For Bikash Bhattacharjee, women represented “an index of the moral and material fabric of our social life” and populated his paintings in several forms, roles and guises across the course of his career. From middle-class housewives to elite socialites, and goddesses to widows and prostitutes, Bhattacharjee's women express both admiration and revulsion, sympathy and mystery. In this 1979 painting, In Her Office, the artist is perhaps commenting on upwardly mobile, tradition defying women who have moved beyond secretarial positions and occupy positions of respect in the workforce. At the same time, he prompts the viewer to question if such women are still reduced simply to their looks, identified by the male gaze only as a pair of luscious lips and a diaphanous sari.
Towards the end of the 1970s, the artist developed “a distinctive discourse for his portrait-based images, each becoming an icon of inwardness as well as an emblem of some of the most despairing truths about contemporary life and reality. As a chief mode of this discourse he began to project the portrait as a text taken from the visual reality and then he would work on it to deconstruct its surface meaning [...] Sometimes the most remarkable surrealist mode of his deconstruction is to portray the characters literally headless or faceless or to erase part of the face leaving the eye or lips as the nodal point of expression in the entire image." (M. Majumder, Close to Events: Works of Bikash Bhattacharjee, New Delhi, 2007, pp. 151-52)