Jogen Chowdhury to exhibit pandemic-era art virtually

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Jogen Chowdhury

New Delhi: In a show of small format works, unlike his larger compositions, eminent artist Jogen Chowdhury is all set to present a new exhibition titled ‘An Unfinished Poem’ from December 18. It is an exhibition of current artworks by the 1939-born artist made through the pandemic months of stillness.

The exhibition is presented by Kolkata-based art gallery Art Exposure, and runs both virtually and at the gallery.

The works reiterate what the artist has always expressed about his practice, that the distortion of the painted figure and posture is a deliberate ploy to show the complexity that exists within man and in his relationship with the environment and the world.

Unlike larger compositions, these works are small format, created with consummate skill, whether they are minimalistic outlines or intensely textured figures. The paintings/drawings of man, plant and animal life may appear disengaged from any obvious context but they forge a mystical relationship within themselves as if participants of an untold story.

Says the artist: “I find a vitality running through trees, flowers, creepers, and leaves, and feel it acutely. Mankind, animal life and nature in the form of plant life are all bound to the rhythm of universal nature. This is a notion that has its validation in science. But it is also a notion that surfaced for the first time as a theory in the Upanishads, and reached us in the songs and writings of Rabindranath Tagore.”

Speaking from Shantiniketan, Jogenda clarified that the works happened organically over time, without specific plan, till Art Exposure invited him to exhibit.

The recurrent theme of gruesome wounds and mangled limbs portray his agony yet again in the vividly painted images of severed fingers or that of a nude body with a gash across its torso. Disturbing yet riveting, these images are a powerful comment on the recent history of our country, visual narratives that lastingly sear the imagination of the viewer.

‘One of the subjects that have repeatedly occurred in my paintings is the man-woman relationship and the innumerable components surrounding it. I am fascinated with the complexity, the sensitivity and dramatic element it offers,” Chowdhury added.

The exhibition can be viewed online at artexposure.in till February 6, 2021.