Bikash Bhattacharjee was born in Calcutta in 1940. At a very early age he
lost his father and the growing up years were one on struggle. Form his early childhood,
the rooftops and alleyways of north Calcutta where he lived, the crumbling walls of
buildings, the variety of people living there wove a certain magic in his mind. In 1963,
he graduated from Indian College of Art and Draftsmanship. He began teaching at Indian
College of Art and Draftsmanship in 1968. Later from 1973, Bhattacharjee began teaching at
the Government College of Art & Craft and taught there till 1982. In 1964, he became a
member of the Society of Contemporary Artists.
Besides painting the city and its people that he knew so well,
Bhattacharjee is also an accomplished portrait painter. Realism is Bhattacharjee's forte.
In the process, he explores the possibilities of oil as a medium to the extent that he
could depict the exact quality of drapery or the skin tone of a woman, the moldering walls
of an old building as if by magic. He also achieves mastery in capturing the quality of
light. His love of cinema had a lot to do with this. Bhattacharjee has also worked
extensively with pastel.
The artist collaborated with writer Samwesh Bose and illustrated a
fictionalized biography of artist Ram Kinkar Baij. The project was incomplete because of
the sudden death of Bose.
At his best Bhattacharjee achieves an enigmatic quality in his paintings
that works on many levels from the visual to the subconscious. Female beauty is a major
preoccupation of Bhattacharjee. But he also creates a varied cast of characters in his
canvases- old men and women, children, domestic help. The ability to create an authentic
milieu as a background to the characters heightens the drama. Bhattacharjee also excels in
his animal studies.
Bikash Bhattacharjee lives and works in Calcutta.
Oil on canvas
32.6 " x 51.3"
Mixed Media on paper
35.2" x 47"
Oil on Canvas
47.6" x 47.8"