Length 11 7/8 in. (30.1 cm.)
Initialled and dated 'S.H. 88' beneath the tail
Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai.
In 1969, Somnath Hore was invited by Dinkar Kowshik to join the Visva-Bharati University as the Professor of Graphic Arts. Somnath readily moved to Santiniketan and accepted the challenge of reinvigorating the print department. Within a few short years, he had transformed it into one of the finest art departments in India. It was during this period that Somnath began to experiment with paper pulp and to create paper pulp prints from moulded cement blocks. These low relief prints with highly textured surfaces, are, in essence, the artist's first exploration into sculptural forms. The artist termed the series Wounds which can be seen as a continuation of a grander theme that he explored for most of his career.
'Somnath started his life as an artist creating posters for a political cause. His drawings at times were framed with scribbled political appeals for the masses for added communicability. In retrospect it appears even in his early drawings the seed of his growth was firmly implanted and there is an undirectional evolution in his art all along... In Somnath we find a strong spiritual attachment to wounded human feelings. He tried to dig deeper into the injustices he witnessed and tried to concretise these feelings without being scene specific. The sufferers gave him the opportunity to objectify the sufferings. A look at the body of works of Somnath Hore is a story of how best to picturise human sufferings with objective passion and clinical precision.' (Arun Ghose, Somnath Hore, Life and Art, Kolkata, 2007, p. 15)
Shortly after creating the paper pulp prints, Somnath began to experiment in cast bronze sculptures. These bronzes (as he preferred to call them), continued the exploration of the theme of Wounds, and he dedicated the majority of his metal sculptures to the memory of the victims of the Vietnam war. The compositions included both human and animal forms, but were unified by an underlying theme of silent anguish in a manner that remains uniquely his own.
'The armatures, air vents and the escape pipes of the molten metal are arranged in such a manner as they form the skeletal structures of the figures with bones, veins and all that. The sheets of thin metal over the torso and the head of a figure is, at the same time, like a skin covering the bones with no flesh intervening and a bandage covering the wounds. The ends of the metal sheets join in such a manner as it suggests a slashed open skin, or skins with marks of surgical operation, or skins showing naked bones. They are like living apparitions from scenes of destruction...' (Pranabranjan Roy, 'Somnath Hore and the Wounds', Somnath Hore, New Delhi, p. 9)
About The Artist:
SOMNATH HORE (1921-2006)