Tribute to a doyen of Indian contemporary art

Tribute to a doyen of Indian contemporary art

The novelty of Niren Sen Gupta’s work cannot be described in words. For that, one has to visit his unique paintings. Figures and objects given a geometrical treatment termed in art parlance as ‘cubism,’ kindness and generosity shining through his paper personalities and an old-world feel rising from the use of religious motifs of yore, Niren Sen Gupta is one of his kind.

The Art Bull Gallery in Lado Sarai is now presenting ‘Niren Sen Gupta: 40 years, 40 works’ - a solo exhibition of the senior artist looking at his journey, philosophy and the vast oeuvre of his genius.  

Born in United Bengal in 1940, young Niren imbibed an artistic bent of mind from his mother. He completed his education in art at the Government College of Arts and Crafts, Calcutta in 1965, and later spent 30 years teaching art at the graduate and postgraduate level. He retired as Principal, College of Art, Delhi, some time back.

He has had 12 one-man shows and has participated in various group shows in India and abroad. He has been celebrated nationally through coveted awards like AIFACS Award, Maha Kaushal Award and Bangladesh National award. He has left a lasting impression on Indian contemporary art as an innovator, teacher and master
of painting.

Niren Sen Gupta’s love for his mother clearly shows through in how he portrays women – figures of benevolence often holding the lotus, birds or animals. His depiction of Buddhist legends, particularly the recurring ‘Prince’ and ‘Princess,’ is also notable. Lord Buddha is himself to be found in various frames delivering sermons or meditating.

There is the ‘Saranagata series’ (surrender to the divine) of abstract figures. Then there are the scenes from Ramakrishna Mission where Sen Gupta found his spiritual calling. Many of his paintings depict monks, such as the ‘The Great Teacher’ and ‘Merciful One’. 

Comprising 40 paintings that showcase his artistic voyage across 40 years, the exhibition explores the aesthetic nuances this artist distilled over the years and the colours radiating off his canvas talk of his prowess and experience.

In all of them, there is the underlying message that there is hope for all mankind, albeit, in a subtle and sublime manner.

The exhibition is on till  September 30 at Art Bull Gallery, Lado Sarai from 11 am to 7 pm.

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