Published on the occasion of the show ‘8 Bengal Masters: Miracles of Existence’, this volume explores the post-Colonial context of Bengal that produced some of the finest artists of all times. Focusing on eight eminent artists, from various practices of print-making, sculpture and painting, it traces how they embarked on individual artistic journeys fostered by a renewed modernist search for an appropriate style in tandem with their responses to the contemporary situation.
Preceded by international figure like Rabindranath Tagore, stimulating cross-cultural contacts with the modern European art and a critical exploration into the indigenous sensibilities heralded a whole new set of fresh alternative aesthetic possibilities for these artists. Their works reflect a period of intense social and aesthetic transformations with a visible emphasis on the humanistic concerns and existential condition of the newly-Independent India.
The eight artists showcased here redefined the quest for a personal idiom not as a mere stylistic search but as the intimate and mutually transforming dialogue between individual and the world—both social and natural. From this perspective, this book takes a fresh look at the works of these artists as some of the best examples of the socially-relevant, liberating aesthetics of the post-’40s modern Indian art.
Soumik Nandy Majumdar presently teaches in Department of History of Art, Visva Bharati University, Santiniketan. His teaching areas majorly include Indian Folk and Tribal Art, Indian Traditional Arts, Modern European Art and Chinese and Japanese Art. Majumdar writes regularly in Bengali and English for various journals. He is especially interested in writing for the young and uninitiated readers.