Master modernist Lalit Mohan Sen's legacy shines at special art exhibition - Hindustan Times
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Master modernist Lalit Mohan Sen's legacy shines at special art exhibition

PTI | | Posted by Akanksha Agnihotri, Kolkata
Jul 27, 2023 04:16 PM IST

A retrospective exhibition at Emami Art gallery in India showcases the diverse works of modernist Lalit Mohan Sen, a prolific and versatile artist.

Archival materials and artworks from different phases of master modernist Lalit Mohan Sen's short but immensely productive creative career feature in a new retrospective-scale exhibition here. "Lalit Mohan Sen: An Enduring Legacy", underway at Emami Art gallery, pays tribute to Sen's extraordinary oeuvre, celebrating the diversity and modernist spirit in his works.

Sen's paintings, prints, posters and photographs were widely exhibited and praised in India and abroad. (South Asian Artwork/Facebook)
Sen's paintings, prints, posters and photographs were widely exhibited and praised in India and abroad. (South Asian Artwork/Facebook)

Born in 1898 in West Bengal, Sen, contemporary to noted painter Asit Kumar Haldar and eminent miniature artist Mukul Dey, was a well-known artist and teacher. He studied in India and England, and was one of the four artists the Indian government selected to decorate the newly-built India House in London in 1930. His rich and expansive practice is represented by a wide range of mediums and materials, including oil and tempera paintings, various graphic prints, book cover illustrations and a selection of previously unseen drawings and photographs.

"Although he was a great artist and quite well-known in his lifetime, the name of Lalit Mohan Sen is seldom heard in today’s art historical discourse. Based on intensive research, the exhibition brings together a large variety of his work – paintings, drawings, prints, design works, sculptures and photographs – along with rare archival materials, presenting Lalit Mohan Sen truly as a prolific and versatile artist," said Richa Agarwal, ceo of Emami Art, in a statement.

Sen's paintings, prints, posters and photographs were widely exhibited and praised in India and abroad. Queen Mary appreciated his tempera painting 'Potter Girl' in the Royal College of Art exhibition in 1930 and bought it for the royal collection.

In the early-1920s, he was the only Indian artist whose woodcuts Victoria & Albert Museum had displayed in the Museum’s print room as permanent exhibits. After returning to India from England, he rejoined the Government School of Arts and Crafts, Lucknow, as Superintendent of Drawing Teacher's Training and continued to teach there. He became the school’s principal in 1945.

A versatile artist and teacher, Sen passed away in Lucknow in 1954. According to exhibition consultant Debdutta Gupta, the exhibition seeks to reinterpret and expand visitors' knowledge about the artist through the collection of his works by drawing attention to the multiple mediums, including photography, sculpture and ceramics, of which he was a master.

"It looks beyond his Western oeuvre and focuses on his relationship with Indian and indigenous art forms. This project seeks to reinstate Sen's versatility and ability to experiment and amalgamate different genres and mediums, especially in an age when art has become increasingly impacted by digital technologies," he added. The exhibition will come to a close on September 30.

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This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.
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