Art review

Bewitching lines
Nabakishore Chanda’s paintings seem to emanate from the earth itself despite the intricacy of lines that seem to dominate them. The pristine quality of the faces that emerge from the lines startle us with their freshness which reminds us of vernal showers at times. On the other hand , a sense of mystery seems to tease us out of thought as we gaze at some of the paintings, perplexed by the serpentine quality of the lines. The subdued colours evoke a sense of mellow understanding about the intriguing flow of life, its elusiveness and its beauty.

Having his roots in rural Bengal, Nabakishore understands life both in its primal and natural essence as well as the complexities that come in its way as life gathers experience and understanding.

Debdutta Gupta

Art Critic

India Today

Seeking the elusive

The Kolkata-based painter’s
work is like a multi-hued patchwork
quilt stretching from one canvas
to another, in undulating, swirling lines

The end goal in life is clear for Nabakishore Chanda. “The day I discover I have done my masterpiece, I’ll stop painting,” he says. And, until that momentous occasion arrives, he will continue to infuse life into lines, colour into gaps and meaning into images. And show them off to the world.
A faculty member of the Sri Vivekananda College in Kolkata, Nabakishore is in Hyderabad to exhibit his paintings at the Pegasus Art Gallery. A self-taught artist, Nabakishore’s artistic journey began in a remote village in West Bengal, as a child who dipped into ink to draw his first perceptions of life around him. “Some of my contemporaries, critics and artists, suggested that I should not seek training so late since it would corrupt my flow. But I practise, study art books and do model study. Great artists, of course, are my inspiration too,” he says.
This is the first time that Nabakishore is showing his work in Hyderabad but he has held many solo and group exhibitions before, since 2003. He has a series of shows planned in the coming months, including two more in Hyderabad.
The image of a woman is predominant in almost all his paintings. “Woman is genesis. The mother, the wife, the daughter. Life for me begins and ends with a woman.” Everyday images are his forte, captured in strong lines and earth tones. The images stand out as stark statements on first look and then melt into abstraction with the second. Watercolours on paper, acrylic on canvas and bold use of ink lines and hatching are the aspects of his technique.
Though the paintings are mainly steeped in rural milieu, the occasional urban study captures the angst as well as the bland anonymity of city life with equal impact.
Bengal’s patachitra in vegetable colours is what influenced him most. “My art did not happen just one fine morning. It has been a journey and I absorb and take impressions and influences with me as I travel,” the artist says. He believes whatever he has seen of Andhra and Hyderabadi Deccani art as well as his impressions of Hyderabad will reflect in his work somewhere down the line.
The 44-year-old artist, who is a sculptor too though he is yet to display his work, laments the loss of rocks in and around Hyderabad. “Yet, the city draws me, may be because it is different from Kolkata. Or may be it is an entirely new imagery,” Nabakishore says.

By Usha Revelli
-—————————————————————————————————-THE TELEGRAPH’wednesday,sept26,2007 Timeout
Inspired strokes
Another Life is proof of Nabakishore Chanda’s fascination with life as he has inherited it. A self-taught artist, he displays amazing mastery over life’s diverse, beautiful forms that inspire him to express himself through art. With little exposure to artistic traditions, his tryst with colours is a spontaneous outpouring of his personal imagination. Embellished with extremely deft strokes, his works feature persistent mythical motifs, while laying equal emphasis on the traditional patas of Bengal. Undoubtedly, the most interesting feature of his works is his use and choice of colours. His paintings articulate a synthesis of multiple languages, mesmerising viewers with the promise of many untold stories and unheard songs. The works on show are done in ink, water-colour and acrylic, both on paper and canvas. One among them, Fabric of Life appears above

Journal Comments