Friday, September 12, 2008

Good show, sis!

Well, I'd shied away from writing anything about my father after he passed away last year. Still feel no necessity to write with any sort of 'importance' on the matter. In any case, my sister chose to 'celebrate' his first death anniversary on the 27th of August rather interestingly - she put together a very good exhibition of his paintings. Baba was an economist by training, taught economics at the end of his education, first in Canada and USA and then in a couple of universities in India before switching focus to journalism. All the while, however, he did dabble in a few of his other interests - painting, poetry, theatre, translations - but it was only towards his later life that he chose to really plunge headlong into these interests of his, painting prodigiously, writing non-stop, etc.

Well, to cut the story short, I thought I'd put up a bit about Baba here because a rather flattering article about him and the exhibition Didi put together for him has come out in the Kolkata Mirror. Not that this will interest anyone who didn't know Baba, but nevertheless...

A Tribute To Samir Dasgupta – A Man Who dared to dream of Utopia
By Anam Rizvi
Posted On Thursday, August 28, 2008

Kolkata, August 28: In an attempt to pay tribute to her late father on his first death anniversary, Ina Puri with the assistance of Darshan Shah organised a painting exhibition at the Weavers Studio Centre for the Arts on August 27.

Most of his paintings are on paper with pastels. Ranging from the abstract to the morbid and rising to great heights of passion in his paintings of the human form, his work flows with a fluidity that tells the viewer that these works chronicle the journey of his life.

“His paintings show his response to nature. Though he was an economist who traveled all over the world, he was a romantic when it came to art. His paintings show what he thought life should be like. He was an avid story-teller and always looked at the positive side of life,” said Puri.

The theme of his work gradually shifted from the human and animal form to nature and this also indicates a maturity and development in his style. Sohini Dhar, a professor in the faculty of visual arts at Rabindra Bharati University who knew the artist personally said, “He nurtured beauty and had a multifaceted personality though he preferred to stay away from the limelight. He was not trained as an artist and was never satisfied with his work.”

Dasgupta the economist, the professor, the author, the poet, the critic and the artist- each avatar of this great man comes alive through the gamut of ideas in his paintings. His earlier works deal with the human form in its various moods. One of the paintings depicted a horse with two heads and two front feet whereas another showed two animals looking up and reaching for something sublime. He does not shy away from using bright colours such as fuchsia, yellow and fluroscent green and orange on a gray background.

Sanjay Sengupta, an artist himself, commented after having viewed the paintings on show, “The paintings have raw passion. The use of colours shows a Fauvist influence. I found the human forms very interesting.”