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 Amitabh Banerjee  (1929 - )

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Lived/Active: India/Bangladesh      Known for: mixed-media painting

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Biography from
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Artist Statement:
"It is difficult to name the day when I first began painting.  It is also not quite natural to lay down the theme and content before taking to the career of an artist.  A search for my source of inspiration would take me back to my childhood.  I would sit on the lashing sea-shore of my home island and curiously watch one of my uncles work wonders with water colour; or sit beside my grandmother, a septuagenarian lady, and spend hours watching her sometimes working at intricate embroidery or drawing colourful Alpana on the terrace.

The rich temperate landscape of rural Bengal has not left me ever since.  Nor have I ever been able to overcome the charming world of fantasy brought before me in my childhood.  The fairy-tale world changes its stride as the adult picks up experience from life. Impact of contemporary social, political and economic environment, interactions in day-to-day life have very naturally paved the way in building up my realistic psyche .  All these come into my work in fragments, and blend with the lush flora where perhaps a solitary bird in full plumage swings on a flimsy branch.

Religious themes too appear in a dreamlike sequence.  Realistic objects, incidents are often depicted in my paintings and tell stories that are sweet yet mysterious.  Amidst the din of a campaign I am suddenly attracted by a lonely girl blowing birthday balloons. The transparent and glistening balloon filled with air reflects a fantastic world.

The interplay of lines and tones interest me and I have always tried to use this style effectively in all the mediums I have worked in so far."


Born in Barisal, Bangladesh, Amitabha Banerjee studied at the Government College of Arts and Crafts, Calcutta.  He has had several solo shows in India, America, Canada, and Bangladesh.

He received the AIFACS* Award (All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society), 1976; the Birla Academy of Art and Culture Award (1978), and the Lalit Kala National Award.  His works are on display in the Lalit Kala Akademi*, New Delhi; the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi; and the Birla Academy of Art* and Culture, Calcutta.

Art education:  Government College of Art & Craft, Calcutta, 1948.

Present Occupation:  Free-Lance Artist.

Solo exhibitions:  Fifteen exhibitions in principal cities of India; Waterloo; Toronto, Canada; North Dakota; and New York City

Group shows:  Several shows in India, including participation in the National Exhibition.

International Exhibition & group shows abroad: About seven International Exhibitions in UK, Australia, East Germany, Amsterdam, New Delhi, Bhopal, and Cuba.

Work shops: Participated in Graphic workshops in New Delhi, Santiniketan, U.S.A., Baroda, Bangalore etc.

Award:  AIFACS; Group 8; Chandigarh Museum; Birla Acadmy and National Award.

Important Collection:  National Gallery of Modern Art & Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi; Library of Congress, Washington D C. Member of SCA since 1971.

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