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Item Description:


Ink and pastel on paper


22 1/8 x 28 1/8 in. (56.4 x 71.4 cm.)

Signed and dated 'Jogen 92' centre left and further signed and dated in Bengali upper left, inscribed 'Artist: Jogen Chowdhury / Permanent / Address: 7/96 Sahid Nagar / Calcutta 700078 / title: "Two Men" / Medium: Ink (waterproof) & oil pastel / (Lacquered) / size 56 1/2 cm x 71 1/2 cm / year of execution: 1992' and signed, dated and further inscribed 'Jogen Chowdhury / 20.8.92 / Santiniketan' on reverse

'Jogen Chowdhury has developed a highly original idiom which allows him to explore a private world of real and imaginary beings, of dreams, fantasies, childhood recollections, as well as objects and people he sees in his environment. Working in ink and pastel he builds up his images in a fastidious process of cross-hatching, allowing a mild tint of colour gradually to seep in. This gives his images a dull, pellucid sheen, which is emphasised by the dark background against which they are set.' (Deepak Ananth, 'An Engagement with Reality', India Myth and Reality Aspects of Modern Indian Art, exhibition catalogue, Oxford, 1982, p. 58)

Although the artist's technique of cross-hatching has remained largely consistent throughout his career, his compositions encompass a wide range of themes and moods. In his early dream paintings there is a surrealist element to his forms, that slowly evolves into a fascination for the grotesque. 'He has as it were, tried to plumb the depths of an abundantly fecund unconscious, coming up with images at once fantastic, archetypal and visually poetic. The familiar stuff of dreams; snakes, fish, fruit, flowers hand breast, appear in a soft welter of forms, curiously afloat or held in limbo, evoking associations which are erotic in a most tender, mellow way. The animal and vegetable forms are both friable and damp, so that they seem to possess a strange kind of sentience.' (ibid.)

In his later works, Jogen began to focus more on the human form and human interaction at a personal level. His compositions, like the current work, frequently appear to have a domestic setting where only two characters interact with one another. His scenes present an entire range of social classes, but are set in strange scenarios, replete with complex psychological dimensions that remain unexplained to the viewer. In his best works, a quiet tension seems to hang in the void between his characters. 'Mental re-enactments make the gesticulations and the juxtapositions of bodies more loaded, but also cause the images to waver between message and hieroglyph, narration and symbolism. It makes the images more complex, also more tantalising. Meaning rustles through the characters and situations, creating ripples, but passing by without settling into a narrative.' (Siva Kumar, Jogen Chowdhury Enigmatic Visions, Japan, 2005, p. 11)

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₹ 11000000.00 ( Sold Price )


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