Art, seriously...

As many of you have noticed, not all the books that are listed on our website are strictly academic... The Scholars list is eclectic, and we include books that we feel would be of interest to a wider audience, and which are marked by a seriousness (at least in the manner in which they are written).

A case in point is Close to Events, a biography of the painter Bikash Bhattacharjee written by Manasij Majumder. Like many of the the books published by Niyogi, this title is a serious enquiry into the artist and his work.

Launching his creative career in the late 1950's, Bikash Bhattacharjee stood out among his contemporaries by making hard-edged chiseled realism the core appeal of his canvases when realism or naturalism of every shade was considered a retrograde trend. Bikash's strengths were his exceptional technical mastery and his power to charge the tangible appearance of the surface with the reality of the depth beneath. He was admired not merely for the near-illusionist evocation of realistic details, but for the obvious or subtle distortions in his imagery as a key to their complex multi-layered meanings. His realistic idiom is fascinatingly robust and compulsive, laced with rich irony, strong-veined allegory and lush visual metaphors. His portrait-based images enact the artist's own experience of our time with all its dark social and moral tones and textures.

All in all, a book to enjoy, and much to learn from.

Rs 2000. 250 pages, 235 photos. Niyogi Books, ISBN 978-81-89738-24-2.