Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Idyllic India through the Prints of Harendra Das

Harendra Narayan Das (1921 –1993) was born in Dinajpur , in Bangladesh. Das received his diploma in Fine Art from the Government College of Arts and Crafts, in Calcutta. Also known as Haren Das, was a highly respected Indian printmaker. He is most remembered for the drawing technical mastery of his images.
Das followed a tradition of printmaking that developed in northern Calcutta in the mid-19th century. He studied under Ramendranath Chakravorty, who had been influenced by the Japanese style of Ukiyo-e prints. Das perfected his techniques, producing multi-colored prints of enormous technical skill.
Throughout his career Das remained committed to British academic and Victorian ideals that included concepts of perfection and traditionally perceived beauty. Unlike artists such as Somnath Hore, who reacted with brutal directness to the horrors of the 1943 Bengal Famine, Haren Das remained focused upon his vision of a rural ideal. However, his bucolic images paid continuous homage to the hardworking people of India’s farms and villages.
Das became a teacher at the Government School of Art in Calcutta, he also taught at the Government College of Art and Craft of Calcutta.

His printmaking work has been exhibited and recognized in India, Japan, Germany, Switzerland, Poland, Argentina and Chile. His works are in the collections of the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi.
Das' work has the same eternal feeling when I look at artists from the South Pacific and from 19th c. japnese prints. There is a timeless quality about the landscapes, and the people inhabiting his compositions. Nothing is harried, nothis is rushed. People take their time and do their chores with care and precision. Das creates for the viewer a place where time stands still, and we can enjoy the scene with complete serenity. Take a journey through India through his prints and tell me if you do not feel transformed to another time and another place. You can't, you just can't.

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