A recently concluded exhibition in December incorporated a touch of London with local art that was showcased in the paintings of UK-based senior artist Sisir Kanjilal with local painter Malay Das held at the Academy of Fine Arts (South Gallery) Kolkata. The exhibition was inaugurated by Anup Motilal Curator, Rabindra Tirtha and Nazrul Tirtha, Newtown in the presence of Jahar Dasgupta Ex President of the Academy of Fine Arts and Debabrata Chakrabarti renowned artist and art critic.
On display were 12 canvases of Sisir Kanjilal mostly executed in oil and some in acrylic. Among the paintings was a portrait of Bob Dylan in his youth probably the inspiration was triggered by the Nobel Prize in 2016 by the lyricist and vocalist in Dylan. Applying a minimal palette of white, brown, blue, yellow and offset in black though in oil, has a subtle pastel texture. Much of Kanjilal’s painting style derives its western influence through his grooming in art from a relatively well known German painter Herr Herman Muller and, under his guidance created a series of representational oil paintings.
A retired Chartered Accountant by profession, Kanjilal is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts of England. Among the other displayed canvases were a series of flower bouquets meticulously executed and brilliantly chromatic. His European art masters appear to form the backbone of some of his ideas and techniques. However, Kanjilal manages to come into his own with a show of his individuality and integrity in such paintings as Anguish of Lava and Northern Lights both in oil seemed pitted together in a riot fiery red with a blend of colours that merge into each other, a contrast of the meaningful with the abstract.
The other painter Malay Das, a local artist is more engaged with the ground reality of his natural surroundings, far from the cityscape. Having numerous awards to his credit, this artist is backed by a Masters Degree from the Bangla Sangeet Parishad affiliated to the Rabindra Bharati University. Das started his career in painting mostly in water colours to what may be deemed as nature studies. Twelve of his canvases in oil and acrylic showcased mostly dreamy impressions of simple woods, forests producing a mystical quality in his work.
The ones that rivet the attention are Sylvia, Nature, The Park and Mail Bandhan with a colour palette of different hues of green, shades of black, blood red and myriad colours to depict loneliness in Sylvia.