signed and dated 'Bikash 90' (lower right); further titled and inscribed '"SUBHADRA" PASTEL/ ARTIST: BIKASH BHATACHARJEE' (on the reverse)
pastel on paper laid on card
27 x 19¾ in. (68.6 x 50.2 cm.)
Executed in 1990
Bonhams London, 11 July 2000, lot 168

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Lot Essay

Regarded as one of India's most notable surrealists, Bikash Bhattacharjee uses a photo-realistic technique to create macabre and often chimerical depictions of life in India, particularly through depictions of women, which is one of the artist’s favorite themes. "The relationship between woman and goddess runs through the artist's oeuvre: beginning with paintings of the woman hidden within the goddess, he progresses to images of ordinary women possessed with divine power [...] Undefined (perhaps indefinable) emotion and an indirect (often inscrutable) method of allusion are conveyed through a slight twist of mouth, the hair or the eyes, painted often without pupils - slight dislocations that lift the work from being a 'mere' portrait." (A. Jhaveri, A Guide to 101 Modern & Contemporary Indian Artists, Mumbai, 2005, p. 20)

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