Lot 40
  • 40

JOGEN CHOWDHURY | Untitled (Ganesha)

Estimate
1,200,000 - 1,800,000 INR
Sold
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Description

  • Jogen Chowdhury
  • Untitled (Ganesha)
  • Signed and dated 'Jogen 2008' upper centre and further signed in Bengali lower right
  • Pastel and charcoal on paper
  • 68.5 x 49.5 cm. (27 x 19 ½ in.)
  • Executed in 2008

Provenance

Acquired directly from the artist, 2008
Acquired from the above, 2018

Catalogue Note

Rejecting his stylistic predecessors from the Bengal school, and avoiding the tendency to draw too much from Western traditions, Jogen Chowdhury looked to the more folkloric aspects of Indian culture and to his own observations of Indian society for inspiration.  His works are characterised by elongated and amoebic figures rendered against a plain background, their fluid contours heightened with touches of colour, as seen in the current work. His subjects do not allow for identifying features of time or place, in stylised configurations that are uniquely his own, their bodies sagging and mutating like the vegetal tendrils that he also paints. Like many of his contemporaries, Chowdhury places an emphasis on the autobiographical narrative in his work. He references local traditions and popular visual culture to comment on the complexities and contradictions of Bengali middle-class society. He drew inspiration from folk art sources, including Kalighats and Battala woodcuts. In 1972, he moved to Delhi where he was appointed curator at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. During his time there he began to incorporate deities within his works. The current lot is an extension of the Ganesha series that Chowdhury produced there towards the end of his tenure. Chowdhury acknowledges that Ganesha is particularly favoured by the business-minded Marwari community of Calcutta. The artist reported that his representation of Ganesha is meant to represent that community, rather than the god himself.
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