‘An unconscious anticipation of things to come’ was Gustav Mahler’s interpretation of the A-minor key. Sourav Chatterjee’s paintings, sets a similar key or rather a tone, which pits man against nature, man against the fruits of his own progress and broods on the present.
Man and man made objects are often made to look trivial in the lap of the infinite nature. The paintings are visually enthralling and, at the same time, emotionally disquieting. In his own way, Chatterjee mourns the human interventions in nature in the form of rampant industrialization and technological advancements- in short ‘the progress of mankind’. Each of his canvas almost goes through tonal shifts- from a wide-eyed amazement of nature’s beauty to moody ominousness, growing anxiety and palpable edginess, which finally settle into a melancholy image.
There is this sense of otherworldliness, through the dwarfing of everything human in relation to nature, almost a creation of a second, invisible canvas; pointing out, mankind’s siege on mother nature, in the eye, like the off-stage trumpets in Mahler’s 1st and 2nd , which evoke a sense of distance, a distance of imagination. The ‘second canvas’ also calls us from far away, and from within, like voices of the ‘dead’; the call for mankind to stop, to reflect, to turn our gaze inwards. The main canvas creates space for its metaphorical counterpart.
The result is an open-ended present.
Subhrajit Mukherjee, (Creative writer, visualizer, music and art enthusiast.)
Sourav Chatterjee has been painting all his life. For him, life itself is an ever-changing canvas painted over with myriad events and emotions from which the individual artist makes his selections.
So every incident, ranging from the trivial, such as a railway journey remembered for a few snatches of conversation between strangers, to the momentous, such as the death of his young wife, becomes material for Chatterjee’s art.
The artist insists that he is not an abstract artist. Rather, he concretises the abstract on canvas. Chatterjee “plays” with his colours, splashing, sprinkling or slapping them on his canvases, until they begin to take shape. He does not plan but paints as his passions direct. The finished painting thus carries traces of the workings of the artist’s unconscious, verbalising the unspoken, expressing the inexplicable.
It would not be difficult to find parallels of Chatterjee’s style in Sigmar Polke’s art. Like Polke, Chatterjee too resists categorisation, changing his methods from one canvas to the other. He acknowledges his debt to Polke while pointing out that his art is passionate, unpremeditated, in contrast to Polke’s “cold” compositions.
Life as an ever-changing canvas,
Article writen after his solo show Pulsation in the gallery Studio 21, CIMA, Kolkata.
Monday, February 22 , 2010
2010 Pulsation, Studio 21, (CIMA) Kolkata
2008 Karma Art Gallery, Kolkata
2014 Group Show at Zo Cafe. (video,Painting)
2011 The Birla Academy Annual exhibition, Birla Academy, Kolkata
2010 Monsoon Mix, Studio 21 Kolkatta
2010 Fiat lux, Birla Academy, Kolkata
2009 Passage, Birla Academy, Kolkatta
2007 Still Life, Gallery Kanishka, Kolkata
2007 Golden Brush 2007, organized by The Eye Within, Kolkata
2002 Bhot tumi kaar, a group show curated by Ms Rakhi Sarkar, at the CIMA Art Gallery, Kolkata.
2000 Academy of Fine Arts,
2008 Organized by Rasa Welfare, Kolkata
2007 Organized by Mr Ashoke Mall and Mr Rajeev Hirawat, at the Lake Country Club
2007 Organized by Mr Rajeev Hirawat, at Mandabari Forest, Jalpaiguri, WB