JOGEN CHOWDHURY (B. 1939)
PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF WILLEM BAARS (LOTS 12-43)
JOGEN CHOWDHURY (B. 1939)

Untitled

Details
JOGEN CHOWDHURY (B. 1939)
Untitled
signed and dated in Bengali (lower centre); further signed and dated in Bengali and English 'Jogen Chowdhury / 9.7.1987' (on the reverse)
ink and pastel on paper
11 x 14 7/8 in. (27.9 x 37.7 cm.)
Executed in 1987
Provenance
Acquired from the Foundation of Indian Artists, Amsterdam, circa 2000s

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Damian Vesey
Damian Vesey

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Lot Essay

All art that is truly born from within, is born out of a restless urge that springs from a state of disturbances, distances and surprises that we perceive in life’s many journeys. — Jogen Chowdhury

Looking beyond the styles typical of his predecessors from the Bengal School, Jogen Chowdhury chose folkloric aspects of Indian culture as his primary inspiration. Characterised by elongated, amoebic figures and a penchant for highly decorative surfaces, Chowdhury’s art draws equally from the natural and the psychological. Effortlessly weaving together a strong contemporary milieu with elements of traditional imagery, his works exude a unique interplay of boldness and fragility.

“A drawing is about being able to cultivate the body and spirit [...] it is not only about a pretty picture. Working with the basic nature of a person is very much a characteristic of my work; I draw upon natural elements of people's faces for inspiration.” (Artist statement, Jogen Chowdhury, Abahoman: Flowing Life, exhibition catalogue, New Delhi, 2007, unpaginated)

Chowdhury’s interpretation of the function of the line, lend his works an aura of drama and dynamism. In this painting, the artist portrays two figures using the powerful, fluid lines typical of his style. The undulating contours of their bodies render a sense of rhythmic movement that is almost audible. The man sits centrally, portrayed with a beseeching vulnerability – almost spilling out of the frame, offering a single flower and intensely gazing at the woman who is only partially depicted at the edge of the frame, radiant and enigmatic in playful yellow. Chowdhury manages to succinctly capture a transient moment of vulnerability with an astute yet lyrical clarity that stems from his highly developed technique and deep understanding of his subject and the human condition.
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