PROPERTY FORMERLY IN THE COLLECTION OF CHESTER AND DAVIDA HERWITZ
Oil on canvas
45 1/2 x 31 7/8 in. (115.6 x 81.1 cm.)
Signed and dated 'Biren de '82' and inscribed "'OCTOBER '82"' on reverse
After his initial foray into figurative painting, Biren De gradually moved towards abstraction and abandoned the figure altogether. By the 1970s, he had developed his signature 'Neo-Tantric' style which was dominated by symbols that sought the union of purusha-prakriti, or the male and female principle, using mandalas, concentric rings and other geometric forms to achieve this goal.
According to the artist, energy and light were the key elements to understanding these works. Energy 'activated life' and light, on the other hand, formed the nucleus or the matrix of the work. This combination of the two within the central mandala resulted in creating 'new life' and the beginning of a 'new consciousness'. The light within and the light around, combined with the energy all around resulted in a 'simultaneous "implosion-explosion" of perception.' (S.A. Krishnan, 'Image and Inspiration - Studio Interviews', Lalit Kala Contemporary 12 & 13, September 1971, p. 16)
His specific use of colours, especially the radiant blues as seen in the current work, also played an important role in how the viewer would view and remember the work. 'His proposition is: the qualities of colour become active as conditions of the mind. Concerned with what happens in the eye and to the eyes, which are extensions of the brain, and the mind, Biren makes colours work specifically. Complementary colours, constricted by armatures of white, appear to give out alternating charges. His paintings 'work' because of the effect created by the after-images which become residual in the retina and thus astonish and amaze us as spectacles of outer and inner vision. The large super-sensuous iris forms are like targets at which we shoot subliminally shafts of our own sensations.' (Richard Bartholomew, Richard Bartholomew The Art Critic, New Delhi, 2012, p. 103)
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About The Artist:
BIREN DE (1926 - 2011)