The Story Of Indian Art #32: Jahar Dasgupta
A look at the life and work of eminent Indian contemporary artist Jahar Dasgupta.
Date of Birth: 31 May 1942
Place of Birth: Jamshedpur, India
Did you know?
Jahar Dasgupta’s used to draw elephants, dogs, and trees on the floor during his childhood spent in Jamshedpur.
Portrait of Jahar Dasgupta
In 1960 he was admitted to Visva-Bharati University at Santiniketan. That was a turning point in his life. In Kala Bhavana, he took his primary lessons under mentors like Nand Lal Bose, Ramkinkar Baiz, and Benode Behari Mukherjee. In 1964, he obtained a diploma from Kala Bhavana. Dasgupta used to paint with oil paints, but now he mainly works in ink, pastel, and acrylic colour.
In 1969, a few kind souls, total seven ex-students of Santiniketan like Jahar and Baroda Art College students came together to form a group named Painters’ Orchestra, now one of the oldest artist groups in India. Since that time Jahar Dasgupta is a regular participant in the group shows of this organisation.
Jahar never tried being repetitive with one fixed subject. He explored with various subjects and style in different forms in respective times. In one side ‘End of an Era’, ‘Genocide’, ‘Waiting for Godot’, ‘Dark side of Civilization’, Series of ‘Confrontation’, ‘Shelter’ are reflections of anger and crude rebellion. On the other side, through ‘Mermaid’ series, ‘Fall of Radhika’ series, ‘Eternal Love’ series, he touch the chord of beauty ingrained in life.
During the era since 2000, Jahar mainly concentrated on nature, animals, and women in his canvases. The drawings have been mostly done in dry pastel both in monochrome of black and white. The canvases in acrylic open up various aspects of ideal beauty. The widespread nature of rural Bengal reveals its colourful faces. The nature is transformed into supernatural. These paintings narrates full of life, love, spirit, joy and fantasy.
While attending a talk entitled ‘Nadir Bhabna’ (Musings of the river) by Shri Alokeranjan Dasgupta, the artist Shri Jahar Dasgupta encountered a mind blowing experience. This opened for him the doors to the world of Bergson and his revolutionary thinking.
This was his very first acquaintance with the philosophy of the French thinker and evolutionist Henri Bergson (1894–1941). The uplifting spiritual content of Bergson enkindled the thought process of the artist. All the present series and solos are a living tale of the journey. In fact he is the first artist to apply the theory of Bergson into fine art. This is a very rare and unconventional thinking by Jahar where he blends the science and art beautifully into his canvas.
In December 2014 Jahar Dasgupta joined the Bharatiya Janata Party. He lives and works in Kolkata.
The Art of Jahar Dasgupta
Some of the more famous works of Jahar Dasgupta can be found here.