KOLKATA: Kolkata's leading art gallery, Aakriti, is celebrating famed Bengal artist Gobardhan Ash's 105th birth anniversary, with a show of his drawings. Gobardhan Ash, who was born in 1907, was an itinerant traveller. In the course of a career spanning nearly seven decades, he dedicated himself to a quest for an imagery that could have sprung from his early memories, the realism he faced and of living in a country with its politico-social conditions. Ash faced the famine period of 1940s Bengal.
However, above all, an inner silence, celebration of life and beauty shines through his paintings and drawings. The drawings of Ash, which will be showcased in Aakriti possess a lushness of lines, a perfectly studied scale and a painterly ease that suggest a rare coordination of discipline and ease. There is something inward and natural about the genesis of these mature works.
Ash joined the Government School of Art, Calcutta in 1926, but had to leave for Madras after an open skirmish with the then principal, Mukul Dey, for Dey's pro-British stance. Ash joined the Government Art School in Madras as a student of the famous artist Debiprasad Roy Chowdhury.
Ash's art is celebratory. He was a member of the historical 'Calcutta Group' which was formed in 1943. ArtistProdosh Dasgupta was the founding member. Other top names who joined the group were Paritosh Sen, Gopal Ghosh, Nirod Majumder, Rathin Moitra, Shubho Tagore among others. Prodosh Dasgupta initiated and made Ash join the group in 1949.
The notion of modernism that prevailed during the late 40s and 50s was triggered by anxiety, fears, violence, mysticism and subversion. The conceptual transformation in these drawings, done in pen or brush and ink/pencil, is decisive.
The Ash show at Aakriti continues from August 4 to August 18, 2012.