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Painting - New Goddess
  • New Goddess
    Dharmanarayan Dasgupta, born 1939 - died 1997
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New Goddess

  • Object:

    Painting

  • Place of origin:

    Bengal (made)

  • Date:

    20th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Dharmanarayan Dasgupta, born 1939 - died 1997 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Painted in oil on canvas

  • Museum number:

    IS.111-1985

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Dharmanarayan Dasgupta was born in Calcutta in Tripura (Agartala) in 1939. Studied at Kala Bhavan, Santiniketan where he obtained a Diploma in Fine Arts in 1960. The artist died in Kolkata in 1997.

Bizarre images crowd his canvases and are reminiscent of the ironic work of Surrealist artist Rene' Magritte and the naive realism of Henri Rousseau: subjects float in the air surveying the world with their legs pointing skyward and distorted beyond recognition.

He explains, "If some of the figures in my paintings are seen suspended in the air and others, upside down, it is so because I am trying to present the predicament of a middle-class man, who does not have a secure foot-hold in our society, who has to make compromises, face disappointments and whose dreams and aspirations are invariably turned down."

In this painting, executed in oil, a one-dimensional goddess with green hair and a bright pink face rides standing on a multi-headed horse raising both hands. The goddess' palms are open towards the sky - implying offering - and display henna tattoos. Her feet rest on a colourful pois saddle and face the viewer. The head of the horse is in profile and is painted several times in order to suggest movement. The entire scene is depicted without the aid of perspective. Moreover the overall flatness of the painting is enhanced by the matt background, which gives the goddess a peculiar - almost playful- iconic status.

Physical description

In this painting, in oil on canvas, a one-dimensional goddess with green hair and a bright pink face rides standing on a multi-headed horse raising both hands. The goddess' palms are open towards the sky - implying offering - and display henna tattoos. Her feet rest on a colourful pois saddle and face the viewer. The head of the horse is in profile and is painted several times in order to suggest movement. The entire scene is depicted without the aid of perspective. Moreover the overall flatness of the painting is enhanced by the matt background, which gives the goddess a peculiar - almost playful- iconic status.

Place of Origin

Bengal (made)

Date

20th century (made)

Artist/maker

Dharmanarayan Dasgupta, born 1939 - died 1997 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Painted in oil on canvas

Marks and inscriptions

Signed and dated in Bengali on lower left.

Dimensions

Height: 70.6 cm, Width: 55.7 cm

Object history note

Purchased from Mrs Sarah Abraham. Rp 86/106 and 1997/861.

Historical context note

Dharmanarayan Dasgupta was born in Calcutta in Tripura (Agartala) in 1939. Studied at Kala Bhavan, Santiniketan where he obtained a Diploma in Fine Arts in 1960. The artist died in Kolkata in 1997.

Bizarre images crowd his canvases and form an integral part of his art: images that float in the air, survey the world with their legs pointing skyward, distorted beyond recognition. He explains, "If some of the figures in my paintings are seen suspended in the air and others, upside down, it is so because I am trying to present the predicament of a middle-class man, who does not have a secure foot-hold in our society, who has to make compromises, face disappointments and whose dreams and aspirations are invariably turned down."

Dasgupta's canvases mirror society's disparities and the cruelties that exist within it. "For the ordinary man, life is fraught with peril, and it is this predicament of the bourgeois that attracts me and prompts me to pick up my brush to bring them to the surface."

Descriptive line

Painting, 'New Goddess', by Dharmanarayan Dasgupta, painting, watercolour on paper, Bengal, 20th century

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Dharmanarayan Dasgupta 1939-1997 : representing the Bengali modern / essays by Sandip Sarkar, tapati Guha-Thakurta, Catalogue of an exhibition held at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai, 13-19 July, 2000, Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi, 27 Sept.-16 Oct., 2000 and Galerie 88, Calcutta, 4-30 November, 2000.

Materials

Oil colour; Paint; Canvas

Techniques

Painted

Categories

Paintings; Religion; Bonita Trust Indian Paintings Cataloguing Project

Collection

South & South East Asia Collection

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