Recent Sculptures by Renowned sculptor Akhil Chandra Das in Jehangir Art Gallery

From: 4th to 10th October 2022

Recent Sculptures by  Renowned sculptor Akhil Chandra Das


Jehangir Art Gallery

161- B, M.G. Road

Kala Ghoda, Mumbai 400 001

Timing: 11am to 7pm

Contact: 98312 63537

Akhil Chandra Das is a very important sculptor of our country, who evolved his own form during the end part of the decade of 1990-s. Based in Kolkata where he was born in 1968 he has extended his field of work throughout India. An M.V.A. in sculpture from M.S.University, Baroda he has assimilated in his works the traditional indigenous norms with the contemporary global values. He works mainly in mixed media of bronze and wood along with few other mediums. His works are primitivist, fantasy-oriented, very often inclining towards surrealism. Through these formal structures he posits deep-rooted rebellion against social decadence, cultural hypocrisy, exploitation of various kinds by capitalist powers and erosion of moral and social values. He develops his form from his serious commitments, sympathy and love towards humanity. The decadence of human values during the contemporary times disturbs him to the core of sensibility and the pain generated out of it is developed into his sculptural forms.

His first solo exhibition was held at Jahangir Art Gallery in 2002. But his participation in various important group-exhibitions started earlier. He has participated in several group shows like Harmony showNational Exhibition and Time and Material show organised by Aakriti Art Gallery, Kolkata and Art Konsult at Stainless Gallery, New Delhi among others. He participated in Gen Next I and II exhibitions organised by Aakriti Gallery in 2006 and 2007 respectively. He received junior scholarship of Lalit Kala Academy in 1999-2000, Lalit Kala Research Grant, 1995 and National scholarship 1995-1997 and 2000. All these participations and achievements indicate the excellence of his talent as a young artist that has developed to the full during the later course of his progress.

Since the emergence of modernism in Indian sculpture primitive form and technique have played a vital role in devising the identity of sculpture. The works of two pioneering artists in this field, Ramkinkar and Meera Mukherjee are very much exemplary in this context. During the decades of 1940-s 1960-s the sculptors tried to assimilate the indigenous classical forms along with the Western modernist trends. A serious urge to build up an identity through synthesis of local and global values has made the sojourns of our sculpture very significant making our sculptural forms vibrant and unique. During the decade of 1990-s our social values have changed drastically owing to emergence of economic globalisation and assimilation of post-modern world outlook. The forms and expressions of sculptures have also changed considerably since that decade. Conceptualism has turned to be the general trend of expression. Use of multimedia has also been a trend.

The sculptures of Akhil Chandra Das show all these trends of 1990-s. We may look at a few of his works to have an idea of his forms and philosophy. His forms express the agony that the contemporary life contains. Along with this agony there is also an ecstasy to surpass the limits of existential dilemma and to be united with the unbounded expanse of the universe. In one of his works he builds a beast very much disproportionate in physical structures that cries in extreme agony raising its two hind legs. It reveals fantasy that turns to be the symbol of existential pain. A creature with human body and head of a buffalo walks holding a horn of the beast. Here fantasy is transformed towards surrealism. In another piece a calm and contemplative human being stands. His hands are extended to indicate his submission to the divine. There are parts of circular forms scattered throughout his body that may be taken as the symbol of universal infinity.

Violence is expressed in various forms. A semi naked man stands on a wooden platform. He has chopped off his head with his own sword. He holds the sword with his two hands and raises it over his body. On this sword are placed three human heads arranged side by side. This is a form of surrealist fantasy that indicates the severity of violence presented in a plaintive disposition. In another piece a bearded saintly person stands on a platform. His body is covered with a sheet of cloth showing meticulously arranged folds of drapery. In his right hand he holds an ascetic’s bowl, which in Indian terms known as Kamandalu.The saint is proceeding towards worship or meditation. Here is an expression of spirituality very much Indian in nature.

Thus the sculptor Akhil Chandra Das postulates two opposing trends in his expressions. One is violence and the other spirituality. Being very much ingrained in indigenous spiritual values he extends his form towards a kind of rebellion, where he drastically lashes at the rotten reality of the contemporary times. The simultaneous assertion of these opposing values is a unique feature in his expressions whereby he attempts to realise the existential dilemma of the contemporary world.

Mrinal Ghosh.

Recent Sculptures by Renowned sculptor Akhil Chandra Das in Jehangir Art Gallery