In Search of the celestial
To enclose an idea within the contours of a form is a process of enactment of an individual’s dialogue between the inner self and the outer world. However simple the tangible form may appear, the dialogue encapsulates diverse interconnected thoughts culminating in observations, reflective of the nature of the probing mind. The works of Sandip Chakraborty (born 1961) is manifestations of a meditative process on one hand and on the other involves the romantic idea of ‘I feel, therefore I am’. Quintessentially a sculptor, volume is intrinsic to his forms, delivery and of course his approach. A variety of motifs including the human forms, bird, animals etc are made to pass through what is often referred to as the artistic filter. The process begins by conceiving forms as a realist. The act of internalizing the form through relentless editing and adding formal information constitute a search for the essential form. The artist often draws essential form from existing body of indigenous terracotta toys and work on it, improvising its presence. Here, let me take this opportunity to mention that a formal training of the Modernist nature, in fine arts automatically puts the artist in a position to look into the compatibilities between forms with specific cultural and historical associations while refining them. Let me here make it clear that the artist does not consciously lay any claim on transgressing the form, rather accentuates the recognized formal qualities in the form of celebrating the sculptural attributes. An onlooker may come across sharp linear marks, not only reminiscent of bold calligraphic lines on these forms, but also indicate spatial interplays. This approach is also indicative of the artist’s rationalization of form, resulting in an emergence of architectonic characteristics. Sandip Chakraborty’s training in the Government College of Art & Craft, Kolkata, in the 1980s and later a Post-Graduation from the MS University, Baroda, not only make him aware of the eclectic nature of practices in the sub-continent, but also allow him to formally ponder over a wide range of practices between a realist-illusionist approach to a contemplative and meditative one. A focus on meticulous rendering, craftsmanship of a virtuosos, precisions of a technician, the artist would consider and reconsider, visit and revisit his selected motifs in finally been able to express the essence of their being. In his meditative approach the artist aspires the contemplations of the 13th century far-eastern convention of linear ink drawings of the six persimmons.
The artist has been also teaching for more than two decades now. So his practice is an important part of pedagogy. A knowledge of the materials and making to him are like passages into the core idea.
The idea further acquires dimensions with a pronounced sense of ancient history in particular. Reflections of just not the mere form of the Mesopotamian figure of noble man become visible while depicting the portrait of Rabindranath Tagore, but also the spirit gets meticulously simulated. The solemn form in its basics simultaneously indicates the ancient schema and a sensitive rendering. The overlapping of two different times, historic contexts and certainly personalities further mystify the idea of the poet thinker.
In connection with the portrait of Rabindranath Tagore let me further mention here that Sandip Chakraborty’s acumen for illusionist realism and a training in the line of the British academic convention also led him to execute some portraits, half busts and even full figure of the poet as public commissions. Though he begins from here to look at the image of the iconic figure, finally takes the portrayal to an ethereal state while searching for the ideal form expressing the quintessence of Tagore’s presence.
Title of the show : ” In Search of the Celestial” An exhibition of Sculptures by Sandip Chakraborty
At: Triveni Kala Sangam, 205, Tansen Marg, New Delhi.
Date: 13th August to 23rd August 2019
Timings: 11AM – 8 PM