Paritosh Sen

(1918 – 2008)

Paritosh Sen was born in Dhaka, the present-day capital of Bangladesh. He was a founder member of the Calcutta Group, an art movement established in 1942, that did much to introduce modernism into Indian art through his artistic creation.

He did a Diploma in Fine Arts from the Government College of Arts and Crafts, Chennai. In 1942, he moved to Calcutta, where he and a group of friends formed the Calcutta Group, an association of artists that sought to incorporate contemporary values in Indian art. In 1949, he left for Paris to study further, attending, among other institutes, the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He received a Fellowship for 1970-’71 from the John D. Rockefeller III Fund. A prolific writer, Sen has published many works in both Bengali and in English, including a series of autobiographical vignettes titled ‘Jindabahar Lane’. His works have been exhibited in India and internationally, in Paris, London, Germany, Tokyo and in the US.

Paritosh Sen was a painter, illustrator, tutor, and writer, he has been a part of the Indian art world, for about four decades. Sen’s more recognizable works are his caricatures, which reflect strong underlying socio-political currents, and his female nude drawings. His style of representation is influenced by his exposure to Western Modern art and has influences of cubism. He uses two-dimensional space, structured in planes but still creates an illusion of voluptuousness.

His drawings and paintings are noted for their strong and bold lines, stylised strokes. Although the color is an important aspect of his paintings, it is the human figure, expressing a myriad of emotions, that dominate his art. A recurrent subject in Sen’s works is his depiction of scenes from everyday urban life. These activities are rendered from a cynical and detached perspective, which is typical of Sen’s perception.


Girl Burning A Phoolijhari

Art Work

Acrylic on canvas | 2005

8 x 10 inches

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