Updated: Apr 14
Priyasri Art Gallery showcases the artist maestro Jogen Chowdhury’s works in this new ensemble titled "The Night the Writing Fell Silent". This exhibition is featuring artworks inspired from the artist's iconic 50+ year journey. Don't miss the chance to get a handbook of poetry by Srajana Kaikini. These poems are specially written in response to this body of works by Jogen Chowdhury.
Priyasri Art Gallery is a contemporary art space located on the seafront in Madhuli, Worli. Founded in 2004, Priyasri Art Gallery has been responsive to the evolving language of art and is nurturing a gamut of artistic practices and expressions. The gallery is dedicated to its role of exhibiting modern, contemporary and experimental artworks. Besides being committed to promoting young artistic talent, the gallery represents veteran artists such as Akbar Padamsee and Jogen Chowdhury. Priyasri Art Gallery also provides artists with a studio facility in Baroda called AQ@Priyasri. The artist studio in Baroda has been providing space and housing for young artists since 2003. It has recently launched a separate printmaking practice wing.
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.
"My background is relevant," he once remarked in an interview, explaining that his life in Calcutta was "quite disturbed with political movements. This has a definite influence on my work like the Ganesha period. The Bengali business class worshipping the icon, and their corruption, how they degenerate just like the flesh." 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 Western trends, "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."
Artist-exemplar of a tradition that brought craft, tradition, and modernity into conversation with each other, Jogen Chowdhury sensorially evokes the wafts of folkloric time in his recent works. The beings in his imaginaries work as torchbearers, to a world perhaps out of reach or lost to perception, or a world to come.
- says, Dr. Sanjana Kripalini who works across philosophical, artistic and curatorial grounds. She is presently Assistant Professor of Philosophy at SIAS, Krea University.
This Second Edition of Jogen Chowdhury’s Solo Exhibition, "The Night the Writing Fell Silent" is on view on appointment basis until 15th May, 2023.