniketan.”States Uma Nair

Anjolie Ela Menon 

Amongst printmakers are the trio of Mukul Dey Somnath Here and Hore’s student Rini Dhumal.Amongst sculptures both large and small there are early sculptors like Meera Mukherjee, Bipin Goswami and Ajit Chakravorty as well as younger masters like Tapas Biswas,Subrata Biswas and Akhil Chandra Das.

The crowning glory amongst drawings belongs to Jogen Chowdhury in a masterpiece with yet another smaller drawing by Anjolie Ela Menon and others by Lalu Prasad Shaw.At Bikaner House the Bengal show promises to bring in interest as well as art collectors who would like to have something to talk about on their walls.Two days of symposiums and curatorial talks for college students and a special loop of famous films will add to the retinue of something to savour.P.D.Dhumal Professor M.S.University visited the setting up of the show and said he would love to take the show to Baroda because it is an educational and aesthetic exercise.

Bengal Beyond Boundaries runs till 15th July 2023.

Aakriti Art Gallery

Orbit Enclave, First Floor
12/3A, Picasso Bithi (Hungerford Street)
Kolkata-700 017
Phones : +91 33 22893027, 22895041
Fax No : +91 33 22895042


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Thanks for comment JK