For more than two decades after he made his debut in the art world in 1974 with a solo show, Ashok Bhowmick continued with his monochrome shades of black and white until 1996. He first introduced colours – black ink over coloured surface – in his paintings in 1996. But, he never left his cardinal styled of ‘cross hatching’. In 2002, he began using bright solid backdrop against the crosshatched ﬁgures.
Bhowmick’s ongoing solo show Made in the Shade presented in collaboration with Gallerie Splash at Dhoomimal Gallery in Connaught Place, New Delhi is an exploration of these two different styles of his. As is seen from his works, his aesthetic journey, which recounts many things like his conceptions, characteristics and changes in art form, is not just a mileage for assimilation of art but also to understand its purpose.
“It has been a long and solitary journey through which I have constantly tried to identify the unique strength of ‘painting’ as a universal art form,” says Bhowmick, 69, who turned into an artist out of his sheer passion for paintings.
While his art odyssey reveals that his sensibilities were largely influenced by his deep rooted political ideology acquired from Bengal and Bihar, the artist himself steers clear of it. “I’ve never considered myself as an artist of a particular state, region or nation,” he says, adding that his blue doesn’t come from Rajasthan neither does green come from Bengal; these are just simple expressions of mine.
“I want viewers to ‘feel’ my paintings and not try to ‘understand’ these. I wish my paintings talk to the viewer as an intimate friend and not as a philosopher in the guise of a painter. Sometimes, making such a painting is tough, but the happiness the final result gives me is unparalleled,” he says.
The show is on view till July 9