Bikash Bhattacharjee, ‘Untitled’, Christie's South Asian + Chinese

Born in Bengal in 1940, Bikash Bhattacharjee's paintings have been synonymous with the implausibility of his constituent characters and the sinister, almost macabre settings they were rendered within. "In portraying the characters, Bikash would play with human anatomy, fuse youth with old age, generate confusion regarding sexual difference and give bestial morphology a human form." (P. Ranjan Ray in M. Majumder, Bikash Bhattacharjee: Close to Events, New Delhi, 2007, p. 92)

"Most of his pictures give a glimpse of a world that lies beyond the canvas which, on its part, ceases to be a quadrangular piece of linen and becomes a door leading to a world unknown - a world of immeasurable depth, haunted by mute, mysterious myrmidons of secretive, sulking souls." (A. Banerjee, 'Exhibitions', Lalit Kala Contemporary, New Delhi, 1974, p. 35)

In this work, the metaphorically quixotic nature of the image is magnified by the distorted, part human, part animal, fantastical head that appears to be suspended on a string. Bhattacharjee's surreal narrative is furthered by the dark somber textural tones of the desk, the haphazardly stacked sheaths of paper, the spectral potted plant and the mystifying white chair in the foreground. This painting extolls the artist's extraordinary skill and imagination in utilizing his personal perceptions of society and man's existential reality.

About Bikash Bhattacharjee