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Arindam Chatterjee Burrows into Culture’s Dark Past and Unresolved Contradiction in His New Show

Kolkata-based artist, Arindam Chatterjee’s exhibition is being held at Emami Art Kolkata from February 23rd to April 6th, 2024. Arindam Chatterjee’s exhibition titled “Not a Dream, Not Peace, Not Love” is a collection of recent works by the artist. His highly experimental and critical works, reflect our fragile existence in a time of mindless violence, anomie, arbitrary power rule and repression.

Encounter I
Courtesy – Emami Art

Chatterjee, who studied art in Kolkata and Santiniketan, began his career as a successful abstract artist, which he abandoned in 2007, gradually moving towards figurative art. His paintings show a highly experimental yet easily recognizable style, crossing elements of expressive abstraction with powerful realism. In a highly critical-poetic manner and by depicting brutal facts, images, and emotions, he tries to capture the true faces of civilization, which turns into its opposite and becomes barbaric. His work, mostly on paper, shows non-conventional, non-functionalist medium use and material experimentation, addressing, to some extent, the bare life and Schimittan’s notion of emergency and state of exception. 

Metamorphoses I
Courtesy – Emami Art

Jibananda Das’s famous poem, ‘Bodh,’ inspired the show’s title. Chatterjee loves literature, and his reading of Dostoveksky and Kafka, along with Jibanananda Das, Binoy Majumdar, Utpal Kumar Basu, and many other modernist writers and poets of Bengal, has significantly shaped his aesthetic ideology. The title indicates indeterminacy and the perpetual movement in signification that lies at the heart of his work.

Allegories of Violence II
Courtesy – Emami Art

Richa Agarwal, CEO of Emami Art is proud to present Chatterjee’s extensive body of paintings – most never shown before – created between 2017 and 2023. She exclaims, “Arindam Chatterjee, one of our finest artists, prefers to work, staying away from the limelight. I am particularly fond of his influential works on paper depicting man’s incredible inhumanity and our fragile existence in a fractured world affected by war, violence and injustice. Instead of representing violence and human pathos in any straightforward manner, he connects them to the core of social, political and even ethical life and existence through his unique style, figuration and medium use.”

Faces of the Other V
Courtesy – Emami Art

About Arindam Chatterjee 

Arindam Chatterjee began his career in the last decades of the 20th century and created a new, more personalised artistic language. In the background of the city experience, Arindam Chatterjee’s paintings and drawings speak of a dystopian world, the fragile times of modernity: the death, wounds and suffering of human beings, animals and other creatures, real and imagined. His neo-expressionist-like works create a bleak vision of the world, exposing culture’s dark past, unrealised potential and unsolved contradictions. Vestiges of abstract art are present in his figurative works, characterised by the rich handling of mediums and indeterminate figures and emotions. 

Courtesy – Emami Art

Image Courtesy – Emami Art

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